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Best of Toronto

The Best Martial Arts in Toronto

Posted by Staff / October 28, 2014

martial arts torontoThe best martial arts facilities in Toronto promise to boost your fitness, gain self-defense skills, and prepare you to kick some serious butt. Whether you're looking to go pro or merely yearning to get away from your boring treadmill/free weights routine, these Toronto gyms offer a huge variety of programs in different training styles.

If you're not sure which is for you, most of these gyms offer free trial periods so you can try before you buy. So everyone (shout out to the ladies!) take note, because you just never know when a certain someone may need a swift kick to the you-know-where.

Here are the best places for martial arts in Toronto.

See also:

The Best Fitness Clubs in Toronto
The Best Boxing Gym in Toronto
The Best Specialty Fitness Clubs in Toronto

Writing by Chynna Wilson.

Krudar Muay Thai

Krudar Muay Thai

With two Toronto locations, Krudar Muay Thai promises a fun and innovative workout, while keeping to the muay Thai training core. Their Kensington Market location has a ring and open class studio as well cardio and weight equipment to further sculpt those muscles. With classes primarily set around Muay Thai training, they also offer spinning, boot camp, yoga and private training, leaving you with plenty of options to let out those daily aggressions. More »

Xtreme Couture

Xtreme Couture

Etobicoke's Xtreme Couture bills themselves as Canada's largest MMA training facility, with a massive 33,000 sq. ft. space. The industrial looking facility offers a large variety of martial arts classes each week, including BJJ, wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, muay Thai, Krav Maga and MMA. Other classes on tap are spinning, Zumba, yoga, and even crossfit, for all you fitness extremists. More »

Siam No. 1 Muay Thai

Siam No. 1 Muay Thai

Unlike some of the other martial arts centres around Toronto, Siam's No. 1 Muay Thai focuses solely on muay Thai classes and personal training sessions. Classes are simply divided into technical skill level More »

Toronto BJJ

Toronto BJJ

Sitting across from Christie Pits, this 9000 sq. ft. facility is where you should go if you're even the most hesitant Brazilian jiu jitsu beginner. With instructors that hold World Championship titles and black belts, you'll definitely be learning from the best. There are also several women's only classes, so the ladies can get their fight on in the most comfortable setting. More »

Undisputed MMA

Undisputed MMA

This gym near Eglinton and Victoria Park offers a well-rounded variety of martial arts classes, including muay Thai, boxing, Kali/Arnis, BJJ, wrestling and ladies' kickboxing. For extra sculpting, they offer a class with perhaps the most underrated gym tool, the kettlebell - it's guaranteed to work your body from head to toe. More »

TKMT Academy

TKMT Academy

With three conveniently located facilities in Toronto (downtown, midtown, and the Danforth), the Toronto Kickboxing and Muay Thai Academy promises that you won't find any 'meatheads' at their gym (ladies, rejoice). In fact, 50% of their members are female. Creating a setting that's comfortable for everyone, you won't be intimidated to try one of their various kickboxing classes at different levels of expertise. More »

Elite Martial Arts

Elite Martial Arts

Located inside Wynn Fitness Studio on the Esplanade, Elite Martial Arts is an official Krav Maga training centre, certified by the Krav Maga Association of Canada. The Israeli self-defense system recognizes that there are no actual rules when it comes to street fighting - so if you're looking to gain some serious self-defense skills, or even weapons defense training, this is the place to go. More »

Krav Maga Toronto

Krav Maga Toronto

Krav Maga Toronto on Dundas West is one of two certified Krav Maga training centers, both affiliated with different organizations. In addition to separate programs geared toward fitness or fighting, they also have a self-defense course aimed at women. More »

FIGHTCLUB

FIGHTCLUB

If the name doesn't draw you in ('cause you so want to be as badass as Brad Pitt), this East York gym's focus on Systema training will. They're only one of three clubs in Toronto that offers the Russian martial art, which is marked by its focus on ensuring neither you nor your sparring partner is hurt. Classes are kept small, so you won't feel crowded while fighting. More »

Axe Capoeira

Axe Capoeira

If Afro-Brazilian martial arts is more your cup of tea, then Axe Capoeira on St. Clair West is the place to be. The gym offers introductory, beginner and advanced classes for adults, as well as sesions for kids. If you're more of a lover than a fighter, they also offer samba and music classes, keeping to their Brazilian roots. More »

Ultimate Martial Arts

Ultimate Martial Arts

With a number of locations in Toronto and around the GTA, Ultimate Martial Arts promises that its classes will challenge your body in a way you've never experienced. The co-ed classes (with a women's-only kickboxing option) let practictioners of all skill levels take on a partner in wrestling, grappling, kickboxing, and jiu jitsu. More »

Headrush Training Centre

Headrush Training Centre

If you're after a truly authentic boxing experience, Headrush Training Centre (formerly Grants MMA Gym) is where you'll want to put on your gloves. Located in a warehouse on the outskirts of North York, this facility features a boxing ring, an octagon, and number of bags. Their highly-skilled instructors will be able to show both pros and newbies the ropes. More »

Discussion

39 Comments

Brad / October 28, 2014 at 11:32 am
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No love for Openmat MMA and Yonge and Wellselly? Openmat is a fantastic spot for BJJ and MT with great instructors and fantastic students. There's no "Bros" or muscle heads. Just a great experience.
Huy / October 28, 2014 at 11:46 am
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Would have liked to have seen the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) represented on this list. The sheer variety of martial arts classes available combined with the very spacious facilities makes the JCCC my personal choice.
Ian / October 28, 2014 at 06:36 pm
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Pretty heavy on the MMA and BJJ. They're great martial arts, but there are others, and despite what many MMA types say, some of them are plenty effective. MMA doesn't allow certain moves you'd want to use in life or death fight.
Jen / October 28, 2014 at 10:08 pm
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Don't be offended Brad. These blogs are just people who either know the editor or have told them to train at the gyms. There are so many gyms in toronto and MOST are very good so if other gyms did not make this list it is not because they are not good it is simply who you know or how exposed you are. :)
Rachel / October 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm
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I agree with Jen. There are many great gyms across the GTA here that are definitely not on the list. Another great authentic Muay Thai gym is operating out of Scarborough by the name of Southside Muay Thai. One of the very few gyms in Toronto that provide the authentic true art of Muay Thai. These guys go on an annual trip to Thailand to learn from the best of the best and always brings back results from tournaments in the US. They are a great welcoming family and always open to new students.
hlias / October 29, 2014 at 09:19 am
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This o st is horrible. Who put it together. Have you even visited some of these gyms? Instructors in some if these are novice, some of these gyms are dirty and poorly run. Go do your homework. There is a gym not mentioned that has been in Scarborough for 24 years, probably the best mma gym in the city with the most advanced instruction. Not even a mention of them. This list is a joke
mario / October 29, 2014 at 11:44 am
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Krav maga at Toronto fight and fitness is church
Greg p / October 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm
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Dan is a true motivator and teacher. I am in the best shape of my life thanks to Elite Martial Arts (EMA) and the training they offer. EMA is also fortunate to have great students; everyone is respectful and dedicated to their training. The additional seminars offered, in addition to a well thought-out training schedule make for a well rounded and challenging curriculum. I am very proud to be a part to EMA and look forward to progressing. I highly recommend EMA – it’s a great workout and you will learn amazing self-defense skills.
Elena / October 29, 2014 at 05:03 pm
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I must admit that as a female I was a bit intimidated to join a Krav Maga school, but with Elite Martial Arts (EMA) I quickly realized that I didn’t have to worry. The school provides a very welcoming and positive environment and Dan is a wonderful instructor. I felt like I was part of a community from my very first class at EMA.

The lessons are well structured and you get a very good workout in each class in addition to learning Krav techniques. With your membership, you can attend as many classes as you want, which makes it easy for the students to tailor their training needs for their individual schedules. If I have a very busy week, I might only show up to class once that week. But if my schedule is fairly open next week, I might attend class two or three times that week.

I would highly recommend EMA - you will learn Krav and get a great workout in a fun and challenging environment.
Yi-Jin / October 29, 2014 at 09:05 pm
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If I can give my $0.02 there's a place that's REALLY affordable called APEX MMA. The gym moved from a previous location to the lower part of Scarborough so the facilities are much better and the instruction is top notch. The best thing is there's NO B.S registration fees, hidden fees, contracts or any of that nonsense. So check out their website for more details! :)
Katie / October 29, 2014 at 11:01 pm
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For Etobicoke, add Etobicoke Tae Kwon Do It! Best gym, family friendly, yet still serious. Great instructors, and Master Deh is one of a kind. Highly recommended.
Rick / October 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm
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Is this article a bit biased? As a reader, there are many martial art studio in Toronto from Karate, Tae Kwon Do Kung Fu to Kendo. To say that these are some of the best is a bit misleading the readers don't you think? Is there a standard method used to rate these gyms to be the best in Toronto?
terry / November 2, 2014 at 10:53 pm
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One of the great masters of Canadian Karate actually just recently passed away. Mas Tsuroka. So if someone is not looking to just spare and also sees the value and is looking for more of a spiritual approach to martial arts they might not agree with your choices.

Just a few cents from an old fart who washed a few dojo floors in his day. :-)
marcus / November 4, 2014 at 09:41 am
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Nice to see EMA on this list. I'd never taken any martial arts before so I was pretty intimidated walking in. I quickly found out that everyone is super friendly. It's a very supportive learning environment. Everyone is there to learn, teach, and sweat it out together.

The co-ed nature of the classes are great too: ladies, you'll be able to show yourself this is a martial art that helps equalize a size discrepancy and feel really confidant about the things you're learning.
Rob / November 19, 2014 at 09:37 pm
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Black Devil MMA on Bloor and Spadina should be mentioned here.
Kin Sze replying to a comment from terry / November 20, 2014 at 01:18 pm
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Hello Terry,

Thank you for posting about the demise of O-Sensei Mas Tsurouka.
My condolences to his family.
I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Canadian Black Belt Hame of Fame.
Vinceroni / November 23, 2014 at 10:58 am
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Krav Maga Toronto is simply the best for fighting.
Michal Jaster / November 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm
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Looking for martial arts group classes on Sunday mornings

Any suggestions?
Matt / January 2, 2015 at 06:51 pm
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Bit heavy on the MMA did of things. Very little in terms of traditional martial arts.
Jeremy / January 8, 2015 at 09:53 am
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These may all be well-known schools, but Best Martial Arts should include provision for actual training. Krudar is good for fighters who can already fight, but their beginner classes are sometimes woeful. I've trained in Thai for a few years before a move to Toronto, and while trying out Krudar I noticed that they don't really teach beginners basic stance, movement or technique. They just start a class and let the beginners flail about a bit. Maybe after a few weeks of flailing somebody teaches you how to punch properly, I dunno.
Alex / February 17, 2015 at 03:12 pm
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Hi Guys, is somebody familair with this guys here: http://karatecka.org/

And what is the difference between Krav Maga & Krav Haganah?
Alex / February 17, 2015 at 03:14 pm
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Michael, for Sundays i can recommend http://victorymma.ca/ - if you are close to Concord (Vaughan) area. My son gone there for 2 years, he had lots of fun and earned a medal. Check them out!
Farukh Saeed / March 23, 2015 at 02:32 pm
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Ash / April 1, 2015 at 03:33 pm
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This is almost all MMA gyms, not much in the way of traditional martial arts dojos...perhaps the headline should be "The Best Mixed Martial Arts in Toronto." I'm looking for an aikido dojo, but the word aikido doesn't even appear on this post - neither do judo, naginata or even karate!
Robert / April 13, 2015 at 02:24 pm
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Agree with Ash. In this list of "Best Martial Arts in Toronto," no thought to mention the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, where some of Canada's most respected and highest ranked sensei instruct students in aikido, karate, kendo, judo, kobudo, iaido, kyudo, naginata and shorinji kempo?
Lindsay / April 21, 2015 at 10:07 am
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Check out http://bodyof4bjj.com/

this is a clean, SAFE , inclusive environment. Professor Costa is just awesome and has a great reputation in the BJJ community.
Roberta Stonechild / April 25, 2015 at 09:59 pm
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WE ARE LOOKING TO SPONSOR AMATEUR AND PROFESSIONAL UP AND COMING FIGHTERS ONLY PLEASE

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Jason Pennell / April 28, 2015 at 10:53 pm
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Hey everyone. If you live in the downtown core I run a small, very intimate dojo right at King and Bathurst. We train in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate. Check us out at www.pennellsdojo.com
Gurlal / May 11, 2015 at 08:38 am
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Having been to Openmat myself I'm glad it isn't on the list. The kickboxing classes were incredibly cramped. The area is very small about the size of my bedroom. No problem with the actual instructors/classes though.
Masha / May 30, 2015 at 04:59 am
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What if I'm only 14?
jmc replying to a comment from Jeremy / September 1, 2015 at 12:46 am
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I've noticed the exact same thing. Krudar is very clearly built for the experienced fighters there. The teaching to beginners is lackluster, and teachers often seem to be teaching a class begrudgingly.

Also, the class structure is poor. Classes are 90 minutes, but after a hard 45 minute workout, how can a student be expected to push hard to learn the drills? And this in beginner classes.

Fortunately I trained enough in my life to have solid fundamentals, but don't go to Krudar if you're new to the sport.
JS / September 3, 2015 at 10:15 pm
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I have my two kids, which are now 5 and 6 at Greenwood Jiu Jitsu. Chris Greenwood is fantastic with the kids and has a very kind approach to learning, which translates into both self-motivation and drive to succeed. We had the chance to experience 3 other places and opted for GJJ. You get so much more value for your money that is not even close. Also, we love the other families that attend the classes with their kids. It is such a positive environment. During the last birthday party of my old one we sent invitations to 10 families and they all confirmed and showed up! How incredible is that? The next time we go to Rio, to visit our family there, we will be sure to attend a few tournaments to put in trial Chris' lessons against the best out there.
Nazir ahmed / September 12, 2015 at 12:33 pm
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B / October 21, 2015 at 09:15 am
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I'm surprised you don't have Southside Muay Thai. It's one of the most well known Martial Art facilities in the Scarborough Area. Not only does it have the fitness aspect as many of these gyms do, but their Muay Thai program that they primarily focus on really provides a lot of insight towards basics beginners, and even if you're an experienced martial artist you can try the mixed/advanced classes. You guys should really check it out if you're in the area.
You not only progress in your exercise level but you have a good understanding with the technique, and culture of the sport. Personally from my experience it really beats the MMA gyms I went to before and I've learned a lot from the gym, especially with the family environment they provide. Everyone is very welcoming, and willing to also help out when you ask them.

I'll just leave the site here

www.southsidemuaythai.ca

If anyone's in the area it's located on 2065 Midland Ave, basically on Ellesmere and Midland, a bit North of Midland but right by the Midland RT station. Crazy schedule they got going, the pricing is also a steal and they have really good promotions for their membership prices.
Tarek / October 30, 2015 at 02:51 pm
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Hello, I am planning
to study in canada and i currently do muay thai and id like to continue when im off to uni so can anyone please suggest the best places to train near RYerson and UOfT?
Pagrick / January 1, 2016 at 08:18 am
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Evolucao Thai is a great MMA gym that is the best place I think for MMA training for professional fighters. It has Muay Thai, wrestling, MMA and BJJ classes. It ain't the biggest gym nor has fancy change rooms but it is the best MMA training in Toronto. I have been doing this for years and been to a few other gyms.
Patrick / January 1, 2016 at 08:22 am
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For traditional Muay Thai only Krudar is great. For BJJ ONLY, Torontobjj is the best and for MMA Evolucao Thai is the best. I trained at all of those gyms and that's my two cents. Osss!!!
Deepak Harpal Singh / January 11, 2016 at 01:42 am
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Dave / March 16, 2016 at 10:32 am
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Evolução Thai, without question is the strongest MMA training in Toronto.
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