Looking for a new way to kick butt and lose weight? MTKT Academy has opened a new location on the Danforth, and they are itching to get more women into training. Muay Thai Kickboxing, the latest trend in fitness, is a great way to improve both your mind and your aura. And that’s the way they planned it.
“We want to inspire people to make a lifestyle change,” MTKT owner and founder Warren Lee says. His academy helps teach a full healthy lifestyle, combining exercise, lifestyle and nutrition and free of negative influences such as smoking and drinking.
When designing his gym, Lee looked at what makes a successful restaurant: The most important thing is the environment, but the whole experience (environment, quality, price) is what keeps people coming back.
Lee purposely created a “non-judgemental” and “ego free” environment, aimed to empower women. The idea of a women-friendly club started after he took a women’s studies course in university, and because he feels women are loyal customers. Believing that the average gym is “too much testosterone and ego,” he wanted to create a good, clean location where people felt comfortable.
And they do. Classes are close-knit and attendees offer each other words of praise and encouragement throughout the training session.
Don’t worry if you aren’t super fit and spent 10 minutes figuring out how to pronounce muay thai. Lee’s classes are designed to accommodate fitness levels. On your first visit, Lee will find out your background, then place you according to your experience level.
Each class starts with a warm-up: skipping, core exercises, pushups, squats, pylometrics, etc. After warmup, participants are divided into several groups: Level 1 A, level 1 B, level 2, and level 3. If you are just starting out, you’ll join the level 1 A group, where an instructor will go over the basic moves with you. As you learn the moves and gain more confidence, you graduate to higher levels. Competitions are an option, but Lee says most people are more interested in the fitness and self-definition aspects.
Once in the groups, participants are taught technique geared to their specific skill set. Beginners are taught proper pad work and basic punches and kicking, allowing them to fight and protect themselves safely. “It’s fighting without fighting,” Lee says.
Above all else, MTKT stresses three main elements: A great workout, have fun and learn something.
“I’ve seen people come and transform both physically and mentally,” Lee says. “But they have to stick with it.”