I finally got so sick of just fighting inanimate objects, that I joined a new gym. For seemingly forever, I’ve been debating joining Five Parks Fitness which is renowned for its Muay Thai instructors and students (many of which compete). Unfortunately, they are way downtown at Canal and Broadway (Manhattan) which is inconvenient for someone working in Midtown and living on the Upper West . I’ve taken a few classes there and I think they well deserve their good reputation.
Instead, I found a relatively new place at 37th and 8th; Ronin Athletics. Run by Christian Montes, Ronin is associated with Straight Blast Gym International. Aside from being only two blocks away from work – not that I can drag myself from my desk on time anyway – this gym had a positive atmosphere that I liked right away. I’d toured a number of martial arts schools in the Midtown area that were lacking in this regard. On the downside, the focus there is more on Brazilian Jujitsu than Muay Thai. Though for someone who already has a MT foundation and is looking to keep sharp on conditioning and sparring, there is enough to keep you happy.
On the upside, Jujitsu is a lot of fun. At first, I had to put aside my ego. When you consider yourself a fairly good stand-up fighter, it’s disconcerting at the least to get constantly schooled on the mat by everyone and anyone. There has been progress. While a few weeks ago, I could only imitate a flipped turtle now I can actually last 2 minutes before tapping out. Baby steps, indeed.