Toronto no longer embracing MMA in their gyms?

To my Fellow Torontonians, is it me or does it feel like Toronto's martial arts gyms no longer embrace teaching MMA classes in their curriculums? Or is it the result of these respective gym's students no longer wishing to learn MMA?

There was a short boom of interest a little bit before and after UFC strolled into town in 2011. That reinvigorated fledgling gyms or helped create new ones.

Established TMA Gyms even went as far as adding "MMA" into their respective facility's moniker in order to stay current or relative.

However, I'm seeing a trend of these same gyms either stripping back their MMA-specific classes or removing them all together.

One logical reason could be students were just not attending enough of these classes.

Why?

I would think for a progressive metropolitan city like Toronto, this is something local Martial Arts lovers would want to learn more of.

Good Question !!!
Its not like the late 90s early 2000's !
Most of the students who take/took my MMA class were more focused on jujitsu "GI" .
Often times to the people interest in MMA class'es have no back ground in striking or grappling. Who have to turn there focus to jujitsu ...


When I started training back in 95/96 up to about 2003 most people motives were for MMA (I think)mine were anyway.

Toronto has never been an MMA hotbed.

I think part of the problem is marketing. People who are new to the sport see blood spatters and people getting broken or KO'd in the ads, and I think it intimidates them.

I run an MMA class every night, Mon-Thurs, and once people realize that the training isn't going to cripple them, they love it. They're my most popular classes now.

Obviously I appreciate the business, but more importantly than that, I like dispelling the myth of the MMA douche who has no respect/discipline and just likes to smash things.

I can understand for new or non-members being a little reluctant.

I'm more so surprised at existing members not branching out.

Maybe everyone posting here thus far is right. Students just want to stick with the 1 discipline.

Interest has waned for MMA in this city. Maybe Toronto isn't as progressive as I thought and prefers to stick with tradition or follow a trend until it fades from mainstream popularity.

It's like the circus came to town for the first time and grabbed the city's attention for 1 night. Afterwards, everyone wanted to learn how to juggle. Time passed and no one could care less.

Alberta, Quebec (specifically Montreal) and the Maritimes seem to be going the opposite route. This boggles my mind that Toronto isn't on par with these places.

The U.S. MMA scene is flourishing mightily. Granted, McDojo MMA opening at every strip mall doesn't really mean a good thing, but you get that the movement is there.

I really want to learn this sport from the fundamental level. We know there's a different stance involved, a different way of delivering strikes, a different way of utilizing one's Jiu Jitsu, a different way of thinking in the fight, etc. As much as I don't mind learning and understanding the basic fundamentals of the individual art forms that make up MMA separately, we all know that MMA is a whole new animal within itself and should be taught as it's own discipline.

So far, that's been relegated to only very very few gyms in this city nowadays or just to a gym's Pros" class.

That needs to change and I hope it changes.

Kid>

Would love to have you come out to one of my MMA Fundamental classes. I think you'd like our approach!

Kid Vicious - I can understand for new or non-members being a little reluctant.

I'm more so surprised at existing members not branching out.

Maybe everyone posting here thus far is right. Students just want to stick with the 1 discipline.

Interest has waned for MMA in this city. Maybe Toronto isn't as progressive as I thought and prefers to stick with tradition or follow a trend until it fades from mainstream popularity.

It's like the circus came to town for the first time and grabbed the city's attention for 1 night. Afterwards, everyone wanted to learn how to juggle. Time passed and no one could care less.

Alberta, Quebec (specifically Montreal) and the Maritimes seem to be going the opposite route. This boggles my mind that Toronto isn't on par with these places.

The U.S. MMA scene is flourishing mightily. Granted, McDojo MMA opening at every strip mall doesn't really mean a good thing, but you get that the movement is there.

I really want to learn this sport from the fundamental level. We know there's a different stance involved, a different way of delivering strikes, a different way of utilizing one's Jiu Jitsu, a different way of thinking in the fight, etc. As much as I don't mind learning and understanding the basic fundamentals of the individual art forms that make up MMA separately, we all know that MMA is a whole new animal within itself and should be taught as it's own discipline.

So far, that's been relegated to only very very few gyms in this city nowadays or just to a gym's Pros" class.

That needs to change and I hope it changes.


Great post man.

There are a few "MMA" (what happens in standing open guard with punches? where should you put your free hand while against the cage? what is the proper way to stand back up when there's strikes?) classes kicking around Toronto.

If he's still teaching these fundamentals at his gym (Elite MMA in Mississauga), I would highly recommend Claude Patrick as a teacher for this stuff. Claude is the best teacher I've ever been exposed to for these things.

I have heard he teaches this type of class up at Toronto BJJ once a week too. Not 100% sure of that but, if its true, that would be a great great place to start this kind of training.

Good luck man. Enjoy.

At one time Shah Franco trained Loaf,Pimp,Pain.Sills ,Monkey,Kage,Flex,Pato,Costa all in one room !!!!

Hardcore !!!
There's MMA schools but not how we trained !!!!

PAIN PETERS!!!

Respect to you man.

It is pretty amazing thinking about all the killers Prof. Franco helped produce.

Head instructors/coaches today, I can think of at the top of my head, doing the same these days are Jeff Joslin and Sam Zakula with his TapStar crew.

I also find a lot of the Pro MMA guys like to all train together at Headrush Training Center (formerly Grant's MMA).

Still, though, even these cats don't teach strictly MMA any more (not sure about Joslin as I'm unfamiliar with his academy. Plus, he's based out of Hamilton).

Franco's Inner City seems directed at JJ and Boxing. Zakula focuses on JJ, as well, and seems based out of 'Sauga nowadays (some classes at Misha Cirkunov's gym, Real, but again strictly JJ).

As for HTC, only the Pros train MMA. Not sure why Neil doesn't add that to the curriculum. He has a stable of dudes to teach the class. Heck, RG has cornered enough fighters to know his way around teaching MMA, I would think.

Danny: Thank you for the offer. I will have to check BD out some time. reviews seem positive.

Robin: I've read and heard good things about Claude's school. I do see he runs a MMA striking (possibly similar to Black Devil's) and "Mixed" Muay Thai classes. Curious if his No-gi classes incorporates "with striking" unless that's also part of the MMA Striking Class.

These are the types of classes I'd like to see more gyms in the City add to their Program.

Shawn Peters - At one time Shah Franco trained Loaf,Pimp,Pain.Sills ,Monkey,Kage,Flex,Pato,Costa all in one room !!!!

Hardcore !!!
There's MMA schools but not how we trained !!!!


Truth.



Toronto loves it MMA as fans. For some reason though it doesn't produce a lot of competitors when you look at it's population.



There will always be schools that rise to the top and produce guys like in the early days but now that MMA is legal in Ontario, Toronto should be leading the way with competitors, and they are not.



When the only game around was UCC/TKO, guys like Peters and Loaf, and more were the lead killers out of the GTA.



I'm always surprised that Toronto doesn't have more fighters coming out of it. Still this is still an issue that the Ontario Atheltic Comission is responsible for. As much as it is legal to stage shows in Ontario, it's still far too cost prohibitive for many promotors to do so.

Mma might be legal now but the cost of putting on a show in Toronto makes it pretty tough for anyone other than the UFC to be able to afford it. So very few shows means not a great market. Some of you guys on the promotional side might be able to go into more detail but aren't there pretty ridiculous fees levied by the Ontario athletic commission? Phone Post 3.0

And I didn't read all of the thread before posting and simply reiterated what Douglas had just said. Phone Post 3.0

I would imagine taxes alone would keep most promoters away...never mind all the fees etc. Phone Post 3.0

Robin Black - 
Kid Vicious - I can understand for new or non-members being a little reluctant.

I'm more so surprised at existing members not branching out.

Maybe everyone posting here thus far is right. Students just want to stick with the 1 discipline.

Interest has waned for MMA in this city. Maybe Toronto isn't as progressive as I thought and prefers to stick with tradition or follow a trend until it fades from mainstream popularity.

It's like the circus came to town for the first time and grabbed the city's attention for 1 night. Afterwards, everyone wanted to learn how to juggle. Time passed and no one could care less.

Alberta, Quebec (specifically Montreal) and the Maritimes seem to be going the opposite route. This boggles my mind that Toronto isn't on par with these places.

The U.S. MMA scene is flourishing mightily. Granted, McDojo MMA opening at every strip mall doesn't really mean a good thing, but you get that the movement is there.

I really want to learn this sport from the fundamental level. We know there's a different stance involved, a different way of delivering strikes, a different way of utilizing one's Jiu Jitsu, a different way of thinking in the fight, etc. As much as I don't mind learning and understanding the basic fundamentals of the individual art forms that make up MMA separately, we all know that MMA is a whole new animal within itself and should be taught as it's own discipline.

So far, that's been relegated to only very very few gyms in this city nowadays or just to a gym's Pros" class.

That needs to change and I hope it changes.


Great post man.

There are a few "MMA" (what happens in standing open guard with punches? where should you put your free hand while against the cage? what is the proper way to stand back up when there's strikes?) classes kicking around Toronto.

If he's still teaching these fundamentals at his gym (Elite MMA in Mississauga), I would highly recommend Claude Patrick as a teacher for this stuff. Claude is the best teacher I've ever been exposed to for these things.

I have heard he teaches this type of class up at Toronto BJJ once a week too. Not 100% sure of that but, if its true, that would be a great great place to start this kind of training.

Good luck man. Enjoy.


Highly agree with you on this. Claude is great.


hey guys ... neil - o here!!!! from hearths aka grants mma aka grant brothers


This whole teaching MMA thing to me is really really really tough to do if someone doesn't know the various arts that compromise MMA.

its like teaching someone advanced math when they don't know how to add or subtract yet

we teach wrestling, BJJ, thai and boxing, which primarily make up the base of MMA.

We teach or train actual MMA to our pro's or amateurs who have trained and have experience in all or some of these arts.

how can we have an MMA class if a guy doesn't even know how to throw a punch, block a kick or use footwork. How do we teach MMA to someone who doesn't understand how to take someone down or prevent a takedown and what do they do once they are on the ground.

We have tried to teach people "MMA" but its like teaching a baby how to ride a bike when they can't even walk yet.

and by the time someone is experience d enough to actually learn MMA, they have a few years of training behind them and we involve them or introduce them to start working out and training with the pro's or amateurs.

our pro classes are pretty much MMA classes.

teaching MMA to someone who walks off the street ... how do you do that. I mean there is soooo much to learn from each of the 4 arts in itself, teaching them all of this and then how to incorporate it at the same time is near impossible. In my opinion

What I try to explain to people coming in who want to learn MMA is that MMA is a combination of everything we teach, and they should train and get a general knowledge of the arts that compromise MMA and once they learn enough, then they can graduate to learning MMA ... because really, MMA is teaching all of these arts and combining them.

the other reality is I can count on 2 hands the amount of people that practice more than 1 discipline for long enough to where they can leaner to incorporate it.
most guys either vear and stick to 1 art, or try one of r6 months, then another for 6 months etc.... very few guy are committed to learning all the arts for 2, 3, 4 years if not longer.
BUT ... those that are committed, have no trouble in our gym finding ways to train, practice and even compete.

its like the octagon ... we had one for 4 years .... the centre piece ... the crown jewel ... the 1 thing that caught people;s eyes when they came into the gym ... but it was neeeeever used unless it was 2 people trying to goof around and pretend to be wanderlei silva. It just wasn't needed. everything you needed to prep for a fight was done in the ring or on the mats or on the wall mats. it was wasted space.

MMA in my opinion is not a class that can just be taught to someone off the street!!!

While I do feel most would probably agree that it would be best to practice the different arts separately (mainly boxing, wrestling, BJJ and Muay Thai or Kickboxing) and "combine" them to fit MMA, does anyone here think that, then, there is room for MMA-specific versions of these different arts/skills to be taught as their own class?

What I mean is, grappling for MMA classes. Or, a striking for MMA class. Why can't these classes be taught at the fundamental level (I believe Dany makes mention his academy does something like this & Robin mentioned Claude's academy may teach this, as well).

Sure, some novice will not know how to throw a proper punch or kick, but what's stopping the instructor from teaching that fundamental aspect but tailored to MMA striking.

Say a novice student just wanted to learn boxing. We would expect the instructor would develop that student from a boxers POV.

Same situation, but the novice student wants to learn MMA. Why couldn't an instructor develop that student's striking from a mixed martial artist's POV?

Again, I have to bring up the notion that a fighter is not going to "carry" (for lack of a better word) themselves the same way in a MMA competition as they would in, say, a Muay Thai fight. You would sit at a lower stance (depending on your MMA opponent) or face the chance of getting taken down. Why wait to learn that stance later? Why not teach that as a basic core stance.

It's not ideal for a MMA fighter to just sit in a boxer's stance or they would get their legs chopped.

Even the grappling aspect needs to take into account the striking aspect.

A great deal of sports and training is muscle memory, so why not start teaching and getting students bodies to react to the "MMA version of each individual art/skill" and not just the traditional.

Rory McDonald seems to be the new breed of fighter. They have learned "MMA" and not seperate arts and learned to combine them.

I think you can teach MMA and just let people specialize by branching out into other arts for more specifics.

DisgracieJJ - 
Dougie -


Rory McDonald seems to be the new breed of fighter. They have learned "MMA" and not seperate arts and learned to combine them.



I think you can teach MMA and just let people specialize by branching out into other arts for more specifics.

I agree with this. I think the problem is finding instructors who can teach all three. Phone Post 3.0

Did Rory have 1 instructor who was able to teach all 3 or did he cross train in all 3 under multiple instructors right from the get go? Pretty sure it was the latter no? I could be wrong.