Diversity is alive and well in Boston with martial arts from the Far East infiltrating the city via transplanted pros from afar to Boston natives who know their stuff. These pros travel the world to hone their skills and pass that knowledge on to athletic locals looking for a good time.
Boston Kung Fu Tai Chi
883 Boylston St., #4
Boston, MA 02116-2601
Price: $475 for four months of classes/$1,195 for one year of classes
Hours: Mon to Wed – 7:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Tues – 5:30 p.m.; Thurs – 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Fri – 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Because this martial arts studio is located three doors down from the increasingly popular Boston Apple store, its rank of students grows by the day at more than 100 students already. Co-woner Yao Li started taking kung fu lessons as a kid in his native Taiwan, and continued when his mother moved the family to Boston, where he met his wife, Dorri, also an avid kung fu student. He calls them “kung fu sweethearts.” With their partner Joshua Grant, their tai chi pro, they’ve taught at this studio since 1979. They also teach women’s self defense and offer classes for corporate executives.
Boston Martial Arts Center
161 Harvard Ave., 4E
Boston, MA 02134
Price: $99 first month including uniform/$125 to $140 per month after
Hours: Mon to Fri – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., open class Sat – 11 a.m.
Owner Mark Davis specializes in self defense jiujitsu and ninpo taijiutsu, a combination of techniques used by ancient Japanese samurai and new martial arts enthusiasts, wrestlers and other athletes. Even after 25 years in the business, Davis makes frequent trips to Japan to train and study with Masaaki Hatsumi, a grandmaster in the Bujinkan method of martial arts. He stresses martial arts as both a sport and a mind/body element, and often tells his students to slow down and focus, asking students if they’re letting their egos hold them back. Center staff have even traveled to the corporate headquarters of Applebee’s Restaurant to give a workshop in martial arts.
Related: A Guide to Extreme Sports in Boston
Florian Martial Arts Center
6 Webster St.
Brookline, MA 02446
Price: $139 month to $219 month, with discounts for military, firemen, police officers and families
Hours: Mon to Fri – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat – 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Brazilian jiujitsu is the specialty at this gym, which is owned and operated by Keith Florian and his brother Kenny, the latter a fighter and commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championships. Learn from world class fighters whether your interest is in jiu jitsu, wrestling or mixed martial arts. Enroll in a fundamentals program to find your fit, and expect a challenging work out every time.
Sityodtog USA/SYT Boston
Somerville, MA 02145
Price: $150 per month unlimited classes if one-year membership, $175 for six-moth membership, $200 for three-month membership. Many specials throughout the year.
Hours; Mon-Fri 12:00 p.m.- 8 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.
Train in authentic muay Thai and jiujitsu for self defense, physical fitness and sport. Owner Kru Mark DellaGrotte travels to Thailand regularly to perfet the art of muay Thai, and he’s known for his ability to teach and adapt the practice for mixed martial arts. The gym will be featured in the movie “Here Comes the Boom” with Henry Winkler in October as well. Sityodtog boasts an all-around, cohesive experience with his wife on the training team as well.
Brazilian Jiujitsu MMA
Everett, MA 02149-3408
Price: $114 per month for a one-year membership and twice weekly classes/$160 per month for unlimited classes.
Hours: BJJ (Brazilian jiujitsu) all levels Mon – 12 p.m., 7 p.m; Tues – 12 p.m., 6 p.m.; Thurs – 12 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m.; Fri – 6 p.m., Sat – 12 p.m.; BJJ kids 4 to 7 years Wed – 4:15 pm.; kids’ karate Tues – 3:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m.; Thurs – 3:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m.; BJJ kids 7 to 16 years Wed – 5 p.m.
In 2003, the Combined Martial Arts Academy became the first Brazilian Top Team affiliated training center in the United States. BTT is one of the pioneers in MMA and one of the most successful MMA teams in the world. Brazilian jiu jitsu is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on grappling and ground fighting with the goal of gaining a dominant position, and this academy owns it. It uses joint locks and choke holds to force opponents to submit for a fun self-defense-based athletic experience.