6 Gyms Where You Can Take Martial Arts Lessons Around Philly

Mix up your workouts with some martial arts training.

secret fitness gems roots athletics

Roots Athletics via Facebook

Feeling a little burned out on the yoga-spin-boot-camp rotation? Try something different with martial arts classes, which serve as full-body workouts that’ll strengthen your muscles and help focus the mind as well. Plus, you’ll get to try out new, possibly unfamiliar equipment, and get in some self-defense techniques while you’re at it. Ready to start learning? Here are six gyms around Philly where you can begin your martial arts training.

Roots Athletic Philadelphia

Where:  2102 Brandywine Street, Spring Garden
Classes: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, No-Gi submission Grappling, Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Thai Boxing, F.I.T (Functional Interval Training)
Private Training? Yes, personal and small group lessons are available.

At Roots Athletic, your monthly membership includes access to all classes and facilities at the dojo. Outside of traditional training, the school’s F.I.T training program offers an intense full-body workout with kettlebells, battle ropes, and medicine balls. On top of this, as an affiliate of the Atos Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team, Roots Athletic offers competitive training every Tuesday morning and Friday night. And if you’re still not sold, keep in mind that the gym is pretty luxurious: the plant and bamboo-lined space has men’s and women’s showers, locker rooms, and towel service. Sign up for a free trial here

Old City Aikido

Where: 722 Market Street, Old City
Classes: Aikido-style martial arts and weapons training.  
Private Training? No private lessons.

Old City Aikido’s programs offer a no-frills, straightforward martial arts training program. With the space’s focus on Aikido and weapons training, students who really want to focus their energy on one art form will feel at ease here. The dojo also has a unique Uchi-Deshi live-in student program, where students apply to live on-site and carry out various duties in return for training. Not ready to live at your karate school? You can still take classes on weapon techniques with bokken (wooden swords) and jo (wooden staffs), and apply for a four-week trial program (uniform included!). 

Stay Fly Muay Thai

Where: 515 Spring Garden Street, Northern Liberties
Classes: Muay Thai, Boxing
Private Training? Yes.

Stay Fly Muay Thai specializes in Muay Thai and boxing, but that hardly describes breadth of workouts you’ll try here. With conditioning boot camps, strength building classes, and olympic weight training sessions, you’ll have multiple methods of building strength and athletic ability at your fingertips. Also, their flexible 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. rotating class schedule makes it hard to find an excuse for missing a day. Monthly enrollment starts at $125 a month.

8 Limbs Academy

Where: 4542 Baltimore Avenue, University City
Classes: Muay Thai, Women’s Kickboxing, Kid’s Muay Thai, Boxing, Kettlebells
Private Training? Yes.

8 Limbs Academy is perfect for first-time students to feel comfortable, especially with the gym’s flexible and affordable introductory programs. The People’s Muay Thai class, offered once a week on Monday nights, is a $10 class that provides an inclusive and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ individuals interested in learning with the school. If you don’t fit that category, take advantage of their other intense training programs and flexible membership options, such as the $139 monthly membership for Muay Thai and Women’s Kickboxing, $90 a month for Kettlebells and Boxing, or ten-session passes for $180.

Diamond Mixed Martial Arts

Where: 1714 Washington Avenue, Graduate Hospital
Classes: MMA, Krav Maga, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Get Fit Bootcamp, Boxing
Private Training? Yes.

Diamond Mixed Martial Arts is more than a gym, its a martial arts university. With multiple styles to choose from and 25 different membership packages (which start at $129 a month), first timers have their pick of arts to explore.  For those interested in improving their fitness, the gym offers a six-week challenge, complete with a diet, progress photos, and unlimited training. If you’re looking to arm yourself with some self defense techniques, Krav Maga offers a great workout with useful self-defense techniques adapted for people of all shapes and sizes.

South Jersey Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Where: 2 NJ-3 South, Unit K, Berlin, NJ
Classes: Mixed Martial Arts, Adult Jiu Jitsu (16 and up), Kids Jiu Jitsu (ages 4-8), Youth Jiu Jitsu (ages 9 to 15), kickboxing, yoga, and conditioning.
Private Training? Yes

With three age levels for Jiu Jitsu classes and dedicated fitness and yoga programs, the academy makes it easy for the whole family to find training sessions to fit their needs. On top of general fitness training and Jiu Jitsu, the school offers Mixed Martial Arts classes, for those interested in competing, and kickboxing classes geared towards older teens looking for something different outside of regular Jiu Jitsu training. 

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