If you’re new to Belfast and looking to start Muay Thai training, you might not know where to start.
At first glance, the city doesn’t have too much to offer outside of regular fitness facilities and boxing gyms. Dig a little deeper though, and there are definitely some great spots to train at.
I’ve picked out the top 5 places in the city that you should seriously consider if you want to start training. When choosing a new Muay Thai gym, it’s essential to keep a few things in mind, so I’ll be covering the following areas for each entry:
- Location – Where is it?
- Transport links – How easy is it to get there?
- Prices – Is it good value for money? Do they offer a free trial class?
SBG Belfast | Central Belfast
“You will be ok”. Four simple words that make up the SBG ethos and words that we all need to hear when trying something new.
SBG Belfast offers a full curriculum of martial arts including Muay Thai, alongside strength and conditioning classes to keep you fighting fit, and sports massage for when you’re really feeling sore. They have a big emphasis on getting people of all ages involved with martial arts, including a variety of programmes for kids and teens.
They run plenty of seminars and events too, so are very much a “complete package” for martial arts lovers.
High Street (Pottinger’s Entry) bus stop
Prices aren’t listed on the website, but before your first session, you’ll need to sign up for a free consultation.
Prokick | Strandtown
Prokick has excellent reviews, and it’s easy to see why. This kickboxing gym has a focus on Muay Thai techniques in its classes, and alongside their timetabled sessions, they run beginners courses too.
These courses are the best way to get into Muay Thai if you’ve had no previous experience. As well as giving you a full course breakdown on their website, they arm you with everything you need to know before you even step foot in the dojo, including what to bring and even the house rules! This means you’re as well prepared as you possibly can be, making everything less daunting and more approachable.
Sydenham Drive bus stop
Classes cost from £5.00, and a full price breakdown can be found on the website.
Langka Muay Thai | Ardoyne
Although they don’t have a traditional website, Langka Muay Thai makes up for that with their rigorous timetable and dedication to the sport.
As well as pad classes and sparring sessions throughout the week, they run showcase nights featuring amateur and intermediate fighters. Not only is it great fun but you can really pick up some pointers on your own technique.
Hillview Road bus stop
Prices aren’t listed on their Facebook page
IFS MMA Club | West Bank Road
IFS MMA prides themselves on their “No ego, no politics” approach to training. Everyone is welcome regardless of age, ability or intention. Coach Luke Roche was ranked number 1 in Ireland during his competition days and now dedicates his time to training the next generation of Muay Thai fighters.
One of the best reasons to try IFS MMA is to take advantage of their 8-week trial. They run these regularly throughout the year, and during that time you’ll get to try their different classes, meet the coaches and really get a feel for their ethos.
West Bank Road
West Bank Way bus stop
Prices aren’t listed on the website, but they have a contact form to get in touch about their next 8-week trial
Queen’s Students’ Union Kickboxing & Muay Thai | Holyland
If you’re heading to Belfast for university, you’re probably already looking into societies. They’re the best way to make friends and try new things, and the Kickboxing & Muay Thai Society is no different.
They run two types of class:
Fighters – focusing on sparring and clinching
Techniques – focusing on learning new skills and practising with pads
They also offer occasional self-defence classes that teach the fundamentals of staying safe when outside the gym – essential for uni life, so don’t walk past this society during Freshers Week!
Queen’s University bus stop
Prices aren’t listed on the website, but as it’s a university society, there will be a membership fee alongside class prices.