A Safe Community Where You Can Find Your Strength
For more than a year before I joined 8 Limbs, every time I would walk by their old location, I would feel a bit of a tug toward the door. After dipping my feet in Muaythai and finding how much I loved it, I decided that I really wanted to challenge myself and join 8 Limbs more than a year ago. In what would end up being an incredibly challenging year for me personally, 8 Limbs provided a space and a home that allowed me to see my own true strength. Whether it’s that surprise extra round of bag-work or sprint kicks at the end of a class, 8 Limbs actively works to pull the inner strength out of all of their students, no matter if they’re interested in fitness, self-defense, or in joining the fight team. Coach Charlie and Coach Kate and the rest of the 8 Limbs team have built an environment that emanates safety, care and compassion for anyone that walks in the door. I could not have lucked out any more that an awesome gym and community like 8 Limbs chose to plant its roots in West Philly. I am truly stronger as a person and a fighter because of it. Thank you 8 Limbs!
I tried Muay Thai at
I tried Muay Thai at 8Limbs really begrudgingly when I couldn’t find a nearby boxing gym. I don’t think of myself as “aggressive,” so I thought that meant I wouldn’t like it. I was totally wrong…The community Kate and Charlie have built is extremely kind and supportive, and the art they practice is about gaining respect for and confidence in YOUR mind and body–it doesn’t have to be about causing harm to others.
Joining 8Limbs gave me a sense of structure, a sense of community (I’m not just saying that), and a non-work focus where I can continually challenge myself and grow. Plus, for those of us who have a hard time staying out of our heads, it’s the ultimate gift: if you let your mind wander, you might get hit (gently, and with pads/gloves/etc, no worries…but it still offers pretty solid accountability for staying in the moment!).
I understand saying “a gym” somehow “changed your life” sounds corny and dramatic, but in this case it’s accurate. 8Limbs changed my relationship with my body, with my mind, and with West Philly–it helped me feel more at home and at peace in all of them. If you’re even partially considering it, I’d really encourage you to do the Quick Start. I’m almost positive you’ll get hooked, too!
Before I joined 8 Limbs
Before I joined 8 Limbs I had never heard of Muaythai, and never thrown a punch in my life. I had always exercised, but out of a sense of obligation, or as a way to punish myself for what I ate or how my body looked. I went to gyms but stayed away from weight rooms, because I didn’t feel like I belonged there. When I visited 8 Limbs for the first time, I saw something I had never seen before: a room full of all different types of bodies, women, and other queer and trans athletes (!) smashing pads, making noise, and most importantly – SMILING. Now, nearly 3 years later, my practice of Muaythai is centered in joy, feeling strong, and celebrating what my body CAN do. Every time that I practice Muaythai, it is an act of love and care for myself, and my mental health. Every time that I practice, I am surrounded by friends and community. Every time that I practice, I am challenged and I am safe – thanks to the home Kate and Charlie have so intentionally built at 8 Limbs. Plus, now I can throw a pretty darn good punch.
8 Limbs Academy is an amazing gym. Coach Charlie and Coach Kate have built a place to learn and train, feel safe, inclusive and a wonderful community. We are so lucky to have such a gem in our West Philly community!!!!
8 Limbs Academy is magical 🥊💕
8 Limbs Academy is magical! This place has saved me in so many ways: allowing me to take back my life, reigniting my love for participating in sports, and by giving me a family here in Philadelphia. I was not super familiar with Muay Thai before stumbling into their old gym on Baltimore Ave, but it quickly won a spot in my heart for life. I’ve been training with them for a couple years now and I really don’t want it to ever end. This sport and community of athletes and people really know how to nourish and teach like no other!! 8 Limbs Academy can change your life, instill many methods of positive growth and development beyond athleticism, and be incredibly fun and encouraging along the way!!!!!! I truly recommend that everyone give it a chance! You won’t regret it! 🥊Thank you💕
I’m really lucky
I’m really lucky to have found Eight Limbs. I never really had any ambition to do Muaythai or join a community gym in general, but doing so has been one of the best things I’ve done in a long time. I think if I had started training most anywhere else I wouldn’t have lasted through the usual ups and downs of training, but the coaches and the students have created one of the most positive, supportive communities I’ve every come across.
Give yourself the gift of accomplishment
I’ve never been an athletic person. Growing up, I was more likely to get hit in the face with a ball in gym class than catch it. I joined 8 Limbs because I had a desk job and could feel the machinery of my body slowly disintegrating as I crept toward middle age. I thought that, at the very least, I’d regain some of the stamina I missed from my running days; what I got instead (in addition!) was an entirely new outlook on life. Training was harder than I thought it would be, but that was a surprise and a delight, *because I could do it*. Even when I was never the fastest or the best (and I’m still not!) the encouragement and instruction from the excellent coaching staff proved to me that I was capable of learning things I never thought I could. On top of the sheer efforts of physicality, perfecting the actual mindset of Muay Thai – how to remain mentally composed during times of struggle, how to remain calm under pressure, how to pivot, prioritize, and thrive in the moment that you’re in – has carried through to how I live outside of the gym as well. The confidence this sport and community instills in people is something I never thought I’d achieve as an adult. And, more than anything, it is FUN! Twenty years ago, I was picked last for every single sport. Now, I show up to extra classes on special Sundays to trade punches and kicks with my friends. 8 Limbs can be this gift for you too, if you want it to be!
Unparalleled community & physical practice
I found 8 Limbs over two years ago, when I was in a murky and lost period of my life, and I credit it hugely with helping me find grounding. Training at 8 Limbs is a positive and communal experience unlike any other — no matter your level the coaches got you! Kate and Charlie are serious about making the gym an inclusive space and I’ve found it super women/LGBTQA+ friendly. Both coaches and other students are a daily inspiration, and the physical practice is absorbing and FUN. I really can’t sing 8 Limbs’s praises enough — Muay Thai does wonders for my depression and has helped get me in the best shape of my life.
You’ll get more than you realize out of this community!
8 Limbs is truly a gem. What may seem like just a gym, is actually so much more. The community vibe is phenomenal and deep, the classes are challenging and exciting, you get strong emotionally, mentally, and physically. The Coaches, especially the owners Coach Charlie and Coach Kate, are supportive of every single student and knows how to engage with them at everyone’s individual skill level and pace and it’s really amazing to go to a place to workout and learn a martial art and never feel “less than” anyone else. I’ve met so many wonderful people here, who have become close friends, and we’re truly in a place where it always feels like we’re all in this together. For anyone who is looking for a space to engage with others, learn a lot about yourself and what you are capable of, and also to gain strength in every regard, 8 Limbs is worth checking out.
Worth the commute
I live approximately an hour and a half from 8 Limbs, in the suburbs. Traveling to 8 Limbs to train each week is 100% always worth it.
I have struggled with anxiety and a lack of confidence in my life, and also have found difficulty finding an inclusive space.
Since joining 8 Limbs, I’ve found both an inclusive and positive space and have learned so much more than Muay Thai- I’ve learned about confidence, heart, and a lot about myself in the 4 years I’ve trained here.
Not only has my body totally transformed into a strong, healthy and more capable version of it’s prior self but I’VE totally transformed into a confident, capable and strong person.
I also feel supported, cared for and part of a community thanks to not only the coaches, and the culture they’ve formed, but also thanks to the amazing people that I take class with on a weekly basis- seriously, every single person in attendance is friendly, supportive, and works hard!
A lot of people are shocked when I tell them how far I travel just to take class- but to me, it’s entirely worth it and I’m very proud to be a member of such a great team.
Great muay thai place
I will definitively recomend 8 limbs to anybody who is looking to train muay thai. It is a great place and friendly environment. Since I have been training there i met a lot of nice people. Coach Charlie and Coach kate provide good muay thai training. When it comes to conditioning 8 limbs are beast. Their conditioning are amazing. Even though i am more an mma fighter i have to admit that training at 8 limbs reinforce my basic striking skills and give the confidence to stand up in a fight. I dont need to wory about fatigue thanks to them my gas is full like a tank. Thanks 8 limbs for the good training quality you provided to me.
I started going to 8
I started going to 8 Limbs Academy back in 2017. I was a little intimidated in the beginning because I was out of shape and thought I could not keep up with the rest of the class. However Coach Kate, Coach Charlie, and the rest of the gym members encouraged me to keep trying my best and not give up. It now three years since I joined 8 Limbs Academy and I am better in my techniques whether it would be low kicks, punch combos, elbow strikes, and check/returns. Since becoming apart of 8 Limbs Academy I improved so much not just in Muay Thai but my everyday life. I developed more confidence in my abilities, more energy to tackle my daily routine, and overall positivity. I thank 8limbs every day and will continue to always support my gym.
Thank you VIII Limbs!
In January 2019 I packed up my things and moved to Philly from the UK. Less than two months later I got most of those things stolen when our apartment got burgled. Safe to say I was feeling pretty homesick sat on the floor of my empty apartment. Two days later I joined VIII limbs and I haven’t looked back. It’s such a friendly, supportive environment where everyone is made welcome. Coaches Kate and Charlie are so skilled, patient and professional and make classes fun while really pushing you at the same time. It’s been so great learning this amazing sport alongside a group of such lovely people. Thank you so much VIII limbs!
Best workout of my life with a supportive community
It’s a funny story how I ended up here, but I’m really glad I did. You know how you try to get inferior gym memberships and you try out different machines in hopes of finally getting the workout you wanted, but you never do because you’re just exploring what different machines do? Yes, I did that too for years. But then, I stumbled into 8 Limbs. I had no idea what I was in for, but I liked how I felt afterwards so I went back the next day. Week after week, the workouts were consistent in effect but never the same exact routines. Some personal trainers will stick with the same exact routine and it gets pretty boring. Not this gym, it was a new workout every week. I felt very much in shape after the first two-week quick-start, it made a huge impact on my mood. The gym has a pretty inclusive environment and the coaches are really encouraging. It’s honestly changed my view of gyms in general, and I appreciate Coach Charlie and Coach Kate for building a community around the gym.
Home away from home
When I first tried out 8 Limbs Academy my primary martial art of practice was Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I practiced Jiu Jitsu 3-5 times a week and took Muay Thai classes maybe 1-2 times a month at another gym in Philadelphia, so I had an idea of what Muay Thai was about. After taking my first class with Coach Charlie I was blown away at how effective the training was while still being easy to grasp varying from someone who’s never practiced a martial art or played sports all the way up to a professional level athlete. On top of that what I didn’t expect is that Coach Charlie and Kate would welcome me to become a part of a staff and community built on family and friendship. 8 limbs has become my extended family and you can bet if I’m not at home or working elsewhere I’m at 8 Limbs Muay Thai Academy. Alongside myself my two oldest children are also students and my wife is a part of the staff. Coach Charlie and Kate work very hard to make sure 8 Limbs is a place where all people feel accepted, get a great workout and learn authentic Muay Thai.
Helped me get (and stay) sober
When I first started going to 8 Limbs, I was very recently sober after years of alcohol abuse. I started going as a last hail mary looking for some kind of outlet, and I immediately fell in love with 8 Limbs and Muay Thai. For a long time, it was the only thing I looked forward to doing all day and sometimes the only time I could stop crying for an hour. I now know that it was exactly what I needed at the time – it helped the anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and boredom that I was struggling with. Even though I’m not struggling anymore like I was when I started, I’m still in love with practicing Muay Thai (after almost a year of going, I’ve still never participated in a class that hasn’t challenged and excited me). Muay Thai is so fun and exhausting, and the coaches, staff, and gym members at 8 Limbs are so kind that I feel loved and appreciated every time I am there, even when some of us didn’t even know each other’s names. Everybody is so encouraging and there are no toxic bro vibes. The Womens Muay Thai classes are the most supportive and amazing classes ever. The coaches push you to push yourself but are supportive of everybody’s limitations. You quickly build up so much stamina and continue to build it. I never thought that I would be so healthy, physically fit, and excited about a sport, but I’m so grateful I am now! And I even won an award for “Surprise Bad Ass”!
I’ve been a member since
I’ve been a member since a week or two after the gym opened. In that time I’ve seen many changes. Kate and Charlie are continually trying new things, keeping what works, and jettisoning what doesn’t. They proactively create and maintain a community that is respectful, loving, and joyful across difference. They are explicit about celebrating marginalized identities and creating an atmosphere that is welcoming to as many people as possible. The workouts are killer as well.
My Favorite Place In The West
VIII Limbs is more than a gym to me, it’s a home away from home and the heartbeat of my West Philly community. Training here for the past five (six?) years unleashed all the confidence, strength and general badassery that I had bottled up inside but didn’t know how to express. The way the people who train here support and take care of each other is truly something special. The coaches are all lovely human beings and ridiculously good looking. 10/10 would recommend.
8 Limbs Academy
8 Limbs Academy is a great environment for physical fitness and martial arts training and growth as well as an outstanding supportive community. Owners Charlie and Kate have created a space for people of all levels and backgrounds to feel comfortable and safe. They also provide high level coaching in Muay Thai and strength training to everyone from beginners to those more advanced. I have had opportunities through this space and community that I would not have had elsewhere and Coaches Charlie and Kate work tirelessly to provide those opportunities to their students and staff.
I get to hit things really hard. Really, really, hard.
This gym is legitimately one of the most inclusive and welcoming places I have ever known. I’ve learned so much by interacting with the people there that I would never have learned otherwise. The coaches are all very understanding and nice.
Also, the classes give me a high intensity workout that lets me hit things really hard. Really, really, hard.
I’ve always been a runner.
I’ve always been a runner. A few years ago, I came to 8 Limbs looking for a new challenge and hoping to add more strength to my routine. I got so much more than I ever could have imagined from this new challenge! Starting out with Women’s Muay Thai, I fell in love instantly. When it comes to women and fitness, we are handed so many messages about body shape and size, about being light and limber. There is none of that in Women’s Muay Thai — it’s just a room full of women pushing their limits, cheering each other on, being powerful and strong. As I started taking other Muay Thai classes and Kettlebells, the same rang true. Your coaches and your classmates are there to help you push your limits, to help you become stronger and more confident. As a runner, I’ve generally felt like I’ve had a healthy body, but working out at 8 Limbs has made me feel like my body is not just healthy, but powerful and strong. I think that’s important for all of us, but it feels especially important to me as a woman. I’m so thankful to be a part of this incredible community.
A place of passion and growth
I’ve always wanted to learn martial arts – an unfulfilled dream of my childhood. So, a day after I moved to Philadelphia from my home country, Australia, for school and work, I attended my Quick Start at 8 Limbs, bleary-eyed and jet-lagged. I came into this new city and country not knowing anyone, and not knowing anything about muay thai or kettlebells, and 8 Limbs Academy welcomed me with open arms.
8 Limbs Academy is an awesome and positive environment to learn and grow in Muay thai. The technique (Beginner and Intermediate) muay thai classes are a good mix of being educational and heart-pumping. The bag classes are always dynamic and have ripper energy, whilst the boxing and clinch classes make you a more well-rounded fighter. I found the kettlebell classes to be great functional training that complements my muay thai training. Sparring is also super fun. There’s always an open conversation between sparring partners, and going light or hard is not a problem. The coaches are approachable and supportive, in and out of the gym. They are always willing to provide helpful tips on technique, training, food, music, shows, etc. Just in general, everyone is very friendly, genuine, and kind. It’s always inspiring to see everyone support each other during a gruelling workout. It’s all positive and cheerful vibes here at 8 Limbs. Head coaches Charlie and Kate are very hard-working people with big hearts. They really care about their students, and put everything towards building an awesome community and family at 8 Limbs.
I’ve learnt alot being at 8 Limbs. Instead of obsessing over numbers (like distance ran, calories counted, weight lifted, etc.), I’ve grown an appreciation for muay thai as an art. It is the way one moves around a ring, the way one brings power and fluidity into their punches/kicks, the play between pure aggression, and cool-headed patience. It has taught me to be in touch with my inner warrior, and to stay calm, composed and confident. From being a newcomer to Philadelphia, I’m so grateful that I found 8 Limbs and to be surrounded by such incredible and inspirational people that I can call friends and family.
Love the 8 Limbs Community
I have been part of 8 Limbs for over two years and I am constantly awed and warmed by the strong solidarity and support of this gym. I moved to Philly a few years ago from DC and I had a wonderful kettlebell family with F3 Training in DC. I got into kettlebell by doing a 10,000 swing kettlebell challenge with F3 when I was suffering from being overweight and in chronic pain. After seeing what my body was capable of after this challenge, I was amazed and hooked. I tried several kettlebell gyms when I moved to Philly but none made me want to stay. They had more of a bro and competitive mentality and I was used to showing up at F3 for nerd shirt Mondays class or prince a-go-go music on Wednesdays and then grabbing a beer with the crew after.
I wanted that same community feel and I got it and so much more with 8 Limbs. When I first signed up Coach Kate sent me a thank you card and I kept it. She and the other coaches are incredibly mindful of form in class and make sure that I am challenging myself without impacting my health and wellness. My form and bravery for going outside of my comfort zone has grown so much under their guidance. I suffer from asthma, so there have been months at a time that I can’t get to class because of my breathing. When that has happened Coach Kate has reached out to see how I was doing and what was preventing me from coming to class. As someone who struggles with weight and weight loss, I often feel like I’m invisible at gyms or less than because I’m not a size six. At 8 Limbs, I feel seen, valued, and supported which makes me keep coming even when my schedule is insane or I’m tired. I’m also so impressed with how adaptable and resilient Coach Kate and Coach Charlie are. In the time that I have been going to 8 Limbs, they have suffered two closures due to a fire and the Coronavirus. They were in close communication with all of us through Facebook and email and found space that we could train in while needed adjustments were made. Everyone was supportive as we all have a great example of this with the leadership of Coach Kate and Coach Charlie. This is more than a gym, it’s a tight-knit and supportive community and I’m proud to be part of it.
I had no idea what I was capable of
I’m so glad that I found 8 Limbs! Where to begin. I joined as a total newbie, and my progress wasn’t always linear, but there was always a place for me, whether on the fight team, women’s Muay Thai, kettlebells, or learning to coach others. Muay Thai has given me more confidence, strength, respect for my body, respect for others – skills that apply to all other areas of my life. The coaches provide excellent instruction. They are encouraging and provide personal attention no matter your skill level or goals. The training is challenging physically and mentally, but there is a whole team there to help you do more than you think you’re capable of doing.
Great gym, great workouts, great community
I recently had to switch gyms, and I was dreading the transition to a new community. However, the coaches all took the time to learn who I was, as I saw them do with every new student who walked through the doors. The workouts are tough, and I saw my physical fitness improve quickly while I was there. I would recommend 8 Limbs to anyone, no matter how little (or much) experience and fitness they have!
8 Limbs has changed my life
I moved to Philly after 10 years living in Boston. New job, new city, empty nest with my daughter off to college, and living alone for the first time in my life. I am Puerto Rican, and all my family and closest friends live on the island. It was a very tough time. I had been running for years, but I felt I needed something more. I needed to feel strong, and also belong to a community. Then I discovered 8 Limbs, two blocks from my place. 8 limbs became my refuge. Muay Thai helped me pull through, stay focused on what’s important, feel powerful, confident and healthy again. I also love just being there, the energy, & the vibe of all those women slaying. During these quarantine days, the coaches’ online classes have been a respite amid the crisis. I end my busy at-home days with Muay Thai, and the class, and the energy have helped me, once again, get through all of this. Gracias so much, Coaches, for uplifting all of us!
A cold Feb night
It was a cold February night in 2015 when I saw a random FB post that an old bud was opening a gym right near my apartment. I signed up for a quick start and have never once looked back! Training at 8 Limbs has given me confidence – to know that I can still learn and hone a new skill. It has given me power – knowing my own strength and being able to protect myself. It’s given me friends, community and connection – something I wasn’t lacking but always have room for! Training at this gym has helped me learn a whole heck of a lot about myself, my body and what I am capable of. I would (and have) definitely encourage others to sign up and hope they can learn the same things that I have.
Never Thought I Would Find a Gym Like This
Kate and Charlie have created a place and culture unlike anything I have ever been to or seen in a gym. Charlie and Kate and all the coaches and members at 8 Limbs seem to make it a priority to have the gym be a place for people of all body types, ages, sexualities, genders, races. This is a place where family comes first, where toddlers run wild, where there is no shame, and where everyone does their best – regardless of what that means for them. Because of all this I have finally found a place where I am comfortable enough to shed some of the traumas of toxic exercise culture and body image. I finally feel so proud of my body and what it can do for me (and what I can do for it) while realizing that not everyone has the same abilities and thats okay.
Great workout, Great community <3
First and foremost I love 8 Limbs, because it is such a welcoming and fun community! Even though the workouts are intense, I felt welcomed and supported as someone with no martial arts or boxing background. It’s also great walking in and seeing genuinely diverse students, especially seeing people of all different body types.
Prior to joining 8 Limbs, I worked out about once every 4 months, mostly out of obligation to the monthly dues I was paying. Fast forward seven months, and I make an effort to get to the gym 3-4 times every week, because I look forward to seeing other students! 8 Limbs has become a staple of both my physical and mental health. I really love it here!
Take the First Step
I was at the point of my life where I felt like nothing was going my way and I had no control over anything. I found 8 Limbs Academy and noticed it was a Muay Thai gym and it was relatively close to me. I knew nothing about Muay Thai but I felt like I had nothing to lose so I just went ahead and bought the quick course. Ever since then, I have met wonderful people who not only strive to achieve their own goals but push for others to achieve theirs too. I have experienced a community that is welcoming for anyone and everyone. Being a member of 8 Limbs has empowered me to be a better person and gave me tools to create a calloused mind. Coach Charlie and Kate are wonderful teachers. I have joined 8 Limbs since July 2019 and have not regretted since.
You belong here.
I joined 8 Limbs Academy as a QuickStart in October of 2018 to fill a desire to learn a new skill, meet people in a new city, and be more physically fit. Mostly, I just wanted to try it out and see what it’s like. Since joining I had such a positive experience I have continued to train Muaythai 6 days a week and added strength training to compliment my Muaythai training. In addition to achieving new-found fitness goals, I have found a supportive community of like-minded members. Although I chose 8 limbs on a whim I know I couldn’t have chosen a better gym to train at. Coach Charlie and Coach Kate are highly experienced, thoughtful, and caring coaches who put everything they have into their Muaythai and strength courses. The more involved in the community I have become the more 8 Limbs become more than a gym to me. Whether your interested in trying Muaythai as a new hobby, competing, or getting stronger and achieving your fitness goals you couldn’t choose a better place to do that than 8 Limbs Academy.
Training at 8 Limbs has
Training at 8 Limbs has been a wonderful experience. Coaches Charlie and Kate have fostered an environment that’s both supportive and accessible to learning the art of Muay Thai. I started as a beginner, and I honestly can say it’s been an excellent, progressive environment to learn and train. Everyone in the community is kind and supportive – no jerks, bullies, or snobs. We’re all in it together.
Having been a member of three Philly boxing gyms (regular boxing – this is my foray into MT), this one is by far the best. Well worth the membership price.
a great place for fitness beginners to become athletes
When I started training with 8 Limbs Academy about two years ago, I was out-of-practice with regular exercise and deeply intimidated by fitness spaces. But, after attending a drop-in class aimed at folks without martial arts training, I realized that 8 Limbs’ beginner-friendly approach and welcoming attitude made this gym a great fit for my needs.
Classes are fast-paced and physically exhausting, but can be scaled back in intensity for students who need to take it a little bit slower. The gym has a no-bro-vibes policy, which really helps to hold space for students who are new to fitness: shirts stay on, and the gym culture helps our community retain women, queer people, and trans athletes. Those who have been in the community for a longer period time do our best to welcome new folks, and try to help them feel comfortable and safe within our space. Importantly, our coaches intervene if anyone chooses to behave aggressively or otherwise harmfully in class or in sparring – which, especially in a combat sport, helps all of us practice without fear.
Also – I’m a bigger person who wasn’t ever trying to lose weight. Weight loss is not pushed on me at this gym, and that feels really important to me in choosing where to spend time and money. I haven’t ever been made to feel “less than” or like “a before.”
Learning muaythai at 8 Limbs has given me the skills to tap into strength and resolve I didn’t realize I was capable of. It might not sound like much to those who have extensive fitness backgrounds, but I came in without the ability to run even one mile; now, 3 miles is a pretty regular run for me, and I’m training for a triathlon. If you’re curious, I’d strongly encourage you to check it out!