a great place for fitness beginners to become athletes

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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!