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Boxing class at Fighting Fit martial arts gym in Manchester
Boxing class at Fighting Fit martial arts gym in Manchester
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Green Quarter

Fighting Fit


The first thing you see when you step into this under-the-arches gym near Victoria Station is the long line of medals on the wall.

The gym’s members compete in boxing, BJJ, MMA, kickboxing, kobudo and more, and from the looks of their trophy haul, they’re a force to be reckoned with.

Go in any week night and you’ll see the gym floor busy with fighters from all disciplines and at all levels of experience. It’s set-up with a boxing ring, MMA cage, boxing bags, and spacious matted areas for BJJ, kickboxing, capoeira, and kobudu.

There’s also a gym where you can build up your fighter-level strength and stamina with a calisthenics rig, weights area, and functional training area. Classes are held mornings, lunchtimes and evenings and are roughly divided into fighting technique classes, flexibility, and strength-building and toning.

You don’t have to be a competitive fighter (or have any intention of becoming one) to join the classes and train here. The intention is to offer quality coaching for all levels from complete beginners up to professionals.

It’s a rough-and-ready looking place, functional rather than fancy. The changing cubicles are kind of tight (they’d rather use the space for training) but the team running the gym is friendly and professional. There’s an obvious sense of community and camaraderie here that makes everyone feel welcome.

Coach Josh Cook teaching boxing at Fighting Fit gym in Manchester

Boxing at Fighting Fit

The head boxing coach here is Josh Cook, a professional journeyman who fights most weekends against prospects who want to show what they can do in the ring. With that in mind, it makes sense that his classes are known for helping fighters develop a strong defensive style.

While many boxing gyms practise drills using pads, here you use your gloves, protecting yourself with the same techniques you’d use in a fight. It’s a fast learning curve when a wrong move can get you bopped on the nose. That said, nobody here is out to hurt you. Sparring is done with respect and with the aim of helping you relax enough to learn the techniques and develop your own fighting style.

To get started with boxing at Fighting Fit, go along to a free session, then if you like it, sign up for membership (£75 a month). Boxing classes run six days a week.

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