More than a Fighting Spirit @ Krudar’s Muay Thai Gym

This past summer has shown Toronto much more than a fighting spirit from the gym founder of Krudar’s Muay Thai Gym, Kru Darwin, and the fighters, trainers, students and supporters who love him.

There’s definitely more than a mind for self-defense and fitness in all those Facebook posts of students and trainers rallying behind Darwin, as he completed the arduous task of moving from the smaller Spadina Ave. / College St. location to 152 Augusta Ave., Kensington Market.  They managed to continue to run classes during the final phases, and last minute surprises, of the renovation.  They trained outdoors, they painted, they constructed, they unloaded heavy supplies and we also followed Darwin as he dealt with the inspectors.

Krudar’s Muay Thai gym started in Toronto in 2002 becoming one of the most recognizable schools for Muay Thai boxing.  The class structures, trainers and fighters continue a legacy handed down from Darwin’s training and instruction in a very proud and ancient fighting art.  As well, the technique and training is very attractive to any fitness monkey looking for a good burn and outlet for aggression.  Krudar’s Muay Thai gym also trains and supports many competitive fighters in the world of Muay Thai, some who fight on an international playing field.

My own experience with the gym began two years ago at their Spadina Ave. / College St. location.  The beginner class is no joke.  I am happy to stay just there and continue to learn and refine both technique and physical conditioning at my own pace.  For more ambitious students, the intermediate and sparring levels require rigorous testing prior to admission.

More importantly, the staff and the rules of the gym all instill respect for the space, each other and the art.  Darwin is often seen walking through the gym and observing the classes.  Every once in a while the beginners will get a treat and Darwin will instruct the group class.

When I learned of the new gym location earlier this year, I was at first nostalgic towards those old funky hairy mats which really encouraged you to NOT fail during the push-up rounds.  I still remember that day that I face-planted.

This is a gym that’s easy to follow and rally behind.  Darwin included his students, staff and peers in his process and showed, with much passion and conviction, that this new gym was more than just a new gym to him.  Not many head coaches or gym founders can communicate to their students the way he can.  Not many head coaches or gym founders can generate community the way he can.

On October 15th, the location at 152 Augusta Ave opened its doors.  All new mats! There’s a lot of new stuff but I noticed that the most.

The first class brought out over 120 people.  Darwin let his own master lead the first class, as he had done at the opening of the old gym at Spadina Ave. / College St.  We barely had enough room to move, never mind kick, but the energy was high and we all had it in us to work hard.

This Saturday, classes will be closed for their grand opening party.