I admit that I’m both a Pasadena townie and a gym rat, and it’s that background that makes the current incarnation of Fight Academy so heartwarming to me. Other Pasadena townies may recognize the ghost in these photos as Jake’s, the divey-est bar west of the 35er, and lament that the once-infamous pool hall is now a “gym.” Lament not, sweet reader; this transition makes a whole lot of beautiful sense.
First let’s consider the alternative fortunes of the space, post-Jake’s, based on other Old Town real estate:
- It stays vacant
- It gets taken over by some soulless chain
But what’s actually happened is that homegrown hero (and yes, former Jake’s patron) Savant Young has transformed the space into an independently owned and operated business that betters its community in a multitude of ways.
Fight Academy is open to all skill levels- whether this is your very first class and you need help wrapping your hands or you’re actively in training for a fight, you’ll find the environment equally challenging and nurturing.
One of the many things that sets Fight Academy apart is their youth program. Kids as young as 4 can begin to train and establish physical and mental strength and endurance in a friendly and supportive environment. The introduction to their youth program seems to me to be a pretty succinct description of the Fight Academy philosophy:
“We believe the kids who know how to fight never need to prove it. Confidence and humility are cornerstones on which we build the character of those who train at Fight Academy.”
It’s easy to not understand the virtue of mixed martial arts. It’s easy to write it off as violent or barbaric, but despite the image that sometimes gets assigned to it, there’s a reason the practice is described as an art.
Fighting challenges your body and your brain in a way that very few other activities are able to. If your exercise regime consists primarily of popping in your earbuds and spending time on a treadmill/elliptical/stair climber, I ’m glad you’re moving. But you may be overwhelmed by how rewarding it is to combine exercise with learning a valuable skill and connecting viscerally with other humans. Yep, you’re gonna have to touch people and let people touch you, but it’ll be ok, I promise.
Aside from their youth program, FA offers adult classes in Mixed Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Fitness Kickboxing, No Gi Grappling, and Strength & Conditioning, as well as private training. Each of their coaches comes with their own winning records and patient coaching methods. Fight Academy is located at 36 W Colorado Blvd (in Mills Alley), Pasadena 91105.
For more info, visit their website at www.fightacademypasadena.com and keep up with all things FA on Instagram @fightacademy and Facebook @fightacademyMMA .