The biggest city in Scotland, Glasgow is one of the best places north of the border – if not in the whole of the UK – to learn kickboxing.
With one of the strongest mixed martial arts (MMA) teams in the UK, with more kickboxing centres than you thought was even possible in one city, and with gyms with an unmatched level of enthusiasm, there is nowhere else you would want to learn the martial art.
Glasgow, in 2019, is also hosting the International Combat Organisation’s world championships – which just adds another reason to love martial arts in the city.
Here, we’re going to look at some of the best places for you to learn kickboxing, to get fit, to fight competitively, or to just enjoy the challenge of the intense training.
We can’t name them all – as there are almost more martial arts centres in the city than words in this article. But whether it is kickboxing you are after, or another martial art – from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to karate and taekwondo – you’ll find exactly what you are after in the city.
Let’s check them out.
Get yourself to Glasgow’s kickboxing clubs!
But first, let’s remind you of the reasons why you might be interested in kickboxing lessons in the first place.
Like all martial arts, kickboxing combines the focus, precision, and skill of the defence and movement with the strength, power, and controlled aggression of the attack.
Punches, during sparring, are not just thrown about willy-nilly. Rather, every strike is conducted with an elegance, a discipline, and an accuracy that usually goes unmentioned by those who are dismissive of the beauty of the martial arts.
Kickboxing, then – and its related forms of martial arts, such as savate, taekwondo, and Kung Fu – is a sport that requires a huge amount of skill. And a huge amount of skill requires a huge amount of practice.
That’s part of the reason why, if you are serious about your kickboxing fighting techniques, you really need kickboxing classes. Because the level of skill that you need for this particular martial art is not something that you can just develop for yourself.
If you don’t know what you are doing, there is no guarantee that you are going to remain safe in your practice. Self defense techniques require a level of accuracy which casual practice will not necessarily achieve. When punching, if you are executing it wrongly, you can really damage yourself – let alone when you are trying to get in shape, build muscle, or engage in hand-to-hand combat.
A martial arts instructor will help you develop the precision and the technique of each of your moves – and will enable you to perform at your most efficient, powerful, and dangerous.
Training badly is, in many ways, worse than not training at all.
Everything you need to know about kickboxing clubs in Glasgow!
Yet, when done right, there is so much to get out of kickboxing.
Putting aside that your physical fitness will obviously bloom – as you will certainly get into the best shape of your life – but your psychology and your general attitude will improve too. We’re talking self-control, self-confidence, self-discipline – qualities that are not just useful in the ring but out in the street too.
Fitness kickboxing combines the physical with the mental fitness – improving your mood, your focus and concentration, your self-respect, and your respect towards others. It is combative, yes, but it is social – and, with your team, you’ll grow into a healthier, stronger, and happier person alongside each other.
If that all sounds good to you, let’s start our whistle-stop tour of the best martial arts classes in Glasgow. From the specialised kickboxing gym to the general martial arts school, from the fitness class to the private kickboxing instructor, here you’ll find the highlights of Glasgow’s kickboxing scene.
Muay Thai – or Thai Boxing, as it is all often called – is the ancient traditional martial art from Thailand. Kickboxing as we understand it these days is actually the result of the combination of karate and Muay Thai back in the fifties.
The best place to learn it in Glasgow is at the Glasgow Thai Boxing Academy, a little out of town near Clydebank. Their experienced trainers – and their committedly welcoming attitude – makes this place a really excellent place for everyone to learn this most dynamic and aggressive of martial arts.
In Barrhead, and serving all of the South Side, you’ll find I-Kick Martial Arts, a kickboxing training centre that has won its fair share of awards and that prides itself on being family-run and family-friendly too.
Offering, to all ages, abilities, and genders, lessons in taekwondo, kickboxing, and personal training, I-Kick is a really precious place for the whole family to learn.
Bring a good attitude and be prepared to get sweaty.
Kickboxing, these days, is not all about the combat. It’s not even necessarily about the self-defense skills either.
A lot of people actually train for the sport just for the sake of fitness. And, given the health benefits of this martial art, we don’t blame them.
The recently expanded BoxFit, on Renfield Road, is one of the better places to learn kickboxing for fitness purposes in Glasgow. With Muay Thai training workouts and intense cardio sessions, you’ll be in excellent shape after training with these guys.
At Superprof, there’s the option of doing things a little differently.
Our mission is to connect budding students to passionate, dedicated, and experienced tutors of any subject under the sun. And, luckily for you, kickboxing happens to be one of them.
Through our platform, you can find a kickboxing tutor that perfectly suits you – and who can teach you online, in your local gym, or, believe it or not, even in the comfort of your home.
All you need to do is search for kickboxing instructors in Glasgow, choose the tutor you’re most impressed by, and book a lesson. The first is free – so you can be sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for.
Based on Broomielaw just south of Glasgow Central, the Gracie Barra martial arts centre is a wonderful place to learn fighting styles of all different kinds.
There’s the opportunity to learn BJJ, MMA and kickboxing – along with classes dedicated to the kettlebells.
You can train competitively or casually – and there’s the opportunity for private training too.
Offering women-only classes on top, it’s an all-round great place to learn kickboxing, not matter what you want to get out of the sport.
Based in the Maryhill and Drumchapel areas of the city, you’ll find the New Life Gym, which hosts Little Gladiators, the kids martial arts centre – for children between the ages of three and ten.
Whilst it won’t strictly be kickboxing that they will learn, they will develop a grounding in the values that underpin the martial arts: integrity, respect, and community.
Of course, they’ll be doing a bit of (controlled!) punching and kicking at the same time – to turn them into the bigger gladiators that one day they will become.
The Punisher Kickboxing Academy is one of the most well-known places for martial arts training and kickboxing lessons in Glasgow.
Taught by Stuart Lowe, with a third Dan black belt, it promises an intense, competitive arena for you to become an expert kickboxer yourself. Boasting a couple of world champions and always working towards more, it’s a dead professional place to train.
Based in Rutherglen, it’s perfect for those based a little out of town.
Home to the UK’s most successful mixed martial arts team, the Griphouse is a Glasgow institution for all martial arts – from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) to Muay Thai to boxing and wrestling.
It’s grown into a hugely successful gym for sparring, competitive training, and casual exercise (over eighty percent of its customers are non-competitive) – and its instructors are world-class, with the black belt, kickboxing and MMA championships, and years of experience too.
The Griphouse, just off the Garscube Road, is pretty much legendary.