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Church Street Gym
New York, NY

Over the years, Church Street Gym has grown into one of the most well known fixtures in the fight industry. The building itself was used as a squash club before it became the martial arts gym that it is today. The original founder, Justin Blair, renovated the club to create a dramatic training space for boxers, kickboxers, and wrestlers alike. It is easily recognized for the twenty-foot mural of Joe Louis along with a collage that covers the main training floor.

Originally, Justin intended the gym to primarily be used as a training facility for boxers. He himself began his amateur boxing career while in college and was excited to open his own club in 1997, where he and other competitors could train and share their passion for the sport. A few years later, Church Street Gym added Muay Thai and, more recently, wrestling to its training programs.

Jason Strout has used his experience as a successful fighter, winning both the North American Muay Thai Light Middleweight Championship and the Wisconsin State USA Boxing Middleweight Championship, to develop a successful and proven teaching method. Jason joined Justin as a co-owner of the gym in the past year and already his investments as an owner as well as head trainer have been an important contributing factor to the gym’s overall success.

Church Street Gym employs several experienced instructors who have been successful competitors in the boxing, Muay Thai, and wrestling fight worlds. The gym’s trainers include pro Thai Boxer and WKA World Champion Chris Kwiatkowski, Eric Kelly, Jose “Cana” Rodriguez, Jonathan Earl, Steven Mandolfo, and Brian Innis. Each of these instructors has had a unique experience within his competitive career and is able to provide important firsthand insight to all of his students.

As a result of the hard work and cohesion of the owners, trainers, and students, Church Street Gym has won many awards over the years, including the “Best Gym in New York” award from New York Magazine.

When asked who their best fighters or competitors are, Jason responds, “All my fighters are the best! I have had fighters win World Championships, National titles, pro titles, etc., but the best are the fighters who achieve more than they think possible, even if that is just getting over the fear of losing or simply the joy of knowing that they have improved, not only as a fighter, but as a person.” Church Street Gym has produced a WKA Professional North American Champion, a WKA Amateur World Champion, a WMC/IFMA Muay Thai World Cup Bronze Medalist, a USA Boxing Metro Champion, and a New York Golden Gloves finalist.

It is evident that hard work and dedication are the most important training methods at Church Street Gym. The dedication of the students, competitors, owners, and trainers is what makes this gym shine today, as well as what has catalyzed the positive growth and expansion of this gym and its portfolio to make it one of New York City’s most renowned fight gyms.
 



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