When you bring up the idea of a gym culture in Cairo, one’s mind usually wonders to images of balloon-armed show-offs, who count their Instagram followers as ardently as they do their reps. But since opening, Fight & Fitness Factory has set a new standard for staying fit and having fun in Egypt’s capital, with a range of expert-lead classes that provide a welcome alternative to the occasional repetitiveness of workouts.
With branches in Sheikh Zayed’s Arkan Mall and the Courtyard in Maadi, there are plenty of different activities to sink your teeth into…
Focusing on striking and clinching, Thailand’s combat sport of choice is as much about the mental as it is about the physical. Often referred to as the art of eight limbs, Muay Thai will have you using fists, elbows, knees and even shins, while also allowing you to get a good cardio workout. Also, professional Muay Thai fighters wear some pretty spectacular shorts.
One of the most misunderstood combat sports, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t have as long a history as other martial arts, having come to be in the early 1900s, though MMA fans will know what a an effective combat sport it is. Having been built on the idea that the small can take on the big using technique, leverage and taking the fight to the ground where chokeholds and locks are in order, BJJ is a thinking-grappler’s game, where brains can outsmart brawn.
Alright, we know what you’re thinking – that boxercise is a poor-man’s boxing. Actually it’s just as tough as it takes training concepts used by boxers to keep fit and puts it into a neat, effective and surprisingly fun workout that involves shadow-boxing, skipping, hitting pads, kicking punchbags, press-ups, shuttle-runs and sit-ups. It will help you increase your discipline, focus your energy and, most satisfyingly, release aggression.
Born of karate, Muay Thai and traditional western boxing, kickboxing is a much more complex sport than its name suggests and mastering it is a great way to get into other, more niche combat sports such as Sanda, Musti yuddha and Yaw-Yan – all of which are real martial arts, we swear. While it has its own techniques, kickboxing makes for a good gateway martial art, if you will, and makes sure you get a through workout.
You’ve probably heard the name, but you probably don’t know the game. Tai Chi is a Chinese internal martial art that is as useful for its health benefits as it is for brushing up on some badass moves. Interestingly, the health benefits of Tai Chi works towards easing the physical effects of stress on both body and mind, while meditation is a key pillar – not what you expect from a martial art. Fun fact: its full name, t’ai chi ch’uan translates to supreme ultimate fist or grand supreme fist.
Specialist Kids’ Classes
This one’s not for you, but certainly one for the children in your life. It’s pretty difficult to explain the idea of fitness to a kid, but F3 offers a whole bunch of classes tailor-made for them, including MMA and boxing, with kids as young as five years old welcome to try. While fitness in Egypt has begun opening up to children in recent times, F3’s classes will keep them engaged and interested.
For more information, check out the Fight & Fitness Factory Facebook page.
By Steve Noriega