My MMA Journey · Philippines

My Amateur MMA Journey, Part 8: Yaw-Yan, Jiu-Jitsu, and My New Gym

In all honesty, I’ve been a bit slow in picking up my MMA journey since returning to Manila. Maybe I miss the training at Lakay or the fresh mountain air. Perhaps the inferior Manila diet is what’s been leaving my body feeling drained, or perhaps it’s purely emotional. A lot has happened in the past week or two.

Today, however, I am happy to announce that the search for a new gym–and with it my training slump–has ended.

Not long after returning to the metro, a friend invited me to iGym Yaw-Yan Fervilleon at a wellness facility offering everything from yoga and meditation with an in-house guru to tai chi and aikido to the full MMA experience of boxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu.

Since I had never heard of or tried yaw-yan–a Filipino style of kickboxing–before, I took a session with their expert trainer for only 300 pesos (less than $6).

I enjoyed training at this gym, even though it was a bit far away. It’s hidden deep in a dirty side street off of Sucat Avenue but once you step inside the gate you’ll find a hidden sanctuary with a grassy lawn, a pergola for yoga and meditation, and a semi-open-air training area.

I definitely enjoyed the fresh air coming through the screen–a nice alternative to training in a walled-in space. What was unfortunate, however, was the strong smell of sewage in the air. This might have been a temporary issue in that part of the city but, along with the distance, it was enough to make me hesitant to sign up for regular classes here.

And it’s a good thing I didn’t because it wasn’t long before I met a jiu-jitsu purple belt who teaches at a gym right down the road from where I live. Score! He invited me to take a free trial class at Fitness Unlimited Submission Sport Parañaque and join his class there, which I did.

They were expecting me when I got to the gym and I received a warm welcome. The owner, John, gave me the lowdown on the types of training they offer and gave me an excellent deal on enrollment.


For the monthly fee of 2,500 pesos (barely $50) for jiu-jitsu classes, I get the registration, plus an additional month of jiu-jitsu, plus one month of circuit training for free. Sold!

Of course, when it comes to jiu-jitsu in the south B.A.M.F. is great but let’s be honest, it’s a bit pricey. Unless you commit to a six month training period or longer, you’ll pay 4,500 pesos (almost $90) per month for two sessions a week and I don’t even think that includes the membership fee.

As much as I enjoyed the jiu-jitsu classes there, I’ll only be in the Philippines for three more months so it’s not worth it for me. How fortunate, then, that I found Fitness Unlimited.

Our purple-belted instructor in fact trains at Atos Jiu-Jitsu Greenhills, one of the best teams in Asia and a fast-growing worldwide jiu-jitsu community. That’s a whole ‘nother part of town though, and with Manila traffic, it would take me forever to get there and back.

I am a beginner anyway and I quite enjoy the intimacy of smaller classes at the gym in my part of town.

In my first class at Fitness Unlimited, I impressed myself by pulling off a complicated flip-your-opponent-over-your-head-then-roll-over-your-own-head-and-end-up-on-top move that I never thought I would get thanks to the coach’s straightforward method: “Do it 10 times.” “Ok, good. Do it 10 more times.”


Yes, jiu-jitsu is all kinds of fun.

So far the circuit training has been great too and I have lots of sore muscles to attest to that. I’ve been meaning to build up my core strength in particular–you really do need that for MMA–and the circuits have been great for that already.

I’m looking forward to my second jiu-jitsu class this evening. We’ll have a new coach today but hopefully my sparring buddies from last time will be there again. Those girls were fierce. They will be competing in Quezon City next Saturday and if I can I will definitely watch.

One last reason to come to Fitness Unlimited Submission Sport Paranaque (as if that promo isn’t reason enough) is that they have a proper, functioning speed bag.

I haven’t had one of those to train with since my first boxing gym. Now I bring my wraps every day for speed bag drills before the circuits and jiu-jitsu classes.


By the way, you can also do Muay Thai (or boxing) instead of jiu-jitsu for the same price.

Lots of reasons to come and find these guys in on 118 Armstrong Avenue, Moonwalk Parañaque, Metro Manila.


P.S. They have a water cooler, bathrooms with toilet paper, and nice clean showers.

4 thoughts on “My Amateur MMA Journey, Part 8: Yaw-Yan, Jiu-Jitsu, and My New Gym

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