There’s a martial arts gym that has been teaching expert-level combat sports to eager fighters since the 1940s — and it’s right here in San Diego.
The Arena Gym in San Diego is a place where fighters are forged. It focuses on turning people into warriors with a host of expert instructors, classes and training sessions, accelerated programs, and private training.
People with no fighting experience will find it easy to progress to a higher level, but professional fighters can learn everything they need to know to reach a world-class tier at The Arena.
The facility itself is the largest combat sports gym in San Diego. It features 27,000 square feet of space with three individual training buildings and 8,000 square feet of mats. The gym also has 35 striking bags in various styles and a pair of competition rings for sparring. Other amenities include multiple shower and bathroom areas.
In other words, there’s plenty of room for all of the training and instruction here. And when it comes to instruction, The Arena offers more weekly classes and training sessions than most other gyms in North America.
You’ll find world-class boxing classes taught by Olympic and professional coaches, Filipino Martial Arts like Kali and Escrima, a Judo program that’s run by one of the top coaches in the United States, and Muay Thai taught by a master who has been coaching for more than 50 years.
That’s not all. Master fighter and legendary grappling champion Baret Yoshida leads the Jiu-Jitsu offerings at The Arena. Yoshida is known for his long and storied career during which he became the only man to compete in the ADCC ten times.
Other training programs include some of the best Fight Camps globally, accelerated training for fighters looking to hit the ground running, and MMA classes and training known for turning out world-class competitors like Cris Cyborg. (Yes, that Cris Cyborg.)
There are classes to fit virtually every timeframe too. You can expect anywhere from 20 to 25 classes spread throughout the day each weekday. That’s more than any other gym in San Diego — or North America.
Of course, the Arena didn’t reach the level that it’s at overnight. Aloysius C. Holtmann, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and master Judo and Jiu-Jitsu trainer who served in some of the bloodiest battles of World War II, founded the school in 1949.
Since then, The Arena changed its name, moved to a new location, and eventually became the largest combat sports gym in San Diego. It’s also among the oldest continuously operated martial arts academies on the continent.
To put it another way, The Arena is the best Muay Thai, MMA, boxing, wrestling, combat sports, and Jiu-Jitsu gym in San Diego.
Fighters from all over the world have taken notice, too. The gym currently has around 1,200 members, which is a notable feat for any gym — particularly those that host an excellent fight team and world-class fighters like Diego Sanchez, Xande Ribeiro, Fabrico Morango, Joe Duarte, Rick Slaton, and Pat Speight, among others.
Because many of the members who train at The Arena are part of the local military community, the gym keeps its prices low. All you need to do is pay a low, flat monthly fee to get access to every single class and training session that The Arena offers.
And again, The Arena is highly focused on one area and one area alone: training fighters. The goal isn’t fitness here — it’s creating a generation of warriors who can compete at the amateur or professional levels. The Arena prides itself on training beginners “from the ground up.”
Of course, even those who have no plan to compete in martial arts or combat sports can still get a lot of value from taking classes at The Arena. If you put in the time and effort, you will learn how to fight.
Whether it’s just a hobby or a technique for self-defense, The Arena will get you there. And along the way, there will undoubtedly be additional benefits to your personal development, confidence, and health.
If you’re at all interested in combat sports or martial arts, you owe it to yourself to check out The Arena.