There are few younger globally-followed sports as mixed martial arts. While the mention of MMA usually brings up thoughts of the UFC and the misinformed use of phrases like 'human cockfighting', the discipline is much more complex than its mainstream understanding. What we do know, however, is that MMA is the quickest growing sport in the world and even Egypt hasn't been impervious to it.
One of the biggest reasons for its popularity as both spectacle and pursuit is the fact that it brings together so many different types of combat sports – ones that are readily available at Fight & Fitness Factory. Having opened its first branch at Sheikh Zayed's Arkan Mall in April 2014, F3 has since expanded to a second branch at the Courtyard in Maadi – an expansion that pays testament to its success.
Offering everything from kick-boxing and boxing, to Brazilian jui-jitsu and Muay Thai, F3 certainly isn't the first gym in Cairo to claim to offer MMA; but those that have are often gyms that specialise in one particular combat sport and have introduced bits and pieces to ride the MMA wave.
F3 on the other hand was conceived as an MMA gym from the very start and it's something that's reflected in the gym as a facility. From their experienced instructors, to the simple European inspired layout, this is one place that takes MMA and fitness in general seriously, also offering stare-of-the-art fitness machines as well as non-combat classes such as yoga, Boxercise, spinning, classes for kids and more.
It's not just a matter of variety, though; one of F3's pillars of success has been its inviting spirit. Yes, they will work you hard, yes they will push you to your limits – but only when you're ready. Catering to all levels of experience – from novices who show up in all the wrong clothing, to pros who overdo it a little bit with the grunting – you'll find a melting pot of people in any given F3 class, led by expert instructors, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion, Mohamed 'Zizo' Omar, who put the some of the Cairo 360 team through their paces during a special session at F3's Maadi branch.
Despite only practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for four or so years, 'Zizo' is a multiple-time champion at International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation tournaments, claiming titles in San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, London and Egypt. In addition, he has also found success in the world of MMA with EFC as a champion in 2011 and with the North American Grappling Association Champion in 2013. His involvement with F3 pays testament to the gym's commitment in not only providing top-notch facilities, but also having members use said facilities under the tutelage of some for the best athletes in Egypt.
In the wider scope of fitness and health, F3 has been a breath of fresh air in the sooty atmosphere of gym culture in Egypt. The likes of kick-boxing and jujitsu provide a full workout for all the muscles – not excluding the brain. for many, it's as simple as the fact that you are learning something new; something that requires a degree of theory and thought to be brought into the mix, as opposed to the more monotonous and rigid activities of running or lifting weights; something that, when you wake up the next morning with a sore body, you do so with a feeling of satisfaction.
For more information on Fight & Fitness Factory, click here.