Hanuman Thai Boxing named 2016 Edinburgh Gym of the Year

From left, 

Hanuman Thai Gym owners Roan Morrison and Wojtek Oleksyk celebrate winning the Evening News Gym of the Year award  with some of their members. Picture: Jane Barlow
From left, Hanuman Thai Gym owners Roan Morrison and Wojtek Oleksyk celebrate winning the Evening News Gym of the Year award with some of their members. Picture: Jane Barlow
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A MUAY Thai gym has been named the best in the city following a closely-fought competition run by the Evening News.

In January, we asked you to vote for the gym you thought should be crowned the Capital’s top facility – and were inundated with responses.

Now we can reveal that Hanuman Thai Boxing – based at Stewartfield Industrial Estate just off Newhaven Road – is the overall winner, grabbing the top spot with the help of hundreds of your votes.

The women-only Curves Gym on Corbiehill Crescent nabbed second place, while Lochend Boxing Club on Sleigh Drive secured a respectable third.

Roan Morrison, who co-runs Hanuman with business partner Wojtek Oleksyk, said the gym’s winning formula lay in its ability to offer an authentic yet accessible experience for people of all ages.

Speaking to the News before an evening class, he revealed that the duo’s commitment to their sport saw them frequently jet off to Thailand in a bid to improve themselves – and pass that knowledge on to their students.

The 27-year-old said: “We travel to Thailand on a regular basis. We live and breathe the sport. For people that are looking to get involved, we are the real deal.

“We have been training in martial arts since we were just children – about nine years old or so – and are constantly going to the homeland of the sport to improve ourselves.”

But he stressed the gym’s welcoming community is what makes it really stand out. He said: “We really pride ourselves in having a community in the gym. People do the sport for all sorts of reasons – as a hobby, as a way to get fit. Everyone can take part.

“We’ve got kids as young as five right up to 60-year-olds. There’s really a massive spectrum of people that are involved in the club, and they are all working at the level they feel comfortable with or have time for.”

Hanuman Thai Boxing offers Muay Thai training for everyone from complete beginners to seasoned pros.

One of the world’s most popular martial arts, Muay Thai makes use of stand-up striking alongside various clinching techniques.The combat sport – which took off internationally in the 20th century – is known as “the art of eight limbs” because of its combined use of fists, elbows, knees and shins.

Practitioners came to widespread recognition after defeating big-name fighters in other martial arts, but Hanuman Thai Boxing boasts an inclusive ethos that welcomes newbies.

Offering flexible classes in the afternoon and evening, the kitted-out facility promises to cater for those interested in fighting, those who want to learn self-defence – and those who are simply “looking for a fun alternative to boring gym workouts”.

Safety gear is provided and all classes are led by Roan and Wojtek.