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Best MMA and Martial Arts Studios in Tampa Bay

Best MMA and Martial Arts
Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Whether it's a passion, hobby or just a way to stay in shape, more and more athletes are exploring the benefits of mixed martial arts training. Top-notch options abound in Tampa, so start here to find the right fit.

Price: varies by program and class
Hours: call or email for class information

Anyone familiar with MMA knows Gracie. The heralded name now has three locations in the Tampa area: south Tampa, north Tampa and Westchase. Whether you're looking to be a serious fighter or just want tryout the training regimen these world-class athletes endure, Gracie will give you a free trial for a week to 30 days. Owner and head instructor master Rob Kahn received his black belt from Royce Gracie himself, guaranteeing each potential athlete receives expert advice and training here. All ages are welcome.

Price: varies by program and class
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri – 6 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.; Sat – 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Elite Training Center lives up to its name with a full package of MMA fighting and training styles. Everything from jiu-jitsu and muay taui to karate and basic self-defense classes make this a center that accommodates all levels of training. Its fitness programs draw upon the practices of the many fighting styles It offers. All ages are welcome to explore the center and learn from its accomplished rosters of trainers.

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Price: varies by program/class
Hours: Mon to Fri – 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Highlander is more of a fighter's gym. Although it has workout classes for all ages, this joint ushers professionals into the ranks of MMA. It features focused programs and classes that encompass the essentials: muay taui, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling. Anyone who wants to make these skills into a career must stop here.

Best MMA and Martial Arts
Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Price: three packages available
Hours: schedule varies Mon to Fri

With 4,000 square feet encompassing an Olympic-sized fighting ring, an assortment of hitting bags, cardio equipment, wrestling mats, free weights and training gear for fighters, Fight Fitness Center will never worry about being accused of false advertising. Its six-day schedule is chock full of classes ranging from traditional MMA fighting to kickboxing and cardio classes.

Price: varies by program and class
Hours: click here for schedule

What started out as a karate school has transcended into a renowned MMA program. In fact, this MMA school is one of the most revered in the country today. Tiger Schulmann focuses on both physical and mental toughness — bully prevention techniques and ADHD exercises. Shinah Gary Hellman is a go-to expert in the field of mixed martial arts, and this Tampa studio embodies every aspect of the art form.

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Joe Belcastro is an established journalist based in Tampa, Florida. His vast coverage of the local, national, & international scene has led his work to appear all over the world in respected print and online publications. After making a name for himself in the realm of film criticism, his candid approach & style to reporting has enabled him to cover such beats as music and nightlife, all while conducting interviews with people who have way more money than him. His work can be found at

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