We’re super-passionate and dedicated to our craft at Contender Gym - but what is K-1 and muay thai?

Simply put, they are two of the most intense and exciting stand-up fighting arts ever invented.

Both require laser focus and commitment to train and compete, and are a sure-fire way of increasing health and wellbeing if you only want to get fit rather than hit.

Fusing a multitude of martial arts disciplines such as kempo, karate and kung fu, K-1 kickboxing was created in Japan by Kazuyoshi Ishii in 1993.

And as anyone who got hooked on it while watching Eurosport will testify, it quickly became one of the most thrilling fight sports on the planet.

K-1 emphasises free-flowing action, with only minimal clinching allowed as participants use low and high kicks, punches and knees to pile up points and knock out opponents.

The sport is famous for its Grand Prix format - one-night, eight man tournaments which feature three-round elimination bouts and decide the ultimate warrior.

While K-1 is still relatively new, muay thai - otherwise known as thai boxing - is deeply rooted in tradition and inspired many of its more modern striking counterparts.

A national passion in Thailand, its origins date back many hundreds of years.

Muay thai was developed by the first Thai army, designed to forge the human body into the ultimate close-combat weapon.

Also referred to as The Art of Eight Limbs, it allows the use of fists, shins, knees and elbows as points of contact, with the aim of inflicting maximum damage on opponents.

We’re proud to have renowned coaches and fighters who specialise in both styles at our gym.


Whatever your age or fitness level, we’ve got a class for everyone at Contender, offering health and confidence-inspiring benefits for all.

Kicking things off with our Ninja Gang, Monkey Mayhem and Cobra Kai classes from age 3 years plus, there’s no better way to get children started in martial arts.

Along with learning kickboxing foundation skills, the rewards are numerous: learning respect, getting active, enhancing self esteem and promoting inner peace.

Our Contender Junior classes are aimed at 13- 16 -year-olds and offer all the positives involving kickboxing and martial arts at crucial ages in physical and mental development.

And our Contender Adults training sessions are suitable for age 17+ and above, perfect stress-relief for anyone who wants to hit the kick and punch bags, improve fitness and learn new exercises and techniques from our team of expert coaches.