Preeti Zachariah discovers why the fight module is an excellent way to keep fit

I push aside translucent red curtains and step into a whole new world. The spotlessly clean room is filled with interesting-looking paraphernalia—punching bags, TRX bands, Kettlebells, boxing gloves, protective gear. A large boxing ring occupies the centre of the room and I watch two men grapple fiercely in it. Another one violently pummels a bright red punching bag, beads of sweat running down his face. Perspiration, passion, adrenalin, dreams. All that and more has gone into the creation of the Fitness Fight Club (FFC), an exclusive fitness centre that utilizes an eclectic mix of various art forms including Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Art, Combat Training, Kick Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing to create a one-of-a-kind workout regime that torches fat, raises metabolism and changes the shape of you body palpably.

For Austin Prakesh, CEO and Founder of the enterprise, FFC is a response to a industry that is still very disorganized, “I have always being into fitness and frequented gyms all across the country,” he says adding that this made him notice the inadequacies in the service and training prevalent in the system, “The gym industry in India is at least 20 years behind countries like Singapore and the United States. Too many people end up gym hopping because they don’t see any changes, can’t meet their goals and don’t feel healthy inside.”

Austin, who has over 15 years experience in amateur boxing, mixed martial arts and free style fighting, gathered together a group of friends and began training them. This expanded into the Fitness Fight Club (FFC), India’s first and only advanced fitness centre located in Bangalore that uses various martial art forms as a means to promote healthy living.

The top-of-the-line equipment and fit looking trainers at the centre certainly look very impressive. But a decade of flirting with fitness has left me slightly cynical. Looks can be deceptive as the tired cliché goes and I’m not wholly convinced.

The uncertainty must show on my face because Austin suddenly turns to me and says, “Why don’t you try a class?”

I hesitate at first. I haven’t got workout clothes, it’s been a long day and I just want to head home and sleep. But I can’t resist a challenge. Besides, I rather fancy the thought of being an Indian version of Xena, Warrior Princess.

I slip into a pair of borrowed (very short) shorts and a T-shirt and enter the arena. The studio is on the second floor and its walls are made of glass. I gaze dreamily into space watching pinpricks of light dance across the city as dusk settles like a shroud across it.

My reverie is soon broken as Austin appears on scene and begins to subject me to a series of intense warm up exercises. Punching, crunches, god-awful lunges, kicks, step-ups, push up, burpees — the whole drill. I nearly collapse—I always thought I was in reasonably good shape but by the end of the warm-up, yes the warm-up I am almost dying. And there is a lot more.

“Welcome to the Fight Club,” says Austin with a cryptic smile handing me protective gear and hustling me to the boxing ring. I am too tired to argue and follow him into it.

I circle haplessly around Austin, ward off a few blows, dole out a few (slightly misdirected ones) myself, and kick dispiritedly. Then I get whacked. And something changes.

The raised rope-flanked platform becomes your world as tiredness ebbs away and you suddenly want to give as good as you get.

Sweat coats your face and stains your T-shirt but you wipe it away impatiently, high on the lethal mixture of adrenalin and endorphins that course through your body. And you stand your ground and fight, because it suddenly feels almost necessary.

“Human beings are born to fight,” laughs Austin. “The fight module we use keeps them healthy and in peak fitness. Also, it’s not just about the physical aspect of life but also about adapting and not giving up. We want to be remembered as something that really made a difference in people’s lives.”

The Fitness Fight Club is located on Inner Ring Rd, Krishna Reddy Layout, Domlur.

Call 4099 0028.