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May 7, 2013 > It's truly a Fight Club

It's truly a Fight Club

By Steve Taylor

Evan Esguerra, owner of True Fight Club in Hayward, wants to assure you that if it's your first time in this Club, you don't have to fight. Playing off the tag line from the popular movie of the same name in the late '90s, naming his gym Fight Club was meant to inspire, not threaten. "Our job is to counterbalance their (incoming patron's) preconceived notions immediately. We try to build a culture here where everyone is nice," Esguerra says. This is spoken by a man with ears cauliflowered from years of hand-to-hand combat. He could beat you down with his fists or choke you out with either hand, yet Esguerra and his eight other trainers spend more time smiling, laughing, and sweating with their trainees than posing and flexing like tough guys in other gyms.

True Fight Club lays claim to being Hayward's "premier Mixed Martial Arts facility." "Mixed" means they offer training in every major hand-to-hand self-defense or combat style, like Muay Thai Kickboxing, Western Style Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as well as crossfit strength and conditioning. The meteoric rise of mixed martial arts around the world and the Bay Area has made True Fight Club truly popular, with nearly 250 enrolled members and 40 fighters throwing punches or grappling in a class any day of the week.

Curious students pick from a slate of classes offered in whichever discipline or fighting style looks appealing. The Club runs classes from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. If you're the really physical type who likes to get your hands on your opponent, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is your bag and involves learning to bend or twist your opponent into submission ("tapping out") or to give them a good choking.

If you prefer fighting or working out on your feet, boxing classes are available for beginners to competitive fighters and consists of partner drills, pad and mitt training, and bag work. Lesser known is the Muay Thai discipline, also known as "The Art of the Eight Limbs." In Muy Thai combatants us fists, shins, elbows, and knees in a "standup" fighting style, as opposed to a wrestling or "on the ground" orientation seen in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. All classes offered go a full 60, sweaty minutes.

You can drop in and work out for a day, joining virtually any class you'd like for $20 or unlimited participation all day, every day, for a month for $150. Pricing plans scale up from there for individuals and families. With the popularity of mixed martial arts growing with every prime time TV fight, you can still get in the door of True Fight Club and experience the positive atmosphere inside with a little money and a smile.

True Fight Club is located at 28460 Hesperian Boulevard in Hayward. Call (510) 732-6022 or visit for more information.

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