Located right in the heart of Ortigas Center, Elite Boxing and Muay Thai – Ortigas Emerald is one of the newest gyms on the block. To those working near the “networking capital of the Philippines” as I would call it, allow me the honor of testing the waters of this training center.
HOW TO GET THERE – from SM Megamall, it took me about 10 minutes of walk-a-thon to reach the gym. Mind you, Ortigas Center is one of the busiest districts in Metro Manila. Expect a large number of busy people crossing the streets, when walking by. You’ll see tons of workers everywhere. The gym is on the 8th floor of Padilla Building right next to Ministop, along F. Ortigas Jr. Road (Emerald Ave). If you’re bringing a car, you can park (with pay) on the opposite side of the building at Ruby Road.
I remember arriving past 4’oclock in the afternoon on a Saturday and I was expecting a crowded gym. This is usually the time of day when the guys workout before they go crazy on a night out with their bro’s (or girls). I got out the elevator and as I was approaching the entrance, I wasn’t sure if got the correct place.
Usually, you would be hearing the incredibly famous Roy Jones Jr’s or some Rocky-esque music 50 feet out. But as it turns out, this place was a little too quiet, too serene for a training gym. For Pete’s sake, I thought I was in a retreat house. As I entered, I was surprised to see a few people. The atmosphere was definitely not the one I was expecting.
Now the good news about Elite – Ortigas Emerald is, it is extremely HUGE! You can absolutely run around the gym, do cartwheels and there’s only a slight chance you’ll bump into another student. There’s a massive space on the left-hand side with 5 heavy bags where you can also do shadow boxing or circuit training, a large-sized boxing ring in the middle, and another enormous area with 20 heavy bags. It’s like SM Megamall’s freaking parking lot!
The entire place is kept neatly.
The flooring looks superb and there’s no foul smell coming from their equipment. Everything seems to be in order. If you happen to forget to shower before leaving (just in case), you can use their pretty classy shower rooms. (I used them afterwards and boy I tell you it was intensely refreshing.)
PRICE AND PROMOS
Annual Membership – 2000
Ding Ding!!! My spider senses are screaming too high! Too high!
Boxing + Circuit Training – 250
This isn’t something new, most of the gyms incorporate circuit training with the boxing session. I’d say this is the general practice nowadays. The price is within the reasonable and customary for me. Get a 20% discount on their 12-session package that’s good for 1 month.
Muay Thai + Circuit Training – 350
The rule of thumb for Muay Thai is Boxing fee + 100. This one is a big check! Get a 20% discount on their 12-session package that’s good for 1 month.
Combo Package – 2900
6 Boxing + 6 Muay Thai = 20% discount, good for 1 month.
There’s rental for boxing gloves, wraps, head gear and shin guard.
*Note: There’s no separate fee for use of facilities alone or “Gym Use”.
I wasn’t more prepared when I arrived, the sun was shining as bright as a diamond and since it was my “peak” time, I opted for the Muay Thai session. (Good guess!) Now I noticed something I have not seen in any boxing gyms: there’s a board where the instructors’ photos and their achievements are posted! Isn’t that amazing? It’s like choosing a number in an aquarium full of… (guys know what I’m saying?) Kidding aside, this allows you to know your trainer more and to make sure that the ones teaching you are 100% legit.
There were only 2 Muay Thai coaches available at the time. Much to my dismay, one coach was already attending to a student and the other was “still eating”, as told by the lady at the reception. She then told me to jog and warm up.
She took out this piece of paper and handed me what seems to be a Last Will and Testament. “Please sign here”, she then mentioned.
“Waiver of Liability” – boldly written on the top portion of the document. It’s basically an agreement wherein the gym is released from any accountability including any financial responsibility in the event you get harmed for whatever reason while you are using their facility. Don’t sign and they won’t allow you to train. Pretty slick, eh? Knowing that I have to pay for my hospital bills in case I sprain my ankle while working out in their gym, I signed the darn paper.
Roughly 10 minutes passed, the trainer introduced himself and I finished jogging. He immediately instructed me to stretch then showed me the routines. He made me do push-ups as the quick stretch was over. Rest. Afterwards, he told me to do 2 rounds of heavy bag work so I can loosen up while watching me like a hawk. The coach was smiling all the time and was generally polite as we had some chit-chats in between rounds.
We then went up the ring to hit the pads for 2 rounds. Rest.
He walked me to the speedball area and told me to finish 3 rounds.
SPEEDBALL? You read my mind there. Now that’s a bit unusual. (FYI: speedball training is usually for boxers, to enhance their you know, hand speed.)
We rest and capped off the afternoon after another 2 rounds of intense pad work. So many kicks were thrown that day. But in terms of punch/elbow/knee/kick combinations, we did none. An hour out, I still had a few left in my gas tank.
So I did my thing, worked a few more rounds on their bags and out of curiosity, I took a quick glance at the board where the coaches’ profiles are posted. I wanted to know more about my trainer and guess what I found out? He’s NOT a Muay Thai instructor. His face is listed under “Boxing Coaches”. No wonder I was told to do speedball training. Oh the irony.
Let me lay out the facts: I paid for 450 PHP (non-member rate) for Muay Thai + Circuit Training. A “boxing” trainer held the pads for me and I got NO circuit training. So what basically happened? Imagine going to Mcdonald’s drive thru: you order a 2-piece chicken & spaghetti meal and as you open it full of delight on your dining table, you find fish fillet!
You paid for an apple and were served an orange – that’s what happened. I felt tricked and was taken for a fool. Perhaps I was the fool for not looking at the board before engaging with the trainer? Unfortunately, this is the harsh reality we, the students of the game, face every day. Due to the increasing demand in the full-contact sports industry, most gyms are forced to have their boxing trainers teach their students Muay Thai with little to no training themselves.
Let’s not forget the fact that I was not given any circuit training. Now I could’ve made sure that the trainer was an authentic Muay Thai coach by checking the board before I started the workout but I didn’t. So guys, I beg you to please learn from my mistake.
As disappointed as I was with the whole experience, I still liked the fact that the gym is neat and unbelievably huge. The membership cost is on the higher end of my market price but the facilities are kept in pristine condition. All the emotions aside, I’m giving this experience a thumbs down.
I hope you guys enjoyed my review of Elite Boxing and Muay Thai – Ortigas Emerald. Stay tuned for my next gym review!
(Disclaimer: I was not paid in cash or any kind by Elite Boxing and Muay Thai – Ortigas Emerald management or its affiliates to make this review.)