“Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done”, they said. When you hear this from a gym, you have no choice but to train real hard – I simply had to try this place out. Come with me as I unravel what Empire Boxing – Banawe QC brings to the table.
HOW TO GET THERE – the gym is located at 2F 549 RBL Building Banawe St., Quezon City. It’s in the same building as UCC Cafe and Asia United Bank. The landmark I use is España Boulevard’s roundabout (aka Rotonda). From there, I take Mayon St to get to D. Tuazon and Calamba to Banawe St. Waze is a friendly tool, too.
For my friends who are commuting, I have to apologize as I am unable to help you this time. If I counted how many times I’ve been to QC, I think one hand will suffice. So I beg your pardon.
THE PLACE – is probably the smallest boxing gym I have ever been to. It’s a squared space with a mini boxing ring on the left-hand side, a medium-sized area in the middle for pad work and other training workouts, and a narrow space where four heavy bags and a speedball are positioned.
Aside from the size, one thing that caught my attention was the quality of the equipment. I’d be lying if I told you that all the gym’s facilities are in excellent condition. Hint: a couple of heavy bags are badly torn out.
Three-quarters of the place are covered with mats. You know what this means right? (MMA for those who are clueless.) They also have shower rooms for both sexes and locker rooms for your valuables on the side. They don’t have their own bathroom but there is a public restroom on the second floor of the building (it looks nice).
What I liked about the place is its security. They have an assigned security guard at the building and CCTV’s all over the place. There’s also a tiny (but free) parking space reserved for Empire Boxing‘s students. Sweet!
PRICE AND PROMOS
Annual Membership: 1200
Comes with either 4 boxing sessions or 3 Muay Thai sessions, to be consumed in 2 weeks upon enrollment. First and foremost, the price is within our acceptable range. Second, the free sessions just make this deal nothing short of awesome! 1200 is already equal to 3 sessions of Muay Thai at walk-in rate.
This is definitely one of the cheapest out there. Enjoy discounts on 3 & 12 sessions. Get it for 3000 PHP unlimited! Take advantage of the Shredded Rates at off-peak hours to milk it some more.
Muay Thai: 250
The rate is easily competitive and it does not follow my boxing + 100 PHP ideal. Same discount applies to 3, 12 sessions and unlimited.
Market price is 300-400 PHP, although I discourage training “MMA” style at first. Instead, learn the different striking and grappling techniques separately then transition to MMA.
The price is within our reasonable and customary range. As I always advise to neophytes, train at least 3 times a week on any new sport that you wanna learn. You can get a sizable discount on the 8 & 12-session package.
***Rentals for gloves and hand wraps are available for 50 PHP.
It was a sunny Thursday morning when I arrived at the place. As I entered, I immediately felt the vibe I was looking for in every boxing gym I go to. The music was loud enough that I could hear it talk to me, “Train here, Alex”. The attendant received me with enthusiasm. When asked for the kind of training I would like to experience, I told him Muay Thai (good guess).
They have a total of 6 coaches but only 2 were present since it was off-peak hours. He then introduced me to my instructor who was comfortably laying down the pile of mats. His body position reminded me of the girl (or guy) in the paint me like one of your french girls memes. And no, I’m not BS-ing you. “No shoes on the mat, please”, the attendant said to me.
The trainer held his head up, told me to stretch and went back to checking his news feed. That’s a lazy-ass coach sign #2. He was a young lad who looked like he just woke up from a deep coma. Regardless, I did not do what I was told. Instead, I grabbed the jumping rope and made myself sweat for 3 rounds.
Fitness advice #3518: Never stretch before a workout (static stretching). Do stretching only when you are fully warmed up or once your joints are loosened up. Otherwise, it does more harm than good.
3 rounds were finished, I then did stretching routines by myself and walked up to my coach, and asked what to do next. He wrapped my hands (very poorly, I could’ve done it better myself), told me to do 2 rounds of heavy bag workout and went back to laying down like a boss, as if I didn’t exist. I approached him again after the 2-round work and told me to do one more. He looked very busy on his phone. Whatever he was doing, it certainly looked like it was more important than me, his student.
When I was done, winter finally came. Dracula finally got off his coffin and did the pad session with me. Fast forward to the end of the sixth round, I can honestly say that I was exhausted. Even though he did a pretty good job in emptying my gas tank, I was taught zero new techniques. No Muay Thai punch-kick combinations whatsoever. The pad work just a basic, “kick here, punch here” training session.
Would you be surprised if I told you that he went back to his “bed” like sleeping beauty when we were done? Afterwards, he told me to do a couple more rounds at the heavy bag. After a draining session, I worked on my abs on the ring then stretched to finally cap off the day.
We had a moment to chit-chat when he was assisting me in my cool down stretch. He asked if I had any plans of competing any time in the future and told me he used to fight himself. He also mentioned that the other coaches are active fighters as well. One of which had a tarpaulin of himself for his MMA fight on the wall. He was a pretty nice coach and was smiling most of the time.
As polite as he was, that trainer was also the lousiest I have ever encountered in my whole life. Put him in a yacht with sunblock and Margarita’s and he would blend right in. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that he was laying down and on his phone 95% of the time.
There was a coach who I can tell was a veteran judging by his build, age and how he properly assisted 5 of his students. He was engaging with them all the time and I even heard him giving training advice to the youngsters. Why was I not assigned that one?
Whoever hired my trainer should seriously re-think his recruitment and employee development skills. Because from a client’s perspective, he just gave the brand a terrible, cringe-worthy name. I wish I was wrong. Maybe it was just one of those bad days? Who knows?
Let us hope that I was the only student who got that “meh” experience that day. Their rates are very attractive but because of this experience, I will think twice about visiting Empire Boxing – Banawe QC again.
So there it is, I hope you guys enjoyed my gym review! If you have concerns and questions, feel free to leave a comment below. See you later!
(Disclaimer: I was not paid in cash or any kind by Empire Boxing – Banawe QC Gym or its affiliates to make this review.)