Kids Martial Arts near West Hartford Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life While Furthering Your Passion Of Martial Arts

West Hartford's #1 Fitness & Martial Arts Gym

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Kids Martial Arts. Mixed Martial Arts. Fitness Training.

Underdog Mixed Martial Arts

Underdog Mixed Martial Arts is Connecticut’s premier mixed martial arts and fitness facility. Whether you are interested in training for fitness, fun, sport, self-defense or competition, we can help you achieve your goals. We offer a well-rounded program of Grappling, Striking and Physical Fitness training designed to complement each other and offer the best value for our students.

Underdog Mixed Martial Arts is also home to Maximum Potential Massage Therapy. Our students have access to the very best treatment to help them keep their bodies feeling fit and ready!

All of our instructors have many years of experience in their disciplines and are eager to help you learn and develop, both as a person and as a martial artist. Our training family has a strong sense of camaraderie which you will feel starting on your first day of training. We invite you to come join us for a complimentary class and experience what we have to offer!

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Our Location

West Hartford

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If you are looking for the real deal, if you are serious about becoming a proficient fighter, Underdog is the only place for you! There is no other mixed martial arts gym in the Hartford area that has what Underdog offers. Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling and MMA training. Pad work, technique, sparring drills, full contact sessions, Underdog has got it all. Beginners and those of all skill levels get to mix it up with and learn from elite professional fighters. The head coach and owner, Russell Leak, is a true teacher. Russell is dedicated, passionate and has the rare ability to truly train and improve his students. Having dabbled in martial arts and kickboxing as a teenager, I thought I knew a thing or two. Flash forward a decade a two. I found myself searching high and low in the Hartford area for a serious gym where you lace up gloves and don’t just do line drills. I finally found Hartford’s best kept secret, Underdog. I am humbled. With a premier coach and pro fighters as sparring partners, I have learned how much I don’t know. Coach is working with me from scratch and helping me learn one skill at a time. Sparring sessions aren’t about getting knocked out, rather in this community atmosphere, more experienced members help you understand your weaknesses and how to improve. I am glad to be part of this amazing and unique gym!

Yosef, 38, Rabbi- Chabad Chevra, serving University of Hartford

In 2009, I had to relocate to Hartford Connecticut to continue my career at Nabisco. Moving into a new city is never easy and I found myself bored and with a lot of downtime. Being a true and passionate fan of mixed martial arts, I decided that I would try and find a gym to start training. After calling a few local gyms in the area, I was able to call Underdog. Sifu Russell Leak picked up. That moment was of one of my most life-changing experiences to date. Underdog BJJ provided me top-notch training in both martial arts and strength & conditioning. Furthermore, they accepted me as family and took me in as one of their own. The coaches and instructors at the academy provided me with mentorship and guidance that carried on beyond the mats. They believed in me and gave me the discipline and ability to challenge myself in all aspects of life. They made my goals their own goals and did everything in their power to provide me with the tools necessary to achieve success. Five years later, I firmly believe I would not have the confidence, the maturity, or the work ethic I have without the foundation Underdog provided for me. My athletic and martial arts skills set has grown exponentially since being a student from the academy, but the lessons taught off the mat have been just as important in my life.

Cesar Teixeira, 29, District Manager – Nabisco

I joined Underdog two years ago after fighting for a few other gyms, and the fight team and trainers made me feel like family. I worked full time and the team and trainers helped work with my schedule and put me through an excellent fight camp. The team really cares about everyone here and the training is excellent. It is comforting to know you have the support of this team and the work outs are outstanding.

Erik Lee, 26, Construction Project Manager

Some people join fraternities in college. I joined Underdog. I was in a dark place in college, going through some tough times, and Underdog saved me. I joined because I missed martial arts training and wanted to get back into it, but I stayed because of the family that embraced me. The instruction here is top class, but the bonds you build are what really make joining the gym worth it. I feel safe saying that joining Underdog was one of the most significant things that I have done with my life. I learned more about martial arts and about myself than I ever thought I would, and I have made the most important friendships I have ever had. I have stayed in Connecticut and found employment at Underdog entirely because of the bonds I built training at this academy.

John Durrett, 26, Strength and Conditioning Coach

Since joining Underdog in 2010, I have gone from a relatively unknown mixed martial artist, to a top 50 ranked featherweight in the world; competing against the highest level fighters in the game today. Success aside, the relationships and level of confidence that I’ve received during my time with the team is unparalleled. I can’t imagine calling any other martial arts facility “my home”…nor would I want to. Whether your desire is to be a champion martial artist, or a champion in your everyday life, I can attest that if that is your true goal; you will reach it with Underdog.

Matt Bessette, 29, Professional MMA Fighter

I have been a member at Underdog for several years now, coming here after my prior training studio closed. Having been in the military and a student of the martial arts & police/military combat styles for many years, I have been exposed to many different studios and training styles across the country. I can state that the trainers and staff at Underdog are among the best I have encountered. Their knowledge of the various martial art and grappling styles being taught is top notch, and the training style of the instructors is extremely conducive for learning at all experience levels. Most notably though, is the family atmosphere of the gym. There is a strong bond between all members, supporting each other both inside and outside of the gym. I highly recommend Underdog as one of the premier training studios within the area.

Lou, 47, Commander USCG

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