Lifestyle feature: Getting fit with Grit

Grappling in the cage at Grit
Grappling in the cage at Grit

It can seem as though many gyms offer the same approach to fitness and training, but this is the not case at Grit MMA and Fitness.

Newly opened in Station Approach, Chichester, the Grit has become a major talking point among mixed martial arts and fitness circles within the south of England, already attracting members from as far afield as London.

With the rise of UFC and Mixed Martial Arts in recent years, gyms like this have started to appear across the country, but Grit is the first fight-style gym in Chichester and it offers a unique service to its members, using a fusion of both traditional fitness training and MMA.

Head trainer Gareth Ide explains what makes it unique: “We believe a gym should be fun, have a good atmosphere and be run by highly-qualified trainers who make each member feel welcome.

“Although we are martial arts-based, we cannot stress enough that we do not push our beliefs on to our members, trying to pressure them to fight.

“This is a misconception and is really not the case.”

The 2,975sq ft facility is split into two distinct areas – fitness and fighting.

One side houses an impressive fitness suite with more than 2,000kg of free weights, plates and machines, as well as a selection of top-of-the-range cardiovascular equipment.

The other side includes a large matted fight-style floor with eight punchbags, a number of speedballs and even a fully-functioning MMA cage where members can practise their grappling skills during the vast number of classes available.

Separate classes are available for men, women and children, with children’s taster session being offered free of charge.

Business director Doug Millen believes it is key that children and young people are aware of fitness and nutrition.

“It is good for us to be able to offer something to the kids, especially with everything we hear on TV these days, with Jamie Oliver and everything he talked about in schools,” he said.

“It’s just nice for us to be able to help, even if it is just offering free taster sessions and nutritional advice.”

As well as offering its users a unique fitness service, Grit also offers use of its fully-stocked shake kitchen, dubbed the ‘fuel station’, which serves up a huge selection of freshly-made protein shakes and supplements.

It’s not just the impressive facilities at Grit that are attracting members from across the south coast.

It employs a number of highly-admired and well-respected trainers from within the industry, with Gareth Ide, Jack Magee and TNA wrestler Doug Williams all offering speciality training.

On Friday, March 21, Grit will be hosting a seminar with Kevin Kearns, a world-class strength and conditioning coach who has trained a number of UFC fighters including ‘The Irish Hand Grenade’, Marcus Davis.

Din Thomas is also set to fly over from the USA to deliver the seminar and offer training sessions.

Seminars are available to anyone and tickets can be purchased online at or at the Grit reception.

Memberships start at £40.

For more information or class timetables visit or follow @GRIT_HARDWEAR.

Grit MMA and Fitness is offering a free gym session to all Observer readers.

To take advantage of this offer, pick up a copy of the Thursday, March 13, edition of the paper, cut out the voucher and present it to the Grit reception.