Team Lakay leads Top MMA Gyms in PH


The famous gym in Baguio/Benguet bested four others for the best gym in the country, according to ONE Championship.

ONE featured the top gyms in Asia, broken down by country and ranked Team Lakay ahead of Alliance Training Center, Catalan Fighting System, Elorde Gym, and Mindanao Ultimate for the Philippines.

ONE described Team Lakay gym as “hands down the most popular martial arts organization in the Philippines [that] offers classes in grappling and wushu, and is home to the country’s biggest martial arts stars such as former ONE World Champions Eduard ‘Landslide’ Folayang and Honorio ‘The Rock’ Banario, and several top contenders in many weight classes.”

It also recognized the way the gym molds these martial artists’ lives from adversity to triumph has been simply inspiring.

“Headed by legendary Filipino martial artist Mark Sangiao, Team Lakay has dominated the Philippine martial arts scene for years with their high-level of skill and admirable humility. What’s more, the high altitudes of Baguio City are perfect for building stamina and endurance, ensuring Lakay warriors never run out of gas while throwing their signature wushu strikes.” ended the ONE feature.

Alliance Training Center settled for second in the rankings. It is the first Filipino branch of ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera’s Alliance.

The gym is headed by Vera himself, and his coach, George Castro.

See related story: MMA coach Castro to train PH fighters

According to ONE, Alliance looks to raise the profile of Filipino martial arts to new heights. Ramon Gonzales and Burn Soriano are among those embarking on their training programs.

At third is the Catalan Fighting System. This gym is headed by ONE Championship athlete and acclaimed wushu world champion Rene Catalan and home to Rene’s brothers Ruel and Robin Catalan, as well as breakout star Jomary Torres.

ONE said this gym aims to turn Filipinos away from vice by promoting martial arts and lead through their athletes’ examples.

Elorde Gym, at fourth, is known for their world-class boxing program. That overshadowed the fact that they recently incorporated kickboxing and other martial arts into their training schedule. The promising Rome Trinidad is one of their products.

Lastly making the cut is Mindanao Ultimate. Mindanao Ultimate is a gym in Cagayan De Oro City launched in 2012. Rabin Catalan was its product that went on to compete on the global stage.

ONE described Mindanao Ultimate to have been starting out primarily in Muay Thai, and is based on the teachings of its Founder, Kru Raul G. Sevilleno.

The gym emphasizes traditional and hard training for self defense and discipline.