Mixed martial arts (MMA) gyms are the rage in Hong Kong, where white-collar workers trade in their blackberries and briefcases, for boxing gloves and kick-boxing. City Fight Club is the brainchild of Vusi Colossa, offering a mix of boxing, muay thai, grappling and jiu-jitsu. An immigrant from South Africa, Colossa has won several muay thai championships and has established himself in Hong Kong.
Vuyisile Colossa, founder, City Fight Club, said: “On our records, we have a hundred different gyms in Hong Kong. Some of them have closed, some of them have opened up. So I would say that because Hong Kong (has) more expats, expats want to exercise. That’s why (it) is a very, very good business.” James Smith, 51, is an operations director at a HR company. He’s been training with Colossa since October, after some friends introduced him to the gym and he hasn’t looked back since. He took part in a fighting competition, against a younger opponent, hoping to get into the next round. After an intense two-minute bout, James was declared the winner as his opponent bows out. James Smith, Mixed Martial Arts Enthusiast, said: ” I don’t exercise particularly, I need a reason to exercise. I’m not one of those people that go (to) the gym. “I just don’t do it and this gives me a reason. And I love it. I go to bed thinking about it, I wake up thinking up about (it) and frankly, give me more. I really enjoy it.” It’s fighting for fun and a good cause too, as participants get to raise money for the charity of their choice.
The club is aiming to raise US$1 million by next March. Colossa said: “It’s more challenging than anything else. If he gets into the ring and then fights (with) someone else, it gets even more personal. “The guys go at each other (and) they’ve never seen each other before. But you know what, it releases a lot of tension, a lot of stress.” Boxing competitions for white collar workers isn’t a new thing in Hong Kong. There are scores of fight gyms across town, helping to take the mundane out of working out at the gym. And it’s not just all for the boys. The girls get to take part too in the sport of grappling, a form of wrestling, that can also double up as self-defense techniques.