What we’re about

Viva Combat Athletics offers MMA, Kickboxing, Submission Wrestling and BJJ classes in Tameside Manchester. We strongly believe in training alive and remain true to our values of authenticity, honesty and sincerity in all that we do and offer. Many of our members train combat sports with us as a hobby or for fitness, but we also have and support members who are actively competing MMA and BJJ, locally in Manchester, nationally and internationally. We always look to leave our ego's at the door because on the mats everyone is equal. Rank and Hierarchy play little roll in our training we're all referred to on first name terms. You'll never be expected to bow down to anyone nor should you expect anyone to bow down to you, we just have good manners and a light-hearted yet serious approach to training.

We are also proud to be the only gym in Tameside to offer a true Kids MMA and Kids BJJ program. Providing children the opportunity to train legitimate combat sports and effective, proven martial arts in a realistic yet safe environment. We encourage questions and innovation even from our youngest members. You'll not see our kids in rank and file mindlessly following orders, instead we encourage self discipline and self motivation.


Self Improvement

Become a better version of you, both physically and mentally. Conquer your ego. Discover how you react under pressure, learn how to become comfortable in uncomfortable places. Training alive is the ultimate form of self discovery.

Self Defence

All our classes are synergistic to make sure you’re capable and confident at all ranges. Promoting learning in a way and at a pace that suits you. We’re confident that our fight proven techniques work equally well in and out of the cage.


Build a high level of functional fitness. Become more mobile and stay stronger for longer. We work at a variety of intensities and encourage you to embrace the sweat, gain more speed, agility and flexibility.

Classes on Offer

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is regarded as the most effective grappling art. BJJ uses technique and timing, not size and strength, to gain and maintain a dominant position. It also teaches you how to stay safe and put yourself in a more dominant, less dangerous position, if you find yourself in an unfavourable place. Because the focus is on technique not strength, BJJ is an excellent way to neutralise larger, more physically able, opponents. It is a great combat sport to work on its own and is an essential part of a strong MMA game.


Kickboxing has a high work rate, ensuring you get plenty of cardio exercise whilst learning how to address the standing striking range, making it an excellent choice for fitness, self-defence and competitions alike. If you plan to train, or compete in MMA you need to be both, able and confident, proactively working in this range. Our classes cover multiple styles of striking incorporating techniques from Muay Thai and Kickboxing. This class is high intensity and great fun for all abilities.

Mixed Martial Arts is regarded as the “ultimate” martial art / combat sport, and is often referred to as the gold standard of fighting styles. Our MMA classes incorporate training from our grappling, wrestling and striking programmes, focussing on each range and how to transition effectively between the ranges. Our MMA programme also looks at the strategy behind winning a fight with the least risk. Mixed Martial Arts is the absolute best Self defence programme available as it covers all the ranges you could encounter.


Our Kids Martial Arts classes are suitable for children aged 7-14. We run two congruous childrens programmes, our kids BJJ classes and our kids MMA classes. Our classes focus on learning new techniques in a fun, interactive and safe setting. We strongly believe that instilling our gym values into the classes helps nurture coherent team working, promote good social awareness and teaches self-discipline which helps your child to excel in all areas of life, not just the gym!

Viva means “Alive”

The term “training alive” originated following UFC 1 in 1993. In UFC 1 fighters from all backgrounds, fighting styles and training methods fought against each other to identify the “best” fighting system. The results proved that fighters who trained a combat sport against resisting opponents did significantly better than those who trained techniques only or trained with a complaint training partner. Combat sports are considered to be about much more than just knowing a technique and are a collaboration of skills, like timing, energy and motion and knowing how to apply a specific technique in the right way at the right time. You can only truly acquire these skills by training with a fully resisting partner.

Want to give it a try? Get in touch to start on a 7 day free trial

Meet our Team

We are a team of hands on coaches here at Viva. You will never see us sitting on the side-lines but, you will see us all on the mats in the thick of the action. We don't just demonstrate, sit back and watch you work, we're on the mats training with you. We all have a wealth of first hand competition experience as well as having trained in and around Manchester and Tameside for over 40 years. Everything we teach is from first-hand experience, the only experience that matters.

Antony Griffiths

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling coach & BJJ Brown Belt

"Griff" is our Head BJJ and Grappling coach, and is a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Helen Currie. He is also one of our wrestling coaches along with Matt Olson. Griff takes all of our adult and junior BJJ classes and virtually lives on that mats. Griff strives to constantly improve his and others techniques and offers this both in group sessions and on a 1-1 basis in private lessons. He is very approachable and can give you honest, knowledgeable advice based on his many years of competition experience. He also undertakes refereeing work being a qualified, experienced referee in both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA. He has previously refereed well over 40 MMA fights, and countless BJJ / submission grappling matches. He has also been involved in rule writing and acting as head referee for the Takedown MMA organisation.

Matt Olson

MMA & Submission Wrestling Coach, Sports Therapist & BJJ Brown Belt

Matt is our Submission Wrestling coach, and resident Sports Therapist. Matt is a BJJ brown belt and has proved himself time and time again and competition, in both BJJ and MMA. Matt is a very well rounded grappler and actively competes in No-Gi BJJ.

Matt also offers Sports Therapy, and as well as being able to offer generalised prehab and rehab sessions to clients, he occupies a niche specialism in truly understanding combat sports, the common injuries, imbalances and problems associated with them. He is able to help you speed up your recovery and minimize your time away from training. Matt is highly regarded in this field and works with several of the top clubs in both Manchester and Liverpool.

Arron Parkinson

Kickboxing Coach, MMA fighter & BJJ Blue Belt

Arron has a passion for fitness, health and training. Despite his youth Arron has proven himself in competition and training in Boxing, Wrestling, Kickboxing, BJJ and MMA. Arron is our Kickboxing coach. He takes our Tuesday and Thursday Kickboxing classes along with both the adult and kids Kickboxing and MMA on Saturdays. Arron is a qualified level 3 Personal Trainer, and offers personal training at Viva in addition to his scheduled classes.

Andy Wreghitt

Assistant Coach

Andy has been a member with us since the beginning of the gym. He has been one of the first of our “homegrown” competitors to represent the gym in local competitions. Andy has high aspirations for his future in MMA. Andy has recently joined the gym as an assistant coach and has so far proved to be a great addition to the team.

Train at times that suit you

Want to train at your convenience? Want to speed up your progress? Looking for a new personal trainer, or a new way to get fit? Click the link

Evolve and Succeed

It was from early no holds barred competitions like UFC, that Mixed Martial Arts as we now know it was born. In these early competitions one fighting style was pitted against another, but over time athletes came to realise that by cross training multiple styles their results improved. After many years of continual adaptation and evolution, fighters with hugely developed, honed and precise arsenals in every range, including striking, grappling, wrestling and clinch were produced. MMA today is a fight style in its own right, as with all martial arts it will continue to build on its roots from component martial arts and evolve.

Just like MMA and other combat sports, BJJ has evolved not just since Vale Tudo fights in Brazil, and earlier Gracie challenge matches. BJJ was actually born out of an early form of Judo, ( then known as Kano Ju Jutsu) brought to Brazil by Mitsuyo Maeda from Japan. Since then it has continued to evolve and grow into a Combat Sport of its own.
At Viva we are committed to the evolution of combat sports and work hard to ensure we offer you the most up to date Kickboxing, BJJ and MMA in Manchester.

What people say about us

“…top rate instruction that creates a progressive learning environment…”

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“A great bunch of guys and gals with top rate instruction that creates a progressive learning environment. I’m definiteley going back, soon!”

Dave Kari
– Head Coach at Voodoo Gym Macclesfield, Kickboxing Black Belt & BJJ Purple Belt

“…Viva is run by knowledgeable, genuine and honest instructors…”

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“I’ve trained with many people and at many places, including world champion black belts in Brazil, at the homeland of BJJ. Viva is run by knowledgeable, genuine and honest instructors in Griff and Jamie who sincerely have your best interests at heart. Top level technical instruction and a focus on effective training combine to form a great learning environment”

Daniel Cocker
– BJJ Purple Belt & Member

“Amazing, enthusiastic and very patient instructors, couldn’t ask for more…”

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“Amazing, enthusiastic and very patient instructors, couldn’t ask for more. I have 4 kids that go and they love it. My husband does the adult classes and can’t praise them enough. Highly recommended.”

Rebecca Davies
- Parent

“…My 12 year old has now got a new love for martial arts thanks to these guys…”

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“Fantastic trainers, great atmosphere for adults and children. My 12 year old has now got a new love for martial arts thanks to these guys Griff and Jamie.”

Sarah Reece

“…great staff and friendly atmosphere and good brewing facilities…”

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“My kids been training here for a while and has come on leaps and bounds great staff and friendly atmosphere and good brewing facilities. Highly recommended”

Anthony Ormston
- Parent

“…it’s helped me with my fitness and with my confidence…”

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“Brilliant place to train it’s helped me with my fitness and with my confidence the teachers are great very professional and really down to earth and your made to feel very welcome.”

Ste Lowe
- Member

“Great coaches, friendly people…”

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“Great coaches, friendly people. Give it a go, you won’t regret it!”

Rosi Sexton
- Ranked No1 in Womens MMA at 115lb, UFC Veteran, Cage Warriors Champion, Bodog Fight Champion, BJJ Brown Belt, Tae Kwon Do Black Belt, Ju Jitsu Black Belt

“…every time i go to Viva Combat Athletics I learn something new…”

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“After training for the best part of ten years I am still amazed that every time i go to Viva Combat Athletics I learn something new that will change my game. The coaching level is top knotch. There is a really good level on the mat of all the students I have trained with. You get to train well in a safe fun environment under the watchful eye of grappling maniac grand master Griff who can pick holes in anybody’s game tell them what they do well and where they are going wrong and help them improve on it. I highly recommend anybody and everybody training here, no matter if you haven’t trained before or your a seasoned pro you will all gain loads from it.”

Gaz Pilot
- Pro MMA Fighter Bamma Title Contender & BJJ Brown Belt

“Starting BJJ has really helped me with my confidence…”

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“Starting BJJ has really helped me with my confidence. The coaches are friendly and really passionate about their sport”

Stuart Meschia
-Member & BJJ Blue belt

“…There are no egos, just like minded people who want to train…”

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“Great training environment, great coaches and a friendly atmosphere. There are no egos, just like minded people who want to train and better themselves. Been training at the gym since it opened and with the coaches long before that. Highly recommended!”

Steven Eastwood
- Member, BJJ Blue Belt & Beard curator

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