What we’re about
Viva offers Mixed Martial Arts, Kickboxing, Submission Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes at our gym 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 in MMA and BJJ, locally in Manchester, nationally and internationally. We always look to leave our ego's at the door because in the gym, on the mats everyone is equal. Rank and Hierarchy play little role 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 this places us at the forefront of Kids Martial Arts in Manchester. 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, we don't do kata, it's not how a fight unfolds this isn't Karate, instead we encourage self discipline and self motivation.
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 Mixed Martial Arts 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!
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.
Meet our Team
"Griff" is our BJJ and Grappling coach, and is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Helen Currie. Griff takes all of our adult and kids BJJ classes and virtually lives in the gym. Griff strives to constantly improve his own and others techniques and is available to take private sessions alongside the BJJ classes.
He is very approachable and will give you honest, knowledgeable advice based on his many years of competition experience. Previously he has been the Ground Countrol -68kg Advanced No-Gi National Champion, UMA - 65kg National Groundfighting Champion, has competed in the IBJJF Europeans -62kg BJJ Purple Belt category and has won several regional competitions in Liverpool, Manchester, London and Birmingham. Having such faith in the application of technique over size he has also competed open weight facing opposition in excess of double his bodyweight. In Wrestling he won Silver at the Aspull International Open -62kg and competed in the British Nationals -57kg.
He is also a qualified, experienced referee in both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA having previously refereed well over 40 MMA fights, and countless BJJ / submission grappling matches. Griff has also played a key part in rule writing and was the head referee for the Takedown MMA organisation.
Avi is our MMA and Kickboxing coach, he takes our Tuesday and Thursday evening classes. Avi is a prominent professional MMA fighter who has previously held the ISKA Professional Welterweight British title and the Fightstar Middleweight Pro title and has been training Mixed Martial Arts in Manchester since 2007. As a result of his training and success, Avi understands what it takes to be a high level athlete and is able to articulate it well with his calm and attentive coaching style when motivating others to reach their fitness goals in the sessions.
Outside of his personal competitive pursuits he has also refereed extensively within the MMA circles and therefore has a very clear understanding of how to maintain competitors’ safety whilst training sparring and competing and a breath of knowledge of the sport that you can only obtain through years of immersive training.
Outside of the gym Avi has held an SIA license and spent time working the doors in Manchester. If you’ve seen Roadhouse we feel that’s enough said.
Matt is our Submission Wrestling coach, and resident Sports Therapist. Matt is a BJJ black belt and has previously won the Manchester BJJ open -80kg. He has proved himself time and time again in competition with, Wrestling and MMA also. Matt is a very well rounded grappler and has an innate ability to blend the standing and ground ranges together seamlessly, an important skill for aspiring MMA athletes and submission grappler.
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 minimise 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.
Train at times that suit you
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. Mixed Martial Arts 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. MMA in Manchester is very popular with a great competition scene right from the grass roots to top flight professional level, it's a very exciting place to train in a constantly evolving sport.
Just like MMA and other combat sports, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 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 BJJ, MMA and Kickboxing in Manchester.
What people say about us
“…top rate instruction that creates a progressive learning environment…”
“A great bunch of guys and gals with top rate instruction that creates a progressive learning environment. I’m definiteley going back, soon!”
“…Viva is run by knowledgeable, genuine and honest instructors…”
“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”
“Amazing, enthusiastic and very patient instructors, couldn’t ask for more…”
“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.”
“…My 12 year old has now got a new love for martial arts thanks to these guys…”
“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.”
“…great staff and friendly atmosphere and good brewing facilities…”
“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”
“…it’s helped me with my fitness and with my confidence…”
“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.”
“Great coaches, friendly people…”
“Great coaches, friendly people. Give it a go, you won’t regret it!”
“…every time i go to Viva Combat Athletics I learn something new…”
“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.”
“Starting BJJ has really helped me with my confidence…”
“Starting BJJ has really helped me with my confidence. The coaches are friendly and really passionate about their sport”
“…There are no egos, just like minded people who want to train…”
“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!”
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