Photos: Legacy Gym, a hidden gem by the beaches of Boracay

Boracay, Philippines. It's been ranked as the best island in the world, with its powder white sand, and calm, crystal clear waters. It's been…

By: Anton Tabuena | 8 years ago
Photos: Legacy Gym, a hidden gem by the beaches of Boracay
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Boracay, Philippines. It’s been ranked as the best island in the world, with its powder white sand, and calm, crystal clear waters. It’s been long considered as one of the top destinations for vacations, weddings, and night life events, drawing countless tourists from all over the world.

Apart from its pristine beach, the island also offers everything from water sports and activities, to numerous bars, clubs, and even fancy restaurants and 5-star hotels, making it appealing to a wide range of people. Thanks to MMA star and Muay Thai world champion Ole Laursen (who just picked up a submission win headlining Art of War 16), Boracay has also been increasingly known to cater to the more combat sports savvy as well.

The Filipino-Danish fighter in Laursen founded Legacy Gym Boracay in 2012. Since then, it has grown and attracted various people from random tourists, to combat sports enthusiasts, and to both pro and amateur fighters; all who stay from days to months at a time.

I recently took a quick 4-day trip to Boracay, and decided to allocate an afternoon of my vacation to check out the gym. I figured after bumming around on the beach for a few days, it would be a great idea to actually train in paradise, then rest up with a beer on the shore.

⛵️ #Boracay

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Two minutes away from resort I stayed at, I walk up a small hill overlooking the most luxurious part of the beach. As I enter the gym, I immediately notice how they stuck with this beautiful island vibe with every structure and decor.

This obviously wasn’t like any other gym I’ve ever been to.

To house their many fighters, trainers, and guests, they put these nipa huts on top of the actual cage and rings. There were even quite a few hammocks where people can relax at.

They of course had everything you needed with two huge rings, a full size cage, more than a dozen bags of all kinds, and an area for free weights. More importantly, they have high quality training with champs from boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA, along with BJJ black belts, and other coaches.

Their fight team includes names such as Laursen himself, Marcus Waters, Zebaztian Kadestam a PXC champ and BE’s #7 WW prospect, and many other Asian stars.

I walk around the gym, and start warming up. I didn’t pack gloves or hand wraps, so I pick from their communal stash, and try their Muay Thai class.

After several rounds of sparring, I learn that boxing superstar Nonito Donaire was heading here to train, and that Filipino MMA star Eric Kelly worked out earlier in the day as well. I was a bit disappointed that I narrowly missed them during my brief stay, but I just went on to take photos of the gym as BJJ class started.

I pay for my surprisingly affordable training session, then proceed to have that beer by the shore.

As I sat there, I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I book a longer trip, or come to Legacy earlier on my vacation?” That way, I’d be waking up to do strength and conditioning and “road work” at the beach’s soft white sand at sunrise. Instead, I’ll just be heading to the airport and back to real life.


A photo posted by Anton Tabuena (@antontabuena) on

Photos are by Anton Tabuena and Nicole Sarmiento.

Follow me on twitter — @antontabuena

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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