Fitness, Boxing and Beauty at Hypermix
Published: November 4, 2021
HYPERMIX FITNESS KICK & BOXING CLUB is a brand-new facility dedicated to fitness, boxing, and beauty, not to mention kickboxing, weight training, mixed martial arts, and a whole lot more. On a recent late afternoon, we dropped in for a chat with fitness trainer Mr. Masato Ishii and boxing instructor Ms. Yunoka Furukawa, a former world champion in the WBA light minimum weight class.
HYPERMIX FITNESS KICK & BOXING CLUB is located in the Good Design Award-winning Hypermix Building, just one minute’s walk from Exit 6 of Monzen-nakacho station.
It’s accessed either through the lift to the left of the building’s facade or the stairs. The main entrance is on the second floor.
The main room is surprisingly large, and divided into two spaces, the rear portion featuring a full-size boxing ring. As Mr. Ishii explained, “We had our pre-opening in July, then the official Grand Opening was held on October first, 2021. The gym is spread over three floors: the basement has a free weights area with private rooms, this is the main area with training machines, the ring room and the changing rooms, and there’s a studio space on the third floor.”
The gym looks stylish with the sleek matt black training machines, high-tech running machines and boxing ring area, yet the fees are very reasonable. Men pay 11,000 yen per month, women 8,800 yen and students 7,700 yen. Students include junior high, high school, technical schools, and university ages. For junior school kids the fees are 6,600 yen a month and for seniors over 65 it’s 5,500. There’s also a one-time registration fee of 15,000 yen. The gym is open from 9:00 am to 22:00 pm every day, with the last entry at 21:00 pm. All members can use all the facilities freely. Personal training is also available at an extra charge.
As Mr. Ishii explained, “Around 80% of our customers are men, with a good mix of local residents and people who work in the area. The youngest customer is a four-year old in a boxing class, the current oldest is around 68 years old. Health and fitness, increased stamina, dieting, and stress relief are the main reasons people cite in joining up. All customers receive advice on their training programs from the instructors after counselling on their individual targets. The trainers are all current or former professional athletes, mainly boxers or kick boxers.”
Mr. Ishii emphasized how the training is tailored to each customer’s needs. “It’s not intense,” he said. “The machines are safe and easy to use. Customers are instructed on how to set and use each individual machine. Total beginners are very welcome.” He also discussed how part of the main room here would be set aside as a MMA (mixed martial arts) training/fighting area as the professional fighter Daichi Abe was using the gym.
Pride of place goes to the boxing ring. Former boxing world champion Ms. Furukawa told us, “Many of our female customers begin with weight training, then try kickboxing and become obsessed by it, visiting three times a week or so. Most are in their thirties but we have junior high school and high school students too. It’s an intense workout, you sweat really hard, almost like a detox, and build muscle and stamina at the same time. It’s very popular now.”
The sandbags at HYPERMIX FITNESS KICK & BOXING CLUB are both uncommon and of extremely high quality.
From around 4:30 onwards the quiet gym suddenly begins to fill with people, including a young couple in the ring area. “Actually, we have many couples who come in and train together,” said Ms. Furukawa. “Maybe one of them wants to try so they decide to both join up. We also have many foreign nationals, mainly from East Asia,” she adds, as she jumps into the ring and begins sparring with a young Filipino man.
All customers get to practice in the ring with the pros, taking it in turns. “We’re looking to attract more juniors so we can begin children’s classes,” said Ms. Furukawa.
Down in the basement is the free weight area, where lifting that needs assistance takes place. As Mr. Ishii said, “Customers must use this area with supervision. There’s always a trainer in here to ensure safety when using the weights.” The room is also adorned with a variety of cool art prints, which creates a very different ambience from the standard weights room.
Along the corridor from the weights room are private rooms with single machines for solo customers to work alone or in an individual training session.
In keeping with the HYPERMIX FITNESS KICK & BOXING CLUB style, the locker rooms are stylish and spotless. Lockers are located on both the second floor and in the basement.
The showers are immaculately white.
While the dressing area is spacious and well-equipped for those either heading out for dinner or the train home.
While HYPERMIX FITNESS KICK & BOXING CLUB is dedicated to dynamic sports such as kickboxing, boxing, and mixed martial arts, the atmosphere is light years away from that of the traditional image of such places. The trainers may be champions of intensely tough sports but they’re young, friendly and welcoming, while the thoroughly contemporary style of the interior is highly appealing. “Our aim is to become part of the local community, open to all regardless of age or ability. Everyone is welcome,” said Mr. Ishii. As we were leaving the gym began to fill up with young people pulling on their gloves and starting to warm up. Who knows, there could be another future world champion among them.
Story and Photos by Stephen Spencer