Conviction Fitness and Martial Arts is not the kind of gym you sign up for if you're looking for the eucalyptus steam room and air-conditioned cardio areas. The members at Conviction go there to sweat and that's they way they like it.
Likewise if your martial arts goals are limited to simply rolling through class until you collect several belt rankings to hang on your wall, this may not be the place for you. Students at Conviction either train in martial arts for the pure joy of learning the art while they exercise or to compete; where any titles and awards would be hard fought and won.
Owener Jean (John) Cueva, no stranger to competition himself, gives Examiner the run down on what the Lincoln Square warehouse gym has to offer.
What types of martial arts can one study at Conviction Fitness? We offer a complete range of martial arts classes; muay thai kickboxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, MMA, boxing and wrestling. (See a full martial arts schedule here.)
How are beginning and advanced students divided up? We do not have separate classes. All levels participate in the same classes, however, people are always paired up with members of similar skill level. Our instructors are excellent at helping beginners and making them comfortable in our classes. We do have separate training sessions for fighters that have upcoming fights.
Does Conviction host any seminars regularly? At the moment, we do not, but we plan to start hosting seminars later in the year.
What do the training facilities offer? In addition to excellent martial arts classes, we offer classes in yoga, spin, boot camp, kettle bells and crossfit. Plus we have the biggest free weight room in Chicago with platforms, cages, tracks and all kinds of weights for any type of conditioning or weight training program.
What are the basic price packages for new members looking to join? $79 a month or $749 per year is the Gold Membership which includes complete access to the gym plus all classes including any martial arts class. (Conviction also offers lower priced memberships with more limited access, not including the martial arts classes, but those classes can be purchased with a $20 drop in fee at any time.)
What do real people think of this place? Ogee Muniz came to Conviction originally to enroll her son in some martial arts classes for additional exercise. Then she saw some women in a muay thai class. "They were pretty passionate about it," she says, "and it made me curious to see if this was something for me. I took it on and loved it. And it wasn't a Zumba class. It was something to take seriously, especially as a woman where you feel you have to prove yourself in a 'man's sport.' Eventually, I started taking Jiu Jitsu, which I absolutely adore. It has become a huge part of my life and it's like this cool culture. We all support each other and I don't think I've ever seen that at any other gym." Wayne Hayer, another student who was more interested in competing, feels like Conviction gives him the best bang for his buck in addition to being a supportive environment. "Conviction fitness is basically my home now because of how supportive the owner and instructors are to me and most of the students," Hayer says. "We have the perfect training facility and it comes at a reasonable price with help and support from positive people."
Conviction Fitness and Martial Arts is located at 4430 N. Western Avenue in Chicago. To learn more about their program or to join, check out their website or give them a call at 773.267.2170.