No Limit Fitness a new boxing, MMA gym

  • NO LIMIT Fitness and Martial Arts owner and instructor Robby Roberts on Wednesday in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Owner Robby Roberts at No Limit Fitness and Martial Arts last week in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Owner Robby Robertson at NO LIMIT Fitness and Martial Arts on Wednesday in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Owner Robby Robertson, right, instructs a jiu-jitsu class at NO LIMIT Fitness and Martial Arts on Wednesday in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • NO LIMIT Fitness and Martial Arts on Wednesday in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Owner Robby Roberts, left, instructs a jiu-jitsu class at No Limit Fitness and Martial Arts last week in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • NO LIMIT Fitness and Martial Arts on Wednesday in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • NO LIMIT Fitness and Martial Arts on Wednesday in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 7/11/2019 5:09:45 PM
Modified: 7/11/2019 5:09:34 PM

ORANGE — After 30 professional fights with championships in two weight classes, the time has come for Robby Roberts to hang up the gloves and teach others about mixed martial arts. 

No Limit Fitness and Martial Arts is a new gym that opened this month in Orange at 334 East Main St. Led by Roberts, a former professional mixed martial arts — known as MMA — fighter, the gym caters to people ages 5 and up.

“This gym is as equipped as you can get,” Roberts, 41, of Orange, said, standing in the large workout space dotted with weight sets at the back of the building. At the other side of the building is a room with mats for grappling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as well as punching bags and other boxing equipment. 

Classes are offered throughout the week in a variety of different combat sports — boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, submission grappling, Olympic wrestling.

No Limit Fitness also holds daily “functional fitness” classes, which, Roberts said, are more about developing real strength than bulking up or getting a muscular physique. The functional fitness classes blend Olympic lifting and cardio exercises like rowing and running. So far, Roberts said, the functional fitness classes have been a particular success.

“If you’re going to be an athlete or just want to get stronger in general, you want to get your body completely strong,” Roberts said. 

As a fighter, Roberts had 30 professional fights before retiring in 2016, winning championships in two weight classes — middleweight and light heavyweight — including for New England-based CFX MMA. 

“I got really good in the last half of my career,” Roberts said, mentioning a nine-win, one-loss streak he is still proud of. “I got paid, it was great. But, I always loved teaching.”

Roberts has taught a variety of fitness and martial arts classes in Gardner, Orange and Leominster, as well as “about every youth sport you can think of,” football, flag football, baseball and others. 

“I win a Little League championship every year,” he said with a laugh.

His passion for teaching comes from his children. With a seventh child on the way, Roberts said teaching classes and fitness helps him be a better father — and the gym, just one month into operations, has already almost paid for itself.

“I love being a dad and I love teaching,” Roberts said. “I grew up with no dad. My best man at my wedding was my Little League coach’s son … Teaching, coaching makes a big difference to people.” 

Roberts said the combat sports he teaches are a great way to get in or stay in shape for people of all ages, and they are a healthy way to let out aggression — although Roberts describes himself as “a nice guy,” he added he’s “always been a fighter.”

He hopes he can help others become passionate about disciplines like Brazilian jiu-jitsu at his gym.

“All I want to do now is teach,” he added. “I couldn’t care less about things like marketing. I just love it, I love jiu-jitsu, I love working out.”

Classes are taught by Roberts himself, as well as former MMA students of his, and a strong emphasis is placed on safety.

Roberts said he has been particular about getting all the proper, safest equipment for the gym. Classes like Brazilian jiu-jitsu and grappling involve slow, controlled person-on-person contact on the mats under the close eye of an instructor, who gives directions every step of the way — which leg to put where, when to grab the opponents arm, how to get out of a hold. 

“People are intimidated to go into a place that has boxing and weightlifting,” Roberts said. “But it’s all in a very, very safe manner … I want people to get better, and the only way you are going to get better is if you’re on the mat.”

The boxing classes in particular, Roberts said, might intimidate people, because they think “they’re going to be continuously hit in the face,” but boxing classes are no-contact. 

“Come check it out,” Roberts said. “It’s not scary.” 

No Limit Fitness is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from noon to 7 p.m. on weekends. For more information, or to sign up for classes at No Limit Fitness and Martial Arts, call Robby Roberts at 978-235-8039 or visit the gym’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NOLIMITOrange.

Reach David McLellan at dmclellan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 268. 


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