Ottawa, Ontario - Bob Carver's Thai Boxing Academy
I should start this off by saying that this is clearly a biased review. I am an instructor at the academy, currently on a 2-year professional hiatus in Thailand.
I guess any decent review about the gym would have to start with the man... Bob Carver.
Khru Carver has been teaching Muay Thai in Ottawa since 1988, and has been in the martial arts since 1973. He has a degree in Physical Education from the sports science program at Ottawa U, as well as certification through the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology as a Certified Fitness Appraiser, and as a CPAFLA Course Conductor.
He is president of the Canadian Thai Boxing Association under Ajarn Chai, as well as an instructor under Guro Dan Inosanto and Erik Paulson. Khru Bob also holds certification from the Buddai Sawan in Thailand for Krabi-Krabong. He also is a certified law-enforcement trainer, and has worked since 1988 with elite police and military units in Canada.
Some may have seen Khru Carver in a National Geographic series on Muay Thai, where he acted as a facilitator and consultant for the host in Thailand. In addition, Khru Carver has an instructional DVD set out under Paladin Press.
So that is a little blurb about the head instructor/owner. On to the gym...
The gym's focus is Muay Thai, with only one class a week for Kali and two for CSW.
The other instructors at the gym all have been with Khru Carver for several years, and have all trained in Thailand themselves.
The atmosphere at the gym is extremely laid back. There are no kidsí classes, no belts, and lots of hard work. The pad holding is active, the training is alive, and the technical appreciation for the art is ever-present.
The classes are divided into three "phases" which serve as a means for the instructors to teach appropriate content. Phases are tested for, free of charge, and consist more of a free private with Khru Carver then an actual test.
The Thai Boxing Academy competes regularly, with fighters on almost every single card in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. This year we had fighters competing in Ontario, Quebec, Germany, and Thailand.
Class sizes are usually around 12 people, with the beginnerís class being slightly above that. Maximum class size is 20.
The gym is centrally located in downtown Ottawa, and reasonably priced for the MA market in Ottawa and the quality/caliber of instruction.
New students book an intro with the club, which lasts between 30-45 minutes, and then participate in a class. The cost for the intro is $20 which goes primarily to pay for the instructorís time. There is absolutely no pressure to sign up, as there is an understanding that MT may not be for everyone. If one does decide to join, there are several options regarding pay schemes.
I should also clarify that this information was accurate as of this summer. I have been in Thailand for a couple months now, and things may have changed back home. Iíd be happy to answer any questions that I can, but I would highly recommend you contact the gym first hand, go in, watch a class, participate in a class, whatever. Everyone there is extremely friendly and approachable.
The schedule is:
Mon: 4:30 Open Training - 5:30 Phase 2 - 6:30 Phase 1
Tue: Noon All levels - 4:30 Open Training - 5:30 Phase 1 - 6:30 Phase 3 - 7:30 Phase 2
Wed: 4:30 Open Training - 5:30 Phase 2 - 6:30 Phase 1
Thu: Noon All levels - 4:30 Open Training - 5:30 Phase 1 - 6:30 Phase 2 - 7:30 Phase 3
Fri: 4:30 - 7:30 Open Training/Sparring
Sat: 12:30-2:30 Open Training/Sparring
Last edited by octaviousbp; 10/10/2006 11:20pm at .
I have lived in Ottawa since 1986 and while I have never trained at Carver's I've only ever heard good things about this place. I was suprised to hear the focus is Muay Thai. Does he still teach JDK concepts?
"Does he still teach JKD concepts"
He will teach up to the 1967 progression of Jun Fan on a private basis I believe, but has no class dedicated to this anymore. I believe he simply got tired of the politics and BS that surrounds it.
Thanks for the kind words. All the instructors work hard to bring the best training environment possible.
Great review, thanks for posting.
Thanks. I am still in contact with Khruu Bob on a fairly regular basis, and I believe this information is still accurate. As always, if anyone has any questions, please let me know.
The review is extremely accurate. I have been a student for a little over a year now and have nothing but good things to say about this gym's Muay Thai program. I don't do CSW or Kali so I can't rate those aspects of the training (gave them a 10 to avoid skewing the mean downwards). The Muay Thai teaching is no nonsense form / drilling / conditioning / pad work focused on either western boxing stance or thai stance. Teachers are knowledgeable, humble and everybody is generally easy to get along with. Kruu Carver fosters an atmosphere of respect both for the arts and for fellow students. Highly recommended to any aspiring student.
As an FMA instructor in Ottawa, I have great respect for Bob Carver and his club. He's definitely worth training with.
I will be back at the academy the first week of August. Looking forward to meeting all the new students, and re-acquainting with old ones.
I lived in ottawa for several months at a time between 2001 and 2003, during which time I trained exclusivly at the academy, after checking out several schools and dojo's it was difficult to deny the obvious, if you wanted quality no nonsense training with a great atmosphere This was the place. I consider khruu carver a mentor and always make it a point to go visit and train with him whenever I am in Ottawa.