Pole dancing and belly dance are not among the lessons you commonly learn in a mixed martial arts gym. But there are classes for these in Brawler’s Lab, whose head coach is the ball of fire Gabay Forlales, aside from classes for martial arts and combat sports.
Brawler’s Lab is located at 203 MacArthur Highway cor. Juan Reyes Street, Valenzuela City, Metro Manila, Philippines. It had its dedication ceremony on the evening of January 12, 2018.
I was one of the attendees of the ceremony along with ONE Championship fighter Burn Soriano, UFC fighter CJ de Tomas and siblings and actors Glaiza de Castro an Alchris Galura, among others. That evening, I took the opportunity to interview the head coach of Brawler’s Lab, who replied to my questions notably with much gusto and brilliance.
One of the questions I asked Forlales was the piece of advice he commonly gives his students. He said he is very fond of telling his students that “the only way that they could learn something is to keep doing it.”
Drills tend to cause boredom because they are repetitive, Forlales noted. To his students, the coach often says they drill because they need to learn or they drill because it is required, but either way, they will drill because he said so.
If a student is tired, he or she may take a rest but giving up is not allowed, Forlales pointed out. Among his students, there is a joke that whoever gives up is ugly and he would rather faint due to exhaustion but he will not be called ugly.
When an MMA fighter trains with Forlales, he will not simply give a general fighting training. He will study the opponent of the fighter and customize the training for the specific fighter.
What makes Brawler’s Lab special is not only its unique set of lessons. The gym is special because of its head coach, who believes that for you to achieve what you want in life, you have to push yourself to the limits.
No wonder, de Castro has been training with Forlales since she was in high school. He was also the conditioning coach of Soriano when he knocked out Mario Satya Wirawan at 0:15 of Round 1 at “ONE: Titles of Titans” on August 27, 2016.
Watch my interview with Forlales here: