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Gym of dreams now open
Inuvik's Kylik Taylor operates boxing and mixed martial arts training facility

Kira Curtis
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, March 17, 2011

INUVIK - The sound of gloves smacking leather punching bags can be heard in Inuvik as the town now has its first fully-equipped boxing and mixed martial arts gym.

NNSL photo/graphic

Kylik Taylor trains in his gym on Willow Road where the 26-year-old just opened Inuvik's first boxing and MMA Gym. - Kira Curtis/NNSL photos

"There's nothing like this in the North, there's no setup like this," said avid trainee Brenen Greenland, who has come to train every day since the gym opened earlier this month. "This is the best setup in the North and I don't understand why people aren't taking advantage of it."

"The reason I'm so hardcore with it is I'm going to be going into the army next month," Greenland added.

The gym was a distant dream of Inuvik-born Kylik until this year.

"It's kind of always been on my bucket list, you know, own your own gym and train and become a boxer," he said, laughing. "It's like a dream I have that's really far-fetched but you might as well try."

Taylor had often talked about this dream with his friends and had gone to Alberta to train and compete in boxing under reputable trainers.

"I left and I competed in Calgary for a bit and I got used to a real gym and real trainers," Taylor said.

Back in Inuvik, a friend of his salvaged a building that they eventually turned into a gym, Taylor said while sitting on the new ground mats of his training facility.

On a whim, Taylor sent out applications for some small business grants and to his surprise he got one. Up North Boxing and Fitness became a reality.

"We have an after school program for the kids," Taylor said "it's just after school until 5:15 p.m."

The message Taylor wants to get across is there's no reason to be intimidated by the gym. Almost all the lessons he teaches at his gym are for beginners. He wants everyone of every skill level to come try it out.

"When you first start there's no contact, you come in, you train with me and then I say you can spar," Taylor said, adding, "The best part about signing up right now is that we're just starting so if you come here you're going to get a lot of one-on-one training because I'm available."

In the week he has been open, Taylor has seen nearly every member lose weight. Some, he said, have lost more than five pounds in one week.

"And they're already looking like they've got four months experience," he said, adding the one-on-one time with the students helps drastically improve the skills they're learning, "because I've got to work with them - each of them - for a half hour a day."

All rosey-cheeked and sweating after training, Greenland said, "I recommend people doing this for life."

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