• Joseph F. Berenato

Train at Instinct Fitness and MMA


Alek Zaborowski, coach Ocie Norman and Bill Doyle of Instinct Fitness and MMA. (Courtesy Photo)

Instinct Fitness and MMA, Hammonton’s newest training facility, is now open.


Co-owners Bill Doyle and Alek Zaborowski, both graduates of Hammonton High School, said that mixed martial arts (MMA) have been an interest of theirs for some time.


“I wrestled for Hammonton High School; I was varsity for four years, and I graduated in 2008. After that, with wrestling, there’s not a professional league—at least at the time—or a way to make money from doing it. Then, I saw my first UFC fight, and I was struck by it. I started training right after high school. It took off from there,” Zaborowski said.


Doyle said that his story was similar.


“I played football for Hammonton all my life. After high school—I graduated in 2010—I didn’t really have that next level of team or teamwork experience that I was used to from being on the football team, so I lost that sense of camaraderie that I had with that larger group of people. I started looking for something that might have filled in for that. I was always interested in martial arts; I’ve done martial arts from the time I was 4 years old. I found jiu-jitsu and fell in love with it; I found that sense of teamwork and pushed myself to be better,” Doyle said.


Doyle said that it was a mutual love of martial arts that brought about their partnership.


“We sort of knew each other in high school, seeing each other around the weight room, but we re-met through jiu-jitsu, and we were training at the same gym for about four years,” Doyle said.


Zaborowski, who had long wanted to start his own gym, explained further.


“I was looking for my own gym to start, and so was Bill—basically at the same time. It came together; he reached out to me, knowing I was a free agent without a gym at the time. That’s how we started Instinct together,” Zaborowski said.



Doyle said that the choice to open in Hammonton was an easy one for them.


“I was born and raised in Hammonton and went to Hammonton High School, and am currently living in Hammonton. Alex went to Hammonton schools and is currently living in Hammonton. We know Hammonton is a special community, and, since we’re both living here, we wanted to plant our roots here even more and grow something in this community that we felt that was missing with MMA,” Doyle said.


Zaborowski echoed Doyle’s sentiments.


“Hammonton’s full of different gyms and fitness clubs, and we both saw an opportunity where there wasn’t a mixed martial arts place known to Hammonton. We saw that as an opportunity to start one. I had to travel out of town to train, and it was a pain. We knew that if there was a place here, how much easier that would be, and how beneficial it would be to everyone,” Zaborowski said.


Doyle said that Instinct Fitness and MMA offers a family-friendly environment that teaches boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, strength and conditioning in a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere.”


“We’re not streetfighters—we’re not bullies—we appreciate MMA as a sport, as a way to get in shape, as a way to learn something new, not as a way to intimidate or be an aggressive person. We’re in it for the positive benefits: growing yourself as a person and meeting new people ... We have the best coaching staff around. We have the largest MMA facility in the area. We are constantly adding new classes,” Doyle said.



Doyle also noted that MMA offers discipline for children.


“We have a great kids’ program. Right now, we start our kids’ program at 5 years old; we are looking into the 3 to 5-year-old range, but right now it starts at 5,” Doyle said.


Zaborowski said that Instinct Fitness and MMA also offers more than mixed martial arts.


“We do offer other things, like HIIT classes—high-intensity interval training classes—Zumba, and we’re going to be offering classes like yoga, barre and powerlifting,” Zaborowski said.


Doyle said that they hope to continue expanding in the future.


“We hope to continue adding new classes to get to a potential 24-hour schedule; we would like to be open 24 hours a day. It would be a very lofty goal, but that’s what we want to see in the long-term,” Doyle said.



Doyle also said that they plan to be engaged with the community, having already been a presence at the Fourth of July parade and at the Red, White and Blueberry Festival.


“We’ll be at the carnival—people can come check us out there—and we are planning our grand opening for Saturday, August 7,” Doyle said.


Instinct Fitness and MMA is located in the Blueberry Crossing Shopping Plaza at 240 S White Horse Pike Unit A-3. For more information, call (609) 547-5014, find them on Facebook at facebook.com/instinctfitnessmma, Instagram @instinct_fitness_mma or visit instinctgym.com.