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Highland Park gets taste of MMA culture via We Are One MMA & Fitness on York

If you are driving down York Boulevard in Highland Park, you might notice the newest independent gym in town. It is the  We Are One MMA and Fitness facility located at 5679 York Blvd.

Owner, Lisa Sanchez, has made real her dream of owning a space where people can come and feel comfortable and stress free while practicing both fitness and combative techniques. A no judgement zone with healthy and safe practices is the ultimate goal at We Are One.

The term “Mixed Martial Arts”(MMA) became widely popularized around 1993, and has been generating momentum ever since. Although the sport is relatively new, its origins trace back several hundred years and incorporate a variety of international techniques and practices. Its practical applications and mesmerizing use of tact and skill captivate audiences by the millions around the world.



At We Are One, the Gracie Academy curriculum will be adapted. Brought over to the United States from Brazil, the Gracie family shared their personal practice of integrating traditional jiu jitsu methods with modified fighting techniques with the purpose of a more thoughtful and strategic combat structure against larger opponents. Today, certified Gracie Academy centers train fighters to develop a wide range of skills and instill in them the history, context, and mission behind all the elements of the training regimen. Not only is technique a factor in Gracie Academy, but also diet, and just as important, an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the core underlying philosophy.


Just like the colored belt levels of karate, The Gracie Academy also follows a progression of levels determined by the advancing status of the fighter at hand. At We Are One, there will be a myriad of seminars and classes where people of all skill levels are encouraged to come and see if this practice is a comfortable fit for them. Experienced trainers and health professionals will be there to guide and assist any interested attendees. Like for most combative sports, the gym is fully equipped with the proper safety devices and floor mats for ground grappling and beyond.

Contrary to the nature of the sport, it does not discriminate against size, age or gender, making it an accessible and healthy option for anyone interested in a fitness regimen rich in history and physical results.

Moving forward into the new year, We Are One will also jump start some women’s self defense classes and programs, which are so desperately needed in the urban sprawl that is Los Angeles.

There’s no shortage of opportunities to experience what MMA and fitness has to offer, as We Are One is open not five, but six, days per week with a handful of classes to choose from every day. Among the classes are coed fitness, a kids BJJ class, a women’s beginner fitness (as well as an advanced women’s fitness), men’s BJJ, and body shaping classes. Because of hte knowledgeable nature of Lisa and her team, the gym-goers at We Are One are encouraged to ask questions every step of the way.

“It’s not just a personal journey, but also, it can be a social one. I have met some of my best and most long standing friends through classes at gyms,” says Lisa in regards to the friendly and social aspects of the workout experience.

There are a variety of packages available based on the level of commitment to the regimen you would prefer. Find it hard to go to the gym because you’ve got kids? Luckily, We Are One has kids’ monthly passes available too. Now there’s no excuse!