YORK'S newest martial arts gym has opened at a two-storey site in Layerthorpe.

Dustin Hone, founder of DNA MMA, has moved his fitness and martial arts company into its new home in Yorvale business park - which is just off James Street.

Dustin started training MMA fifteen years ago in Cambridge, he taught his first grappling class in 2017, when he stepped in for a fitness instructor at a leisure centre in Leeds.

Dustin later moved to York, where he rented out a space at the Railway Institute so that he and his friends could practise together.

"I wanted somewhere to train MMA with my friends so I'd hire York RI and split the cost with them, I was the most experienced so I'd do a bit of coaching as well," he said.

York Press: Inside the gym space upstairsInside the gym space upstairs (Image: Harry Booth)

"After a while, people just started to come along and I thought hang on - what's going on."

The DNA brand took its first major step when Dustin heard that the nationwide bodybuilding gym, UltraFlex, was coming to York.

He said: "I'd been to the one in Normanton so I knew what it was like, I just took my chances and called the owner Charlie and asked if I could rent a room, he said if I did it would have to be full time."

Despite still working at a sports supplements company in Dunnington, Dustin took on the new project and started to run evening classes at his new space in UltraFlex.

"It was just a word of mouth thing but it got so big so quickly," he said.

Before long, Dustin's MMA sessions had become fully booked - and he developed a growing waiting list.

After going full time in October 2020, Dustin started to realise the need for a bigger space.

York Press: Inside the mixed-martial arts section downstairsInside the mixed-martial arts section downstairs (Image: Harry Booth)

He said: "I loved being at UltraFlex, I just didn't have enough room. I was fully booked so I had to go."

The site at Yorvale Industrial estate became available when one of his members James Walker, who owns Jorvik Tricycles, moved his business to Wheldrake.

The new home of DNA now has a grappling area and mixed-martial arts cage downstairs, and gym turned functional fitness area upstairs. 

After moving in in February of this year, Dustin has already hosted North Yorkshire Police and York RLFC for mixed-martial arts classes - alongside his group of regulars.

The gym is currently staffed by Dustin and fellow coach George West, along with personal trainers George Rudd and Harry Strike.

To celebrate the new facility, DNA is hosting an open day this Saturday, from 1pm-5pm.

Anyone attending will be welcomed on a tour, including masterclasses from the team of coaches.

The gym is open from Monday to Thursday, 9am-8pm; Fridays, 11am-8pm; Saturdays 9am-1pm; and 9am-4pm on Sundays.

More details on memberships can be found via their website here: www.dnamma.com.