Alley Cat Fitness

Our deepest belief is that everyone deserves a chance to live a healthy and happy life.  In the tiny, old world Panamanian neighborhood of Casco Viejo many kids and young people don't have that chance. The barrio is filled with the hopelessness of poverty, surrounded by the beauty of paradise.

The Alley Cat Fitness Foundation was created in January of 2013 to serve the neighborhood of Casco.  Our mission is to provide the community with open access to training in Brazilian jiujitsu, boxing, fitness, and mindfulness in order to build health and resilience. We focus on youth mentoring and love working with the little kids from the barrio - the "Panamaniacs" as we call them. It is our chance to intervene in a positive way in the cycle of poverty here.

Brazilian jiujitsu is a grappling art, focusing on mental discipline and technique over strength. Through this and other martial arts and fitness coaching we build the skills to help both kids and adults form healthy habits and positive states of mind and increased self esteem.

A Gym Open to Everyone

John Boyle

Founder, Coach

John Boyle,(in white, head-locking two young "panamaniancs)  has studied Brazilian Jiujitsu under Professor Amal Easton at Easton Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Denver Colorado since 2007.  He is currently a Brown Belt and a teacher/coach/motivator by nature.

In 2012 John met Stephen Crissman, an attorney and entrepreneur living in Panama and training in Denver. Stephen had opened a gym in Casco with a good friend and philanthropist, Peder Jacobson.   They were looking for someone who could be there full time and build the community open-access model. Stephen is a visionary, Peder has the good will, and John saw the vision.

In 2013 John moved from Denver, Colorado to Casco Viejo to live and work full time there. As the community came alive around free training, John and Stephen created Alley Cat Fitness. They began with the "Panamaniacs" - the little kids from the barrio who had never had a chance to be coached with positive support.

Alley Cat grew to start free training for young men in the barrio who want to be MMA fighters. The Alley Cat Fight Team piece of ACFF aims to bring talent out of the barrio, and into the world. ACFF will never compromise its initial mission, though, which is to support the community and provide health and hope in the midst of poverty.