Bethesda Boxing & Kickboxing Academy is a minority-owned, community-first fitness center set in a fun combat sports environment, located in Bethesda, MD.
Founded by Kenneth Gear, and led by an Equilibrio De Tao Blackbelt with other Professional martial artists, BBKA encourages mental toughness, head-to-toe physical fitness, and overall health & wellness.
Offering more than just boxing and kickboxing, we work tirelessly to cultivate a safe and inclusive environment for the community. BBKA visits are an experience not to be missed.
Ken is a former college athlete, who played football for the University of Michigan between 1979-1983, where he received a BA in General Studies and played in two Rose bowls under legendary Coach Bo Schembechler. Ken received his Master’s degree in Policy Analysis and finance in 1985 from the New School for Social Research in NY. He merged his passion and practical experience in boxing and kickboxing with his years of experience in finance to open a specialized boxing/kickboxing gym in Bethesda, Maryland. He is the heart and soul of the gym, bringing his positive attitude and no-nonsense demeanor into his training. He no longer teaches classes but offers personal training to anyone ages 15+.
Rafael is a freestyle martial artist, fight enthusiast, and amateur fighter with an Equilibrio De Tao WAKO blackbelt in Kickboxing. He has over 25 years of Martial Arts experience, and 18 years of experience teaching. Rafael teaches our Kids Boxing, Teen Boxing, Fitness Boxing, Kickboxing, Strength and Conditioning, and Stretching. He works with clients ranging in age from 5 to 85. He is extremely patient and committed to helping, and inspiring people. Rafael is an essential member of our staff, dedicated to building a safe, and fun environment for all members. In addition to joining any of the many classes that Rafael teaches, we also invite you to check out his personal training options.
Chris is a Maryland native with over 20 years of experience in customer service and management. He has been with the gym for five years, using his innovative ideas to help us maintain classes and morale through the pandemic. He has trained in martial arts for ten years, and boxing for six. He is not only a skilled manager but also teaches our Autism Spectrum boxing classes, as well as Fitness Kickboxing, Teen Boxing, and Boxing Fundamentals. Chris is incredibly patient with young people and capable of building mentoring connections that help to motivate them. Chris offers personal training for adults and young athletes.
Julie is a former gymnast with over 25 years of martial arts experience. She has a rich history in the DC area, having earned a degree in vocal performance from the Catholic University of America. Julie teaches our aerobic and full-body Fitness Kickboxing and is a certified Rocksteady Boxing instructor leading fitness for clients with Parkinson’s disease. Julie specializes in helping beginners and encouraging new students and clients with her patience, and friendly attitude. Julie offers personal training to teens and adults.