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A Pokémon Gym (Japanese: ジム Gym) is a place where Pokémon Trainers go to train their Pokémon. Just like real life gymnasiums, where one can go to work out and build physical strength, Pokémon Gyms are places where Trainers can go to sharpen their battling skills and where their Pokémon can go to gain experience.
Often specializing in a particular type, Gyms create an environment which allows Trainers to test both their skills and Pokémon against those of others. The most powerful Trainer in a given Gym is called the Gym Leader, who is revered by both the lower-ranking members of the Gym and local fans. In the games, there is a character that stands near the door giving tips on how to beat the Gym's challenges.
Gyms that are certified by the Pokémon League are vital to a Trainer's Pokémon journey. Leagues are designed so that conventional Trainers must travel far and wide before entering a League Competition, as the only way to enter one is by gaining at least eight official Gym Badges, and there can only be one official Gym per city.
In the games
In the games, most Gyms feature a number of Trainers the player may face before battling the Gym Leader. Their teams typically consisting of the same type of Pokémon that the Gym Leader has. These Trainers cannot be battled after the Gym Leader has been defeated.
There are eight known official Gyms in each region.
In the anime
In the anime, Gary Oak reveals that he has more than eight Badges, suggesting that there are more Gyms in the anime than players are given access to in the games. Specifically, he has at least ten Badges excluding the Earth Badge. Before the Indigo League competition, Ash encounters Otoshi in Bad to the Bone; he owns eight Badges, but only shares four in common with Ash. Later in the episode, another Trainer appears with eight other completely different Badges. In total, Ash, Gary, Otoshi and the other Trainer displayed 27 different types of Badges prior to competing in the Indigo Plateau Conference, so there must have been at least this number of official Gyms in the anime version of Kanto at the time.
Whilst on her journey collecting Badges, Sakura collected Badges from both Kanto and Johto, so it is unclear what the rules are for competing in championship tournaments.
At the Hoenn Pokémon League Championship, Morrison is shown to have an eighth Badge different from Ash's, suggesting that there are at least 9 official Gyms in Hoenn. Many believe it could be a Badge from Slateport or Pacifidlog.
During Barry's Busting Out All Over!, in the Sinnoh saga, Barry was seen to have a Badge that is not present in the games.
Barry was seen with two more unknown Badges in Fighting Ire with Fire!, two of which also appeared in Nando's ownership in Last Call — First Round!.
The Orange Archipelago also contains its own league, complete with its own Gyms:
In the TCG
In the Pokémon Trading Card Game, all Gyms are Stadium cards, which provide a specific effect while they are in play. This listing is of cards based on official Gyms from the Pokémon games and often focus on the type speciality of a particular Gym.
In the games
Saffron City Dojo
- Main article: Fighting Dojo
The Trainers of this Gym specialize in Fighting-type Pokémon. It used to be an official Gym until Sabrina defeated its Leader, Kiyo. After the player defeats the Dojo's Karate Master Kiyo, he will give the player either Hitmonlee or Hitmonchan as a reward.
Prestige Precept center
- Main article: Prestige Precept Center
Also known as the Pre Gym, this unofficial Gym of Phenac City doubles as an academy. In Pokémon Colosseum, its Leader, Justy, will not battle the Trainer until they have at least six Pokémon, and will give away TM27 (Return).
In the anime
This Gym is run solely by the Trainer A.J., and is notable for its rigorous training methods. It is unknown what prize if any A.J. gave to any victorious challengers, because he left it to enter the Pokémon League after he defeated 100 challengers in a row using only his Sandshrew. This Gym appears in The Path to the Pokémon League.
Fighting Spirit Gym
This Gym was run by Anthony, who was training his Hitmonchan for the P1 Grand Prix. It did not appear to be used for actual Pokémon battles. Instead, it had the appearance of a gym used for training and exercising.
This Gym in Dark City wanted to become an official Gym to earn money, but was rejected by the Pokémon League. It has Pokémon of various types, but its primary Pokémon is an Electabuzz. This Gym appears in Showdown at Dark City and is run by Kaz.
This Gym in Dark City wanted to become an official Gym to earn money, but was rejected by the Pokémon League. The Gym Trainers specialize in Fighting but the Gym Leader's Pokémon is a Scyther. This Gym appears in Showdown at Dark City and is run by Yas.
This is an unofficial Gym that was featured in Just Add Water. It is located on the outskirts of Blackthorn City. Led by Dorian, the Gym specializes in Water-type Pokémon. Unlike the other Water-type Gyms, Dorian holds his battles underwater.
Although the Gym is unofficial, Dorian is hoping that by word of mouth it will become more popular. In fact, after Ash and his friends visited the Gym, they promised they would tell everyone at the Silver Conference about it. However, it hasn't been mentioned since then.
This is an unofficial Gym run by Jessie, James and Meowth in Gymbaliar!. They used the Gym as a method of training and building strategies, however they were on a losing streak until a wild Croagunk appeared and was used as Jessie's powerhouse.
In the TCG
This listing is of cards that feature TCG-exclusive Gyms, which focus on altering a certain gameplay mechanic.
Differences between generations
Generations II and V have a unique design for each Gym (except Cinnabar Gym, which is destroyed). However, in Generation II the only difference is the shape and color of the roof, with the exception of Saffron and Cerulean Gyms.
- For Gymbaliar!, Professor Oak's lecture is about Gyms. He writes this Pokémon senryū about them: かてるまで なんどもちょうせん ポケモンジム Kateru made nandomo chōsen, Pokémon Jimu "Until you win, battle again and again; that is a Pokémon Gym."
- This is also the episode Team Rocket set up a fake Gym, with Jessie acting as its Leader.
- In Generation I, a glitch allows Trainers to fish in the statues at the front of the Gyms.
- No known Gym has specialized in Dark-type Pokémon.
- As the Fighting Dojo in Kanto was once official, every region except Unova has had a Fighting-type Gym at one time.
- Despite the above fact, there has been a Fighting-type specialist in every region, either as a Gym Leader or an Elite Four member.
- A Trainer in the Glitter Lighthouse also says Jasmine used to specialize in Rock-type Pokémon, meaning every region except Unova has had a Rock-type Gym at one time.
- In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, each Gym's frame is colored according to the type, except for the Viridian Gym, which has no specialist type. The Viridian Gym's frame is green.
- In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Walking Pokémon are not allowed in the Blackthorn Gym and Viridian Gym because the flooring is unstable. Coincidentally, both gyms are the last in gyms fought in Kanto and Johto respectively.
- In Generation V, eight of the eleven Unova Gyms serve dual purposes, both as a place of battle and as a service; Striaton Gym is a restaurant, Nacrene Gym is a museum, Castelia Gym is a gallery showcasing the paintings of the Gym Leader Burgh, Nimbasa Gym is a set of roller coasters to go with the Ferris Wheel in Nimbasa City in Pokémon Black and White or a fashion show catwalk in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Driftveil Gym is a mining operation, Mistralton Gym is an airfield, Aspertia Gym is a school, and Virbank Gym is a music club.
- In Generation V, Gyms do not take on a single appearance, their look being customized to suit the Gym Leader's specialist type. Gyms had only previously had unique designs in Generation II, where the roof colors differed.
- In Pokémon Black and White 2, each gym has a unique remix of the usual Pokémon Gym theme music.
In other languages