Heavens Elevated runs its outdoor boot-camp sessions military style—melding extremely challenging exercises with a rousing group atmosphere. Like authentic army boot-camp training, the bulk of the routine comprises a series of body-weight exercises, with the only essential gear being a backpack stuffed with weights and Hardy Boys paperbacks that participants haul around throughout each session. The backpack's weight increases each week to help boot campers build strength, tone muscles, and boost endurance as they're pushed to perform exercises to exhaustion with few rest periods in between. With 20 individuals per class, Heavens Elevated's fitness gurus have a small enough group to keep a trained eye on participants and make sure no one gets left behind. There will be 48 boot-camp classes held in both the June and July sessions, so Groupon customers can take advantage of the unlimited access to get strong enough to dominate during office tug-of-war tournaments.
Evidence of Brian Bird's martial arts expertise can be seen on his person—he wears a 2nd-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu—and around the world, showcased by the success of the fighters he trains. Having coached the Canadian national team for the FILA World Grappling Championships five times, he has seen his student and wife Sheila Bird go from becoming the first female black belt in Canada to a four-time champion, and sent other apprentices to earn gold medals in gi and combat grappling. His team of instructors at Champion's Creed Martial Arts lists competitive wins in cages, atop mats, and against runaway trains on their résumés. However, shattering UFC records is not Brian's main concern. The vast majority of his guests practice martial arts for fun and fitness benefits, prizing the gym's non-intimidating atmosphere. So, he schedules classes in Muay thai kickboxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and wrestling that accommodate all ages and abilities. Whether visitors are testing for their next belt colour, trying to lose weight, or honing self-defence strikes, the staff guides them through MMA exercises that both build character and condition physiques.
At Grizzly Cage, each sport has its own customized space, thanks to the 18,000-square-foot gym's carefully arranged design. Boxers and kickboxers spar in two competition-style rings, while, over in the gym's professional cage, mixed martial arts students hone their interdisciplinary skills. For pupils mastering the discipline of mixed martial arts and Brazilian jiu jitsu, Grizzly Cage trainers reserve 3,600 square feet of sprung flooring covered with impact-absorbing tatami mats.
Along with creating a place where students can train, Wayne Richardson and Darcy Irwin, Grizzly Cage's founders, wanted a venue where those students could showcase their emerging talent. Wayne and Darcy invite up to 500 spectators at a time to gather around the gym's rings, cages, and mats for shows presenting local, national and international athletes. Guests can likewise assemble around the gym's 15-foot screen for replays, upcoming club news, and sponsors' highlights.
Over the more than 40 years Mike Miles has been teaching martial arts, he has trained students of all stripes: future champion fighters, fitness seekers looking to get in shape, and youngsters hoping to build confidence. A seventh-degree kickboxing black belt and certified muay thai instructor, he leads classes in those styles as well as mixed martial arts at his own training studio, Mike Miles MuayThai & Kickboxing Ltd. Mike and his staff of seasoned trainers guide students through proper technique and footwork and pack their classes with full-body exercises that aim to to condition muscles, slim physiques, and improve fitness. The trainers conduct classes in a professional gym complete with heavy bags, weight-training equipment, and cardio machines.
Arashi-Do Martial Arts doesn’t alienate anyone with an interest in martial arts. The team has a program to fit the needs of a diverse set of students, whether they want to practice self-defense as a hobby or train for competitions in the ring. In Little Dragons karate sessions, teachers train children as young as 4 in martial arts—in the process improving their concentration, patience, and sportsmanship. During adult classes, instructors improve the skills of first-timers and seasoned practitioners alike, increasing bodily awareness and ensuring that students are able to handle themselves in self-defense situations.
Signature Service: Karate, kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu (BJJ) for kids and adults
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Brands Used: Karate, muay thai kickboxing, BJJ, cardio kickboxing
Pro Tip: Dress in workout clothes, bring a bottle of water. Call or email to set up an appointment.