Shihan Mike Downs, head of Defensive Arts Dojo, isn't just a sixth-degree karate champ and active member of the Isshin-Ryu World Karate Association. He's also a chiropractor, and that double life as a doctor and a sensei adds richness to his instruction. Like Mike, there's more to Defensive Arts Dojo than mastering kicks and punches. It's a discipline of the mind and the body, and a boosting of self-confidence that permeates their gregarious, yet challenging, lessons. Fighting classes include the defensive techniques of Brazilian jujitsu, kendo and iaido swordsmanship, and Ground Zero courses for thwarting domestic foes. Physical fitness seekers can let their inner warrior loose in Warrior Fitness programs that meld core exercises and cardio training with MMA techniques, and yoga classes enhance flexibility and strength while vanquishing stress through exercise and relaxing meditation.
At Pro Dojos, certified martial-arts experts lead students of all ages and skill levels through a variety of pugilistic disciplines. Each location is independently owned, so the martial-arts styles may vary, but many offer karate, tae kwon do, kick-boxing, aikido, and jujitsu classes. The instructors elucidate the noble combat arts to kiddos as young as 4 years old, helping them build strength and motor skills while instilling the values of self-confidence. Teen classes focus on honing discipline and treating yourself and others with respect, and adult classes reinforce cardiovascular conditioning, strength, balance, and coordination. The instructors also lead classes for the whole family, allowing them to bond as a unit, which could possibly lead to starring in a hit sitcom about a crime-fighting family who takes down comical villains in their idyllic suburban neighborhood.
Upon entering Me First Fitness, awarded the Diamond award for Best Boot Camp from News Advertiser from 2009 to 2014, guests notice a distinct absence of rows of people doing the same exercises over and over on the same machines again and again. Here, patrons battle their own body weight with TRX suspension trainers, swing kettlebells, lift weights, and shed pounds using interval training programs to whip into shape. The staff of certified and specialized trainers pushes patrons to achieve healthy lifestyles through personal-training sessions and 40 different classes each week, including high-intensity boot-camp classes. They boast that no two workouts are the same, preventing minds from getting bored and bodies from becoming accustomed to the movements, thus rendering workouts less effective. To supplement their body-sculpting workouts, the trainers motivate guests to change their diets, equipping them with healthful meal plans and recipes, and raiding secret storage lockers full of Twinkies.
At BOSS Fitness Bootcamps at Ryouko Martial Arts, instructors teach discipline, personal accountability, and teamwork. A staff of stuntmen and internationally competitive fighters share the power and grace at the heart of the Korean martial art, leading students through the discipline’s fierce, angular strikes and gently circular movements. Featuring sprung gymnastic floors, the 6,000-square-foot facility also offers Zumba and boot-camp workouts as well as an extreme-skills class that teaches parkour, break dancing, and fight choreography.
Authentic Tae Kwon Do offers a safe and encouraging environment for budding martial artists of all ages and sexes to learn from an expert staff of martial arts masters. Your Groupon is good for 10 tae kwon do or kickboxing classes, where, in a co-ed group setting, you'll learn basic martial arts principles and practices, including courtesy, integrity, self-control, and spirit, along with the mighty moves. Taking up martial arts can offer a spirited cardio workout while increasing your confidence and agility. You can find the class schedule here; call ahead to reserve your spot.
Leading classes in both self-defense and performance choreography, master Calvin Chung enlightens budding martial artists by teaching confidence, respect, and discipline infused with Chinese culture and tradition. Wing chun kung fu, a southern style of martial arts, emphasizes short, explosive movements, useful in close quarters and when establishing elbow boundaries in office cubicles. Hand-to-hand skirmish techniques are dished out in San shou and street survival, educating students on emergency self-preservation techniques should they be attacked or wander through an angry bee gang.