With a lineage that traces back more than 30 years to its founders' respective schools, Tiger Rock Martial Arts has grown to more than 200 locations nationwide. Tiger Rock's primary focus is tae kwon do, through which certified trainers teach youngsters the skills to defend themselves, as well as confidence and discipline. Adults can learn tae kwon do as well or encounter martial-arts moves in a calorie-torching aerobic workout. Tiger Rock also partners with sports teams to bolster their training or with corporations to get their employees up, moving, and healthy.
At Dynamic Krav Maga & Fitness, self-defense comes first. That’s why the staff teaches the same martial-art discipline employed by real-life self-defenders from the Israeli Defense Forces to the Navy SEALs and US Special Forces. Krav maga combines elements from a variety of martial-arts disciplines, including boxing and self-defense techniques. These have been forged into a system capable of dealing with any dangerous situation, from defending against a single or multiple opponents to disarming and disabling a weapon-wielding assailant. You won’t find official uniforms or katas at the studio, just experienced, patient instructors and committed students.
A World Taekwondo Federation black belt, Master Justin Scarsella has been molding young martial artists since the age of 14. At his eponymous tae kwon do studio, students young and old delve into the martial arts in a structured, supportive, and positive environment. Under his tutelage, students aged 4 and older progress through classes that strengthen and tone the body while fostering discipline, leadership skills, and character development through cooperation, self-control, respect, and confidence.
Jason Carley, who holds a brown belt in American jujitsu, both owns Lights Out MMA and works as the head trainer. He teaches mixed martial arts to all ages and experience levels. He runs classes six days a week in a well-padded room and guides students through jujitsu, muay thai, karate, and sparring moves to build muscles and teach discipline.
Between fists whooshing through the air and feet stomping on the ground, SCS Martial Arts and Fitness can be a pretty noisy place. Under the tutelage of sensei like Sam Boyer, students master both the traditional forms of karate and modern methods of mixing martial arts. They learn strikes and kicks, grappling techniques borrowed from jiu-jitsu, and fitness routines based on fighters' workouts. Teachers maintain a sense of fun throughout the workouts, especially in kids' classes, which focus as much on character-building and confidence-boosting as they zero in on self defense techniques.
Trained instructors get little hearts pumping with gymnastics, karate, and dance classes geared toward children. Classes for parents and their children as young as 4 months work on developing gross motor skills, socialization, and problem-solving abilities. The gym also hosts a Parents’ Survival Night, which allows parents to kick back with a meal or movie while staff tends to their kids with games and music-filled activities such as freeze dance or headbanging competitions.