The instructors at U.S. Shuai Chiao Kung Fu Academy are rightfully proud of their educational lineage—most can trace their line of training back to the founders of the fighting styles they teach. Students as young as 4 years old can join in this illustrious tradition, learning from masters of northern shaolin, yang-style tai chi, seven star praying mantis, and pao ting shuai chiao. Whether they focus on the kicks and punches of kung fu or the grappling and wrestling of shuai chiao, students practice an elite sport that demands nothing but the best through tireless training and, unlike baseball, specifically forbids horses from playing in the rulebook.
A Greek-themed fitness center might conjure the images of ancient Olympic events, but at Mediterranean Fitness, chariot races and javelin poles are nowhere in sight. Instead, crisp white architecture and ocean-blue accents decorate the boutique gym where exercisers build strength and self-confidence among free weights, modern cardio machines, and daily fitness classes including hot yoga and cycling. Complimentary childcare keeps kids busy while parents work up a sweat training for arm-wrestling matches with Zeus.
Urban Tactical Defense Center’s diverse team of trainers includes lifelong martial artists, former military personnel, and current police officers. Within the 8,000-square-foot facility—with two sparring rooms and a gym—these trainers pass on the self-defense and fitness techniques they acquired during their demanding careers to students of all ages, covering everything from defense tactics to proper firearms training. They rely on myriad approaches to boost health and self-confidence levels, imparting combat techniques during martial-arts and unarmed-combat classes; fending off calories in Combat Fitness Bootcamp courses; and bulking up entire bodies in circuit-training sessions. They even sprinkle meditation techniques from Chinese qi gong in some of their programs.
Alternatively, the staff leads youngsters through its own original MANTIS curriculum (Manage Any Nasty Trouble in School), acquainting them with tactics for dealing with bullies, teaching them self-defense moves, and hopefully giving them the strength to lift 12 action figures at once.
CrossFit coach Tim Padget doesn't want to waste your time at the gym. He believes that exercising should have a perceptible effect on a person's real life, enhancing their ability to push, pull, jump, and run. That's why he hosts CrossFit classes that?focus on functional, meaningful fitness. These classes combine weightlifting with cardio drills and even gymnastics to achieve an all-over workout that sculpts and tones the entire body. Each routine is scalable to any fitness level, so the gym welcomes beginners as well as those who can already bite a barbell in half. In fact, the coaches offer a free introductory session for first-timers.
When students enter White Tiger Martial Art Fitness, they enter a world of meditative calm and constant physical improvement. Instructors specialize in three fitness classes: Pilates, Zumba, and Tae Kwon Do. Tae Kwon Do combines combat and self-defense techniques, teaching strong kicks, blocks, and open-hand strikes, which students practice in groups on red and blue mats. During Pilates classes, an instructor leads poses that tone core muscles as well as obscure muscles added in expansion packs, and Zumba classes crank up the volume with Latin beats.
Paul Scianna surveys his 5,000-square-foot boxing Xanadu, flashing his Hollywood smile at his team of expert trainers and muscle-building students. The professional boxer, who jabbed his way to reality-TV fame on The Next Great Champ with Oscar De La Hoya, puts clients through their paces, whether they’re sparring with him in the gym’s prominently displayed boxing ring, shedding pounds in group sessions, or getting nutrition advice. He schedules more than 30 weekly classes that teach students the fundamentals of boxing and slim profiles with high-cardio exercises. For aspiring pugilists, Paul starts his troupe of boxers young with empowering youth programs that teach kids the discipline and self-defense necessary to evade bullies and only punch their way to the top of the competitive chess circuit.