More than a form of self-defense, judo ranks among the most popular sports on the globe. Texans have enjoyed watching and even participating in bouts since 1956, thanks to Forth Worth Judo Club. The school’s top-notch teaching staff brings together years of experience and training for the top tiers of competition. Its ranks include 2004 Athens games competitor Nikki Kubes, her sister Brigette Kubes, and 1988 Seoul South Korea OIympic Games alternate Tommy Dyer. The coaches pass the torch, so to speak, of their gold-medal ambitions on to students, including occasional training from Leo White Jr., two-time United States summer-games competitor and current member of the USA Judo team’s coaching staff.
Just listing Sensei Steven Jackson's accolades might render a rival martial artist powerless. He's a third-degree Tae Kwon Do black belt, a third-stripe Brazilian jujitsu blue belt, a kickboxer, a tournament competitor, and a student of karate master Bill Simpson. At Lone Star Black Belt Academy, he and his seasoned instructors lead martial-arts classes for toddlers, kids, and adults, stressing self-confidence and self-defense. Martial arts practiced at the academy include Tae Kwon Do, Brazilian jujitsu, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts fighting.
At Absolute Boxing & Personal Training for Women, personal trainers with vast martial-arts experience, including UFC manager Francois Nguyen, help men, women, and children of all skill levels get into fine fighting form. The team combines the fundamentals of boxing and kickboxing into heart-thumping sessions capable of incinerating calories, toning muscles, and arming students with the self-defense techniques necessary to ward off bullies. Personal trainers expand upon fight-based conditioning with yoga instruction, massage therapy, and a promise to hold clients accountable for the goals they set, such as running 10 miles or high-fiving 10 strangers each day.
Signature service: Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, FIT Club for families
Staff Size: 11–25 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: Busho Kai
Pro Tip: Highly qualified professional black belt instructors create a fun and safe learning environment.
It doesn't take much creativity to enter an altercation with fists swinging, or to blow off steam after a long day by screaming at the nearest mailbox. But these aren't the most effective ways to resolve conflict. Enter aikido. Known as the Japanese martial art of the peaceful warrior, aikido teaches creative solutions for resolving conflict and avoiding stress. These solutions stem from aikido's graceful movements, which rely on the body's internal energies rather than its physical strength. At Aikido of Denton's expansive dojo, instructor John Thompson teaches students of all ages to use aikido to increase their coordination, flexibility, awareness, and sense of inner peace.
At age 11, Tony Genova faced an inescapable problem: bullies were making his life miserable. Looking for help, he found his way to martial-arts classes—and he was a natural. Only three years later, he was a black belt in karate. Now a fourth-degree black belt, he seeks to pass on the self-discipline and respect he learned through his classes at Texas Karate Center. He and his team of instructors teach kids and adults of all ages and abilities, including classes designed for kids with special needs.