"I will use my new ability with the respect of a deadly weapon for I am a weapon." So goes the oath sworn by students at Korea-America Tae Kwon Do Association, where instructors guide them through their chosen martial-arts discipline. In addition to Olympic-style tae kwon do, hapkido, and kumdo classes for all ages and ability levels, the center offers a Pure Fitness program especially for women.
Though the martial arts programs at Universal Karate Studios are based on the belt system, each student is encouraged to progress at their own pace. The philosophy here is not competitive, instead it is focused on personal growth. At the helm of the Studios is Master R.L. Brown, whose black belt denotes 35 years of experience with Korean and Japanese martial arts. A former karate champion and an NCO in the US Army Reserve, he teaches students as young as 5 years old lessons of discipline and respect on the mat. He and his fellow instructors also host after-school sessions to help kids release energy that builds up after sitting still at a desk for eight hours or standing still on the playground during an eight-hour game of freeze-tag.
Divine Body emphasizes an absolutely judgment-free zone as it invites exercisers to participate in fitness classes no matter their age or ability. A staff of encouraging instructors teaches classes that focus on aspects of yoga, tai chi, Pilates, cardio, and three levels of Zumba that cater to older adults or those seeking targeted body sculpting. Divine Body’s facilities also offer childcare and showers.
The Club K.O. is a 5,000-square-foot facility equipped with commercial-grade training tools and top-quality instructors, some of whom were Marines. The 18 weekly classes on the schedule include sessions for beginning and advanced boxers, as well as evening or lunchtime jabbers. While potentially burning more than 700 calories an hour, Boxing K.O. and Kick K.O. land hard hooks and kicks on real punching bags without hurting real feelings. In Boxing Technique, prepare to float like a bee and sting like a butterfly during a real boxing match. Or, enlist a mom to be your momager, so she can give an encouraging glove-bump before the tag-team match-up of cardio and weight training in Combo K.O. Non-contact classes give bodies boxing benefits without the danger of front-end damage, and training toys, such as agility ladders and jump ropes, keep exercise from becoming a boring, ineffective routine, like regular flossing.