Kempo’s movement patterns may look beautiful—fluid, swooping kicks, graceful evasions, smooth takedowns—but underneath the beauty lies a tradition nearly 2,000 years old. Since 1968, the instructors at United Studios of Self Defense have armed students with these techniques, leading classes where participants of all ages and skill levels soak up fighting skill while galvanizing self-confidence.
But before they can share their tactics and Mortal Kombat cheat codes, the instructors themselves must be trained. Each instructor who cinches the black belt around their waist has graduated with honors from the Studio’s own rigorous training academy. The training doesn’t stop there; every week they meet with the founder himself, 10th-degree black belt Charles Mattera, who refines their strategies and instills them with advanced techniques.
At Fremont Laser MedSpa, Dr. James Kojian is as one of the first doctors in the Bay area to utilize this new laser treatment, and Fremont Laser Med Spa has treated more than 18,000 clients of every skin type, including more than 3,000 iLipo and Cavitation patients for fat reduction. He oversees a team of laser technicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians' assistants as they administer FDA-approved beautification services that keep skin looking youthful. Dr. Kojian draws on his experience in the fields of anti-aging and longevity as well as aesthetics, calibrating his arsenal of lasers to target everything from wrinkles and rosacea to unwanted hair and rebel spacecraft. Fat-liquifying lasers safely circumvent the skin to liquefy fat cells, aiming to let the body flush them away for a potential loss of inches.
At Muscle Under, boxers pound heavy bags and Cybex weights clink as Pilates classes strengthen and tone clients. Helmed by Australian head trainer Steve Thornberry, the 3,200 square foot facility boasts a fleet of name brand exercise equipment from Precor, Bodymaster, and Tectrix, as well as a dedicated Pilates area with multiple reformers. All trainers study and learn under Steve, and help craft unique fitness programs suited to the goals of each new client.
The Phoenix Effect facility's sophisticated interior design echoes the slinky toughness of Phoenix's group workout circuits, which combine rigorous cardio and weight work for results clients love to show off. The upbeat and supportive trainers?Beth, Frank, Seth, Vince, and Joel?kick off each workout by pairing exercisers off. Each pair then sticks together while moving through eight to ten boot-camp stations, where the likes of battle ropes, free weights, and stationary penny-farthings challenge participants two at a time.
At Body by Jenn/LA, trainer Jenn Glysson leads rigorous kickboxing sessions that bend fitness and fun. While women's-only small-group training sessions are her specialty, Jenn also offers private training for both men and women, as well as coaching for kangaroos with performance anxiety.
Capoeira, an African-Brazilian art form, combines dance, martial arts, music, and acrobatics. All of these elements come together in a circle known as a roda, where capoeira's participants perform improvised movements. Omulu Capoeira Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization, welcomes all types of students into its roda, regardless of age or fitness level. By teaching capoeira, instructors help their students lose weight and build strength, in addition to learning to play musical instruments and sing traditional songs in Portuguese.