Martial arts form the axis on which Krav Maga Detroit spins, but it's far from the only option here. With 5,000 square feet, three training floors, and a dozen experienced instructors, the school offers coaching in a variety of disciplines. Along with krav maga, students can take kickboxing and weapons defense. Alternatively, guided workouts, such as kettlebell training and yoga, enhance athletic function. A pro shop offers training apparel and gear, and in the locker room, trainees shower, change, and wax mustaches into intimidating shapes.
The owners of Smash Hit Kickboxing invite anyone interested in undertaking a physical, emotional, or spiritual transformation to explore kickboxing and meet with their cadre of experienced instructors. Each instructor boasts over 20 years of martial-arts immersion with backgrounds including a world-ranked kickboxing champion, a former member of the USA National Karate Team, and an award-winning hand model. Their program blends the fitness and self-defense aspects of kickboxing along with specific courses geared towards beginners or advanced students training for their black belts.
Far more than just a sport, tang soo do, the main form of martial arts practiced at Redford Karate, is rooted in practiced traditions of respect, discipline, and the art of movement. A Korean-based martial art, the form is suited to all ages and experience levels, and teachers emphasize the importance that students move at a pace that is comfortable to them. Classes are organized by skill and belt rank, beyond the basic all-ages course, and pupils as young as 3 can learn listening skills, motor skills, and the importance of teamwork. A handful of cardio-based classes are also available, focusing on the intense physical workouts of kickboxing, MMA-based exercises, and upbeat, dance-inspired Zumba.
Feet dance up and down the six electric strips that run across a 4,200-square-foot raised floor amid shouts of “En garde!” and blunted foils whipping through the air, meeting each other with the piercing ring of steel on steel or glancing off of padded vests. This scene takes place each weeknight at Salle d'Etroit Fencing Academy, where coaches Ben Schleis, Rebecca Keeling, and Jon Zelkowski teach the finer points of fencing, a sport originally developed by the French as an excuse to wear white after Bastille Day. The experts preside over classes for adults and youths, teaching them to wield foils, épées, and sabers.
In addition to organizing classes, the United States Fencing Association–sanctioned club hosts tournaments and matches pupils with new and used equipment at the pro shop. Should their weapons have issues after being used to clean whales' teeth, students can drop by the armory, where technicians take care of rewiring blades and other fixes.
Master Nick Colling views every student who walks into his studio as a potential black belt. If anyone knows what it takes to get there, it’s him—he holds black belts in multiple styles and boasts a martial-arts teaching career that spans more than 25 years. Colling and his team of knowledgeable instructors tutor students in tae kwon do, krav maga, and aiki-jitsu. Though they’re experts in each style, to them, the martial arts aren’t just about physical disciplines—the instructors believe their students emerge from the programs as better people in all areas of life.