NorthShore MMA’s 3,000 square feet ensures plenty of matted space for kids and adults alike to punch, kick, and crabwalk their way through classes. Rows of punching bags serve as the opponent during boxing sessions, while giant tires and ropes build muscles during boot-camp workouts. The gym also offers shower facilities for students to freshen up after a vigorous workout.
Grand Master Brandon Richards, PhD is an 8th-degree Black Belt awarded the 2013 Grandmaster of the Year by the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame. At Seattle Tae Kwon Do, he joins a team of veteran instructors with world championship and Olympic team trial medals under their multi-degree black belts. So it’s no wonder that the school was voted Best Martial Arts by King5 Best of Western Washington in 2013. Whether in advanced adult classes or Tiger Cubs sessions for toddlers, the instructors strive to instill a black-belt mindset in every lesson they teach, stressing perseverance, focus, and discipline. Beyond tae kwon do, classes in Thai kickboxing whip bodies into shape with practical self-defense techniques, from blocking punches to bear-hugging schoolyard bullies.
If the ground happens to shake at the intersection of Central Avenue and Lake Street, don't assume it's an earthquake. It may just be the trio of 83-lb. subwoofers thumping inside the Bassline Fitness studio. There, the custom sound system—accompanied by two 180'' video screens—pumps beats as groups pump weights in a variety of fitness classes led by energetic instructors. During Bassline's signature Mashup class, the brainchild of owner David Fox, members exercise their freedom to design their own workout, free to spend the entire hour on the spinning bike or mix it up by hitting the rowing machine or lifting a treadmill over their head. Meanwhile, in an adjoining space, smaller-sized groups sweat their way through a balanced blend of cardio and weight training known as Lean425.
Kickboxing classes deliver a knee to the face of fat, burning up to 860 calories an hour with the high-energy striking moves of martial arts and boxing. All four limbs get in on the bag-bludgeoning action at iLoveKickboxing as each class (a $15 value per class) provides a full-body workout that tones arm, leg, and tentacle muscles while tightening the body’s core and improving balance. Hitting the heavy bags won't skin your knuckles once you don the included boxing gloves, which also double as excellent spring-loaded props for re-creating Three Stooges gags. Classes take place Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.; and Saturdays at 9 a.m.
The 8th-degree black belt that Grandmaster Pierce uses to tie his dobok together is anything but a fashion accessory—it is a powerful symbol that represents more than 40 years of martial arts training. At Pierce's taekwondo studio, he shares this experience and expertise with kids, teens, adults, and dogs who can stand on their hind legs for 60-minutes straight.