The only way to get a body like a professional fighter is to train like a professional fighter. That's why students flock to The Pit Vegas's 12,000-square-foot facility—the diverse classes help people of all fitness levels build muscle and boost their health with combat-style techniques, but without the hazards of professional combat. The gym houses everything needed to get fit under one roof, from kettlebells and medicine balls to hanging bags. Weather permitting, some classes move outdoors to the large parking lot, where sledgehammers and tractor tires await. Mixed martial arts classes are also available for kids ages 4–14.
Under the direction of Master Leland Brandon, Brandon's ATA helps students of all ages hone their martial-arts skills. Master Brandon has practiced Tae Kwon Do for decades, so long that he's watched as his students opened schools of their own. Classes at Brandon's ATA include Tae Kwon Do, Krav Maga, and fitness kickboxing.
In more than 25 years of devotion to martial arts, Nick D. Blomgren has trained top kickboxers and MMA contenders. At One Kick's Gym, he and his staff bring their experience to children and adults of all experience levels, specializing in classes for kids aged 8–12. Lessons cover techniques and conditioning as well as life skills such as self-confidence and discipline.
Classes at Dahn Yoga integrate the ancient Korean practice of Sun Do along with the latest findings in neuroscience and behavioral studies to help students boost their overall health and well-being. In each yoga class, a passionate and experienced guru first limbers up yogis with 10–15 minutes of warm-up exercises. Pupils are then chaperoned through 30–45 minutes of stretches, strengthening postures, and meditation exercises, all while clearing cluttered minds and learning to master breath control like a black-belt sousaphonist. After 10 minutes of cooldown exercises, students and teachers mingle to quaff an aromatic cup of tea. Instructors regularly assess students’ strengths and weaknesses, recommending home exercises to complement in-class practices. Dahn Yoga also offers tai chi, meditation, vibration, intestinal exercise, and other special classes based on location.
Excel Defense Studios prepares students of all self-defensive stripes to kick, punch, or headlock their way to safety and better fitness in its state-of-the-art MMA training facility. Muay thai kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and E.D.S. CrossFit highlight a catalog of combat classes that fortify members with the techniques necessary to triumph over hostile fat cells and time-warped samurai. Professional course instructors—many with military or law-enforcement backgrounds—take advantage of a 5,500-square-foot studio's full gym, boxing center, and mat area to train fighters of all abilities and fitness levels. Would-be warriors can strengthen their skills or submit to hands-on headlock training in more than 50 intense MMA classes each week. An unlimited membership also grants customers access to an array of cardio machines and weight-training equipment, including Life Fitness and Hammer strength machines.
Though members should constantly check the forecast for tornado kicks and knuckle-punch lightning storms, Excel Defense Studios fosters a safe and non-intimidating environment for all age groups and skill levels. Parents and their children are encouraged to sign up together, as families often use the 300-square-foot MMA training cage to settle tree-trimming disputes with the neighbors.
David Inman, the black-belted head instructor of Champion Martial Arts, has a vision. When he's not focused on taking down attackers, Inman imagines a world in which martial arts is accessible to students of all ages and athletic abilities. He's doing his part to make that world a reality, offering classes in disciplines such as tae kwon do and krav maga, the latter a self-defensive art used by the Israeli Defense Forces. Other classes, such as fitness kickboxing, use martial arts as a starting point for a fun and effective workout. Inman and his team also offer classes for kids, giving them the courage necessary to stand up to bullies and rip their homework in half right in front of the teacher.