Kyle Brandt and his team of fellow trainers?who include his wife Sarah?are, of course, fit. But they don't believe in exercising for exercise's sake. Instead, at Brandt Fitness & Self Defense, they offer what they call "functional fitness for life." This belief, which also serves as the company's motto, manifests in two ways. First, it means that by focusing on martial arts, Kyle and his team can coach students of all skill levels?first-time exercisers, four-year-old martial arts novices, professional athletes?to defend themselves from danger. The second function they ascribe to fitness? Community. They believe working out should be fun and social. Fridays' happy hour workouts encourage as much gum-flapping as they do deadifting. And like the martial arts classes, Brandt's CrossFit sessions welcome a diverse array of attendees. The gym even hosts holiday parties, which are very popular, although their papier mache pi?ata full of kettlebells never quite got off the ground.
At Lone Star Gymnastics, each summer day camp boasts a different energetic theme and activity plan. With camp titles such as Splish Splash, Mad Scientist, and Crazy Cooking, the gym aims to expand the campers' interests while maintaining a balance of physical and cranial activities. Enrollment is generally capped around 30 campers, but if more enroll, Lone Star will add instructors to maintain a perfect kid-to-adult weight ratio.
More than a form of self-defense, judo ranks among the most popular sports on the globe. Texans have enjoyed watching and even participating in bouts since 1956, thanks to Forth Worth Judo Club. The school’s top-notch teaching staff brings together years of experience and training for the top tiers of competition. Its ranks include 2004 Athens games competitor Nikki Kubes, her sister Brigette Kubes, and 1988 Seoul South Korea OIympic Games alternate Tommy Dyer. The coaches pass the torch, so to speak, of their gold-medal ambitions on to students, including occasional training from Leo White Jr., two-time United States summer-games competitor and current member of the USA Judo team’s coaching staff.
Just listing Sensei Steven Jackson's accolades might render a rival martial artist powerless. He's a third-degree Tae Kwon Do black belt, a third-stripe Brazilian jujitsu blue belt, a kickboxer, a tournament competitor, and a student of karate master Bill Simpson. At Lone Star Black Belt Academy, he and his seasoned instructors lead martial-arts classes for toddlers, kids, and adults, stressing self-confidence and self-defense. Martial arts practiced at the academy include Tae Kwon Do, Brazilian jujitsu, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts fighting.
At Absolute Boxing & Personal Training for Women, personal trainers with vast martial-arts experience, including UFC manager Francois Nguyen, help men, women, and children of all skill levels get into fine fighting form. The team combines the fundamentals of boxing and kickboxing into heart-thumping sessions capable of incinerating calories, toning muscles, and arming students with the self-defense techniques necessary to ward off bullies. Personal trainers expand upon fight-based conditioning with yoga instruction, massage therapy, and a promise to hold clients accountable for the goals they set, such as running 10 miles or high-fiving 10 strangers each day.
Signature service: Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, FIT Club for families
Staff Size: 11–25 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: Busho Kai
Pro Tip: Highly qualified professional black belt instructors create a fun and safe learning environment.