Helmed by founder Lawrence Yatch—a retired Navy SEAL who once led his platoon in securing one of the world's largest oil platforms—the instructors of Sealed Mindset Firearms Studio oversee a facility where every room upholds a training philosophy emphasizing knowledge, practice, and experience. The shooting range, for example, trains marksmen by simulating the conditions in which a defensive encounter is most likely to occur. Depending on shooters' ability levels, the range offers scenarios from simulated night to defending against multiple targets in up to a 270-degree shooting view. Other training rooms include a live-simulation room that re-creates encounters such as carjackings, a self-defense and fitness room, and a laser and dry-fire room.
Instructors use these training rooms to lead classes that range from firearms and fitness training for everyday citizens to specialized training for law enforcement and the military. Additionally, they also organize recreational immersion experiences such as Operation Geronimo, a simulated Navy SEAL mission complete with real combat gear, simulated fire, live role players, and a celebratory steak dinner with the president. Sealed Mindset also houses a children's playroom and a members' lounge.
Gordon Franks and Pat Worley are more than black belts. They’re ninth-degree black belts who share their chosen martial art with youngsters and adults alike through USA Karate, the school they cofounded. The school - which opened in 1973 and has been operating for more than 40 years - was featured on the local CBS station and teaches self-defense techniques that help students graduate to higher-level belts and translate into increased agility, coordination, and self-confidence.
Grandmaster Byung Yul Lee founded World TaeKwonDo Academy in 1969 after emigrating to the U.S. from South Korea. Today, his legacy continues to shine at the academy, now run by his son. At their 12 locations, instructors teach traditional and sport taekwondo, unlocking the secrets of the discipline’s signature kicks and strikes. Teen and adult classes incorporate self-defense, tension exercises, and cardiovascular workouts, and little dragons lessons teach focus and coordination to students aged three to five. After-school taekwondo combines daycare with martial arts; after grabbing a ride to the academy, students pair homework sessions with confidence-building taekwondo lessons. In addition to the academy’s namesake martial art, students of all ages can also expand their combat knowledge with jiujitsu, cardio kickboxing, mixed martial arts, or kumdo sword training, or enroll in a yoga class to balance body and mind.
The instructors at Gracie Barra Twin Cities aren't content to watch while students practice chokes and take-downs on each other; they regularly step on the mat with them. At Gracie Barra they believe that hands-on instruction, which many martial-arts schools lack, is a crucial step in developing a student's confidence and skill level. During these teacher-student spar sessions, the instructors compete at each student's ability, applying just enough resistance to challenge them without overdoing it or using cheat codes.
Though Allan Charney had been a consummate athlete all his life, he never found a sport that could match the workout intensity and adrenaline rush of boxing. "It has always been a dream to blend boxing and kickboxing with fitness," Allan explained to reporters from Sun Sailor. Allan realized his longtime dream when he founded GYMJAB, a private fitness studio where instructors lead high-intensity cross-training workouts designed to help burn high caloric amounts and build muscle strength. These workouts are infused with rounds of boxing and muay thai kickboxing. His diverse staff of trainers includes former professional boxers, tae kwon do black belts, amateur MMA fighters, and certified fitness instructors.
The 6,500-square-foot studio abounds with cardio machines, functional conditioning equipment, heavy punching bags and several large-screen televisions. These televisions can broadcast each guest's heart rate, calories, effort percentage, and total number of 13-point Scrabble words spoken aloud during workouts. These figures are tracked through the gym's innovative heart-rate system, which records activity using specialized heart-rate monitors worn by participants. After workouts, students can view their workout summaries and track progress online and receive performance summaries by email, enabling them to adjust workout strategies and fitness goals accordingly.
When most people think of self-defense, they usually don’t associate it with bicycles. But spurred on by attacks on cyclists around the Twin Cities, Gail Boxrud and Dante Pastrano developed a way to fight back. At Krav Maga Minneapolis, the pair of internationally-trained experts offer unique bicycle-based seminars as part of their extensive curriculum in the self-defense arts. Instructors teach the Israeli self-defense system’s unique blend of response-based techniques, all of which can be adapted to combat a single attacker or armed assailants whether you’re walking, running, or bicycling down the street. Students can supplement their self-defense training with seminars in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as well as kettlebell workouts to build arms, legs, and cores powerful enough to fight off assailants.