Instructors 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 a simulated Navy SEAL mission.
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.
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.
The scene at the School of Shaolin Kung Fu is a bit of an anachronism, as students pace the well-lit studio and practice an ancient Chinese discipline by aiming high kicks and throwing controlled punches. Their head instructor, seventh-degree black sash sifu Michael Voss, draws from more than 30 years of martial-arts experience to lead a team of fourth- and third-degree black sash instructors and a roster of assistant instructors. In classes of up to 60 minutes, they train students of all ages in traditional styles such as northern shaolin, which teaches students to fight with their extremities while emphasizing agility, speed, and flexibility. They also demonstrate tai chi and seven-star praying mantis, both of which focus on simultaneous defense and attack. Over the course of each class, instructors help students develop their minds and bodies as they hone confidence, physical fitness, and ability to bend spoons using only their big toes.
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.