For more than 30 years, the senseis behind Martial Arts America have filled the minds and fists of students as young as 4 years old through adulthood with the focus, discipline, and confidence that comes from studying self-defense. The instructors lead five martial-arts forms—tae kwon do, eskrima, jujitsu, krav maga, and CDT training, which stands for compliance, direction, and takedown—helping patrons strengthen their bodies and minds. This multidimensional program trains students in defensive tactics such as strikes, grappling, throws, rolls, and using fighting sticks to protect innocent civilians from rogue baseball-pitching machines.
Set amid a stretch of hilly terrain, Canyon Lakes Golf Course's 18-hole course offers a player-friendly layout with scenic views of Mount Diablo and the San Ramon Valley. Throughout the course, towering pine trees and treacherous sand traps constrict the fairways, eager to ensnare errant golf balls or 7-iron medal detectors looking for buried treasure. When not taking on the challenges of the undulating course, golfers can head to Canyon Lakes' adobe-style clubhouse, which serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day and breakfast from 6:45 a.m. to noon on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Learning combat skills is not the main benefit of martial-arts lessons, as the instructors at TriValley ATA Martial Arts know well during the journey from white belt to black belt. Their students develop valuable personal skills—discipline, self-confidence, and focus. Both kids and adults learn proper stance and how to block and strike as they work toward acquiring the next belt. Mastering these physical skills requires developing mental skills, which helps bring balance to the mind, body, and spirit in a more fun way than trying to meditate while lying on a seesaw.
Every teacher has a teaching philosophy. At Veneracion Martial Arts, the philosophy is patience, compassion, and positive reinforcement. Instructor Christopher Veneracion is more interested in building his students' confidence, focus, and mental fortitude than engendering rigid obedience through discipline. His end goal is to help young people overcome many of their most common challenges, such as bullies, with respect and self-control instead of violence.
Swinging around a chrome pole isn't as easy as grabbing hold and traipsing 360 degrees—there's an mélange of skills one must learn before successfully making a full revolution with seductive grace and panache. Dancers must be able to suspend themselves upside down, launch into dizzying spins, and stand-in for American flags during their paid time off after the 4th of July. The instructors at Spin Sity draw from this artistic and sultry form of choreography to help women empower themselves, tone up, and cultivate overall wellness. Within the pink studio—replete with mirrors, hardwood floors, and metallic poles—students take on Flirty Fitness and pole-dancing classes. Also offered is an unstructured open-gym practice where students can hone their newfound skills or learn new ones.
Spin Sity also puts on birthday parties and girls' nights out where women can join with friends to learn sultry dance skills, as well as lead open-gym practice. For students without a pair of their own sparkly stilettos or leopard-print platform heels, Spin Sity sells a lineup of fashionable and flirty shoes perfect for performing pole routines or putting away dishes on the top shelf.
UFC Gym - Walnut Creek’s fight-centric gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, UFC Gym- Walnut Creek sculpts six-packs with boxing and kickboxing classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.