With one foot planted in traditional martial-arts pedagogy and the other roundhouse-kicking modern sports science, Tiger Rock Taekwondo Academy schools limbs with fast-paced, total-body fitness classes. The health-and-fitness program consists of YogaFit and Kisado, which blends martial arts, yoga, and nutritional counseling to build up the whole body and tone each strand of hair on the head. Martial arts classes for adults and kids cover counter aggressive forms such as taekwondo and hanmudo, a style based on grappling and takedowns.
Between fists whooshing through the air and feet stomping on the ground, SCS Martial Arts and Fitness can be a pretty noisy place. Under the tutelage of sensei like Sam Boyer, students master both the traditional forms of karate and modern methods of mixing martial arts. They learn strikes and kicks, grappling techniques borrowed from jiu-jitsu, and fitness routines based on fighters' workouts. Teachers maintain a sense of fun throughout the workouts, especially in kids' classes, which focus as much on character-building and confidence-boosting as they zero in on self defense techniques.
Mattress Direct culls a variety of mattresses in textures ranging from firm to plush from brands such as Tempur-Pedic and Serta. Serta's iComfort, for example, evenly distributes support across the body with microsupport gel capsules nestled in its memory foam; a specialized material prevents overheating and the resulting unpleasant lava-chase nightmares. Mattress Direct's stock of bed frames, bed linens, and pillows allow patrons to assemble complete bedroom sets in one trip, and an express delivery service prevents the hassle of renting a moving truck or outfitting each leg of a new bed with a rollerblade.
Sharpening the skills and spirits of students since 2001, the instructors at Red Dragon expound the tools, techniques, and philosophies of traditional martial arts, self-defense, and mixed martial arts, conditioning budding champions' bodies while strengthening their self-respect. Sophic senseis lead keen karatekas through challenging yet pleasure-cultivating classes that utilize group activity and camaraderie to catapult participants over new plateaus of power. Private lessons help students make the most of group sessions by providing them with intensive personalized training and tips.
It's difficult to tell whether Master Thomas Gordon or Master Gregory Bledsoe would win in a fight. That's because the two martial-arts instructors have worked on the same team for more than a decade. In that time, they've developed a teaching style that has caught the attention of the local and national press.
All the attention is warranted, because Masters Gordon and Bledsoe aren't just effective instructors—they're avid students of their craft. Gordon, for example, has attended countless tae kwon do seminars and camps, and he can articulately speak about the discipline's history as well as flawlessly demonstrate its self-defense techniques. Both instructors are also acutely aware of the real-life applications of tae kwon do and hapkido. Plenty of police officers have attended their classes looking to get a leg up on the next criminal, and kids and teens use their newly acquired moves to defend against bullies or rip up impossible math tests.
James Rothery served as a military policeman for 10 years, serving two tours of duty in Iraq and training other military personnel in hand-to-hand combat. It was telling, then, that after investigating many styles of martial arts, he chose to stick with wu zu quan kung fu. The name of his chosen art translates as "Five Ancestor Fist," describing its history as a combination of styles. James breaks those styles into digestible chunks for his students, arming them slowly with more advanced skills or simply focusing on fitness and self-defense for those interested in purely practical applications.