Alexander Crispim, the muscular, prolific leader of Crispim BJJ Barra Brothers, presides over his blue-floored kingdom, watching as patrons battle one another with traditional brazilian jujitsu grappling techniques. Rows of heavy, black punching bags dangle between padded walls, all centered around the gym's main draw—the MMA cage, which is free of man-eating tigers. In addition to jujitsu, the gym offers a variety of combat-based programs including muay thai, boxing, and wrestling. Those looking for a high-intensity workout without the sparring can opt for MMA fitness classes, which turn traditional boxing and muay thai moves into aerobic routines to burn fat and build strength.
Dave Camarrillo grew up on mats, training and competing with his brother at their father’s judo club. After a knee injury limited his standup fighting ability, Dan discovered the ground game of Gracie jiu-jitsu and welded it with his father’s tutelage to create the Guerilla jiu-jitsu system. Guerilla jiu-jitsu fuses the fluid movements of Brazilian forms with Olympic judo and wrestling into a nonstriking, grappling art for all ages and skill levels. Students learn to leverage their bodies against opponents of varying size as they gain skills that can be used in a competitive, self-defense, or recreational setting. In addition to jiu-jitsu classes, the multidisciplinary center offers sessions in muay thai kickboxing, as well as women’s self-defense sessions and anti-bullying classes that emphasize nonstriking and conflict-resolution skills.
Inside True Fight Club, many students learn to double their number of striking limbs: muay thai kickboxing, colloquially known as "the art of eight limbs," trains fighters to move beyond arms and legs to utilize their hands, elbows, shins, and knees to battle opponents. The gym prioritizes safety above all else during its 60-minute classes, and so equips sparring pairs with protective pads. Accomplished instructors are also on hand to teach classes in Brazilian jiu jitsu and folk-style wrestling, which both focus on grappling and bringing a foe down to the mat, though their methods vary in origin and execution.
Alternatively, boxing classes cover footwork and maneuvers for offensive and defensive strategies. In addition to practical work, each session includes a workout component with bodyweight exercises that is designed to increase overall strength and prepare contenders for sudden-death sit-up contests in the ring. Regardless of their specialty, the instructors cater their lessons to suit all experience levels and ages. Their after-school programs guide children as young as 5 through self-defense routines, as well as building confidence, fitness, and a sense of discipline. Likewise, adult programs tone physiques and impart poise, whether pupils are seasoned competitors or first-timers.
Inside KOA Fitness's extensive martial arts gym, students toughen up minds and bodies alike through the focus-building drills of boxing, muay thai, Brazilian jiujitsu. There, full-size, 24-foot boxing rings and octagonal cages stand permanently ready for training alongside 7-foot heavy bags, which are designed to weather the repeated impacts of sharp knees, elbows, and tongue-lashings from the coaches for always losing fights. Varied mat spaces are designed to host specific benefits to both striking and grappling arts, empowering students to stitch together a complete MMA education as they train. The trainers offer coed adult classes and kid-focused programs, which help charges develop self-discipline, scholastic achievement, and self-confidence. They even use their talents in noncombat disciplines, hosting strength and conditioning sessions that keep bodies ready for athletic activity of all sorts.
The certified instructors from American Swim Academy recognize that, unlike many other mammals, humans aren't born with the ability to swim safely. Their passion for teaching students how to glide through the water without worry propels each class at the academy and inspires students of all ages to silence the mocking comments from their neighbor's dolphin. Each instructor must have obtained both CPR and academy swim training before leading lessons, which are structured to meet students' abilities.
Furthering the tenants of safety and control, all academy classes are hosted inside an indoor facility with pools designed specifically for instruction. Waters are heated to 92 degrees and feature wide steps, teaching stations, and shallow areas for small children. On-deck managers oversee each class to heighten student safety and shout out Olympic swimming records every five minutes for inspiration.
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.