The martial-arts masters at AKKA Karate USA specialize in kenpo karate, a unique form that builds muscle tone and reflexes in order to use the body’s natural weapons—hands and feet—for self-defense. In addition to kenpo, they also lead classes focused on MMA, tai chi, and weapons training. Often, AKKA holds special events such as tournaments and sparring seminars. In addition to learning self-defense techniques, students also build valuable life skills such as an appreciation for fitness, discipline, and self-confidence.
Academy of Fighting Arts instructor and 5th-degree black-belt Clinton Murphy can shatter several objects with his bare hands, from coconuts to concrete blocks. It's a skill known as "breaking," and Murphy claims that it's just as mental as it is physical. This and other martial-arts skills have led to appearances on ESPN2, The Late Show with David Letterman, and the Discovery Channel. At Academy of Fighting Arts, he teaches his students how to hone their own mental focus and martial-arts techniques, emphasizing good form and discipline over brute strength—just as he does when he's preparing to break 14 slabs of concrete in a stack.
When teaching a class, Murphy's martial arts style of choice is American-Filipino Kun Tao. This mix of pressure-point strikes, grappling, and joint-lock throws is ideal for close-quarters fighting. Murphy covers these maneuvers as well as escrima, or stick-fighting, in his adult sessions, whereas kids' classes focus more on teamwork and basic drills. He also hosts four-week self-defense seminars for women, which demonstrate how to effectively escape and subdue an assailant.
Chung Do Kwan is one of the oldest styles of Kwan and was a precursor to Taekwondo. The style trains students to achieve their potential through focused concentration and disciplined instruction. It rolls all aspects of training in the martial arts into one powerful package. Every lesson will leave you with a complete workout of the physical, mental, and spiritual corners of your bodily triangle.
Under the direction of grand master Yang, a multi-martial-art black belt, the students at Yang Masters United Taekwondo Center gain physical and mental empowerment in challenging tae kwon do classes. Classes focus on powerful punching and kicking movements to improve coordination and flexibility. The tae kwon do self-defense style employs a systemized training curriculum that distinguishes advancement through symbolic progression such as belts and increasingly solemn head nods.
Students who commit to the principles of tae kwon do notice mental and personal benefits in addition to the physical ones. Elevated self-discipline and concentration equips pupils with unmatched staring-contest capabilities, and improved confidence galvanizes leadership inside and outside the board- or classroom. Each session of tae kwon do encourages groups of students to train as a whole rather than as separate individuals as instructors stress unity during drills and heated games of Red Rover.
After a stint on the Junior Olympics sprinting team and dip into the limelight on the UK television series Gladiator, Jonquil Baugh refocused her passion for physical prowess into helping other people achieve their desired level of fitness. She puts her extensive experience to use by providing individuals and small groups with personal training suitable for all fitness levels.
During 30- and 60-minute group classes, trainers lead workouts that incorporate functional, strength, and cardiovascular exercises. Students cycle through a range of routines, interspersing interval-style workouts that involve brief periods of intense exertion with longer periods of sustained, less-strenuous activity. See the class schedule.
At Kempo Fitness, Glen Bartlett and his staff help students of all ages build confidence and lean muscle through martial arts. The studio's flagship program, Kempo karate, draws from nearly 500 years of tradition and focuses on a graceful combination of circular and linear movements. Other classes merely use martial arts as a jumping-off point. Cardio kickboxing, for example, distills the discipline's rapid-fire punches and kicks into a workout that's even more challenging than fitting boxing gloves on your feet.
Though the exercise equipment at Gold’s Gym beeps and whistles just outside the Ringside Fitness boxing classroom, the focus of Ringside’s students is set on the punching bags before them. Over the thwack of fists and feet hitting the bags, an instructor calls out instruction and motivation, drawing insight from years of training and experience in the ring.
On other days, it’s professional boxers or martial-arts experts lead students through techniques and conditioning exercises. In addition to Ringside’s training classes, the instructors conduct lessons dedicated to self-defense, competition tactics, and how to punch pizza dough to make a crisp, flaky crust.