By practicing martial arts at Kil's Taekwondo Center, students of all ages and experience levels can learn to unlock their full potential while mastering valuable self-defense techniques. Grandmaster Yong Sup Kil oversees the organization, relying upon his 30 years of teaching experience—including time spent coaching students for international competitions—as he and his instructors help attendees improve their physical and mental fortitude.
Although classes explore various forms of self-defense, they emphasize the techniques of tae kwon do. That martial art aims to help students understand virtues like self-control, humility, and perseverance while teaching them how to protect themselves from assailants or stationary pieces of lumber. Since balanced self-improvement is the ultimate goal, the center also offers fitness classes that range from kickboxing and Zumba to yoga and tai chi.
Ann Arbor College of Martial Arts & Fitness’s hand-selected, certified instructors incorporate techniques from four disciplines to help students defend themselves in simulations of assaults.
When they aren’t teaching self-defense, instructors help students strengthen their bodies with Pilates and a kickboxing program that combines floor exercises and punching-bag work. In an aerobic interval program, teachers alternate stints of kickboxing, Pilates, and strength and toning techniques in small intervals to maintain cardio levels and help burn calories. Pupils can also burn calories with Zumba, which uses moves from Latin and hip-hop dance in a "fitness party" atmosphere that encourages a full-body workout.
Before founding World Sports Fitness, Pierre F. Mouele routinely went toe-to-head in the ring, earning a kickboxing championship title. Finally, he hung up his gloves and retired his cactus-covered shoes so that he could use his boxing training to whip people into shape. Today, he puts his clients and classes through the same demanding conditioning regimen that prepared him to lay out his opponents.
His students cut swathes of muscle pummeling red, black, and blue punching bags in Shotokan karate and self-defense classes. Alternatively, clients heft weights and toss heavy balls during strength-conditioning courses, which help them sculpt a fighter's body without any of the impact exercises associated with traditional boxing training, such as getting constantly punched.
Blue and red padded squares glow underfoot in the vast gym, unused punching bags standing in neat ranks to the side of the space. Above them hang tidied rows of flags, representing the many nations and organizations from which World Sports Fitness draws its curriculum.
At each of its seven locations across Michigan, Seung-Ni Fit Club helps clients of all ability reach peak physical condition through kickboxing, bootcamps, and the studio's proprietary body-sculpting and slimming regimens. Core workouts build strong abdominal and lower-back muscles with targeted movements, while kickboxing sessions burn up to 1,000 calories per hour as participants fight against the resistance of heavy bags and invisible bad guys. Zumba classes get bodies moving to infectious Latin rhythms, and BodySculpt classes build dense, well-defined musculature through high-intensity dumbbell workouts.
For a more defense-based workout, exercisers can turn to Seung Ni's comprehensive martial arts program. Classes include Brazilian jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, and kids' programs for children as young as three.
The owners of Smash Hit Kickboxing invite anyone interested in undertaking a physical, emotional, or spiritual transformation to explore kickboxing and meet with their cadre of experienced instructors. Each instructor boasts over 20 years of martial-arts immersion with backgrounds including a world-ranked kickboxing champion, a former member of the USA National Karate Team, and an award-winning hand model. Their program blends the fitness and self-defense aspects of kickboxing along with specific courses geared towards beginners or advanced students training for their black belts.
At Forum Fitness Center, people build brawn in group classes hosted within a training facility replete with free weights, cardio machines, and a 60-foot indoor swimming pool. Fleet-footed exercisers can run laps around the ghosts of their slower selves on the indoor track, and those who prefer stationary exercise can sweat it out on cardiovascular machines. Iron pumpers can work with free weights—solo or under the supervision of personal trainers—to mold a physique more perfectly sculpted than Michelangelo's homemade garden gnome. Each week, the spacious studios house more than 25 group fitness classes, including yoga, Zumba, spinning, and Body Sculpt, during which thumping music scores a kinetic blend of weight-room exercises.