The volunteer-based school banks on the enthusiasm and passion of its dedicated instructors. Located in Baltimore County in Owings Mills, Maryland, the 3,000-square-foot studio features two training rooms plus changing areas for men and women. Calligraphy and paintings line the wall space of the spirited studio. Its Tai Chi program also emphasizes the Tien Shan Pai motto, "Virtue, Wisdom, Humility, Martial Arts," and is suited for students of all age and skill levels. Group classes are offered Saturday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday evenings. View a complete course schedule here. Studies have shown the unhurried exercise can help prevent or ease aging ills and may be beneficial for an exhaustive list of medical conditions including heart problems, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Call ahead to schedule your first session.
Jing Ying literally translates to "best of the best," a term befitting of both the teachers at Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu & Tai Chi, and the students who learn from them. A team of seasoned black-sash instructors?many of whom have competed in national championships?helm progressive programs that help trainees hone strength and flexibility as they learn self-discipline. The schedule offers more than two-dozen classes each week, and includes training in classical and contemporary forms, sparring, and weapons. Age-appropriate kung fu classes, for instance, introduce the graceful throws and takedowns that enable students to use their opponents' own force against them. Contemporary wushu classes then build on that training by introducing acrobatic strikes and other movements. Therapeutic tai chi, women's shaolin fitness, and private personal training sessions round out the class roster.
Jing Ying also gives its students ample space to train. Housed inside a former boat-building facility, the more-than 6,000 square-foot space features three mirror-walled training areas equipped with padded or wood floors or quicksand, as well as private changing rooms and an array of fitness gear including heavy bags and pull-up bars.
UFC Gym?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 sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts 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.
Nearly 300 years ago, the elders of China's Shaolin Temple convened to develop a new kind of martial arts. They dreamt of a style that would eventually overcome all the others, thanks to its combat efficacy and the fact that it would take a much shorter time to learn. They named this style Wing Chun, a Chinese phrase that translates to "forever springtime" and reflected their hope for a renaissance in Shaolin martial arts.
This renaissance never quite arrived, but traditional Wing Chun is still practiced today. This is largely thanks to the efforts of practitioners such as Grandmaster William Cheung and Sifu Tim Berkemeier, the latter of whom founded Traditional Wing Chun Baltimore. It's easy to see Wing Chun's appeal to modern sensibilities, as it emphasizes a scientific approach that draws on biomechanics and angular deflections. It's also ideal for students who don't have the muscles to send their opponents flying across the room, as it focuses on disabling rather than brute strength.