At School of American Kenpo, third-degree black belt Ron Hickey calls on 15 years of martial-arts training to instill each student with not only strength and technique, but also character, confidence, and inner peace in every class he leads. Though the roots of traditional American Kenpo run deep in the studio, Hickey encourages his students to blaze their own trails in their development in the martial art. From four-year-old fighters just starting out to older athletes with hopes of achieving a black belt, School of American Kenpo seeks to help every student achieve their personal, fitness, and self-defense goals.
Under the guidance of general manager David Romo and jiu-jitsu black belt Jeff Vigil, Gracie Barra El Paso’s aspirant jiu-jitsu martial artists learn more than 100 technique combinations, strengthening mind and body and developing self-defense skills. The facilities boast more than 1,500 square feet of mats and conditioning equipment to assist martial artists of all experience levels.
Chris Pedroza doesn’t understand bicep curls and overhead presses. These fabricated movements, after all, aren’t typically found outside the gym, so Pedroza—owner of and trainer at Supreme Assailant—instead encourages his clients to mimic practical moves, like the ones they perform in everyday life, but with a bit more spirit. His 60-minute training sessions are crash courses in strength and endurance. They combine plyometrics and agility drills with resistance training, creating one intense effort to shed weight and sculpt toned muscles. Exercisers of all shapes, sizes, and ability levels can sign up, from those looking to drop their couch-potato flab to bodybuilders who yearn for a workout that doesn’t require a bright-orange spray tan. No matter what shape a client is in, Pedroza customizes classes to each individual by scaling moves up or down, depending on who performs them.
Though Eddie Bravo initially moved to LA to pursue his career in the music industry, he soon found himself on a series of other paths. The musician, comedy writer, and author first began training in brazilian jujitsu simply as a means to stay in shape. After honing his skills training and competing, he popularized a style of jujitsu in which fighters grapple opponents without wearing the traditional gi, bringing a series of new movements and holds to the combat art. His vision has now led to the development of more than 20 worldwide schools under the umbrella of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. He and his fellow instructors lead students through the practical self-defense techniques, which are akin to wrestling, only with the goal of making opponents submit instead of pinning them and then gently lulling them to sleep with bedtime stories.