The acrobatic arm of the River Road Park and Recreation District, Gymnastics Northwest offers classes and parties for tumblers aged 18 months to 16 years. Reflex beams, rings, and an in-ground trampoline await first timers and intermediate students for weekly classes and events. Open-gym sessions run on Fridays for acrobats up to age 8, and Action Nights see junior jumpers aged 6?12 bound on the spring floor and feed the pommel horse every third Saturday of the month.
Nowadays, the term “martial arts” conjures up images of flashy Hollywood kicks, championship trophies, and prismatic collections of ranked belts. Many often forget, however, that the martial arts are tools for self-defense. The instructors at McKenzie Martial Arts eschew the glamour and instead focus on teaching students how to protect themselves, encouraging participation from the entire family. They lead kids, teens, and adults through a range of disciplines, including Bruce Lee’s street-level jeet kune do, Gracie jujitsu, and weapon-centric Filipino kali and escrima. During each lesson, they’ll equip students with gloves and padded weapons and let them put their newfound skills to use in a ring or mat-covered training room. Family members, meanwhile, can watch their kin square off by meditating to the point of omnipresence or simply nabbing a spot in the comfortable viewing area.
After training at the feet of Mike Lee Kanarek—founder of the HaganaH self-defense program named for the military based organization—Colin and Kaz Rhoads decided to spread the gospel of their teacher’s real-world fighting system. Adapted from Israeli military training, it strips confrontations down to their key elements and then trains students to decisively act to disarm their attackers. Instructors teach students to attack an opponent’s weak points while defending themselves, and they employ repetition to build pupils' instinctive responses and take-no-prisoner tickling skills. As certified personal trainers in their own right, Colin and Kaz also integrate elements of circuit and strength training into their workouts, blending combat sessions with TRX, kettlebells, and high-impact conditioning to produce a well-rounded warrior.
Great Grand Master Lee is a former U.S. Olympic trial tae kwon do judge and trainer. He's also spent time as a Korean Secret Service agent and a hand-to-hand-combat instructor in the Korean army. Armed with five decades of experience, Master Lee teaches classes for all types of students with all types of goals. Whether it's an Olympic-style tournament class or a fitness-focused lesson, Master Lee's curricula blend mental positivity and with self-discipline and perseverance. Children, senior citizens, and people of all ages in between are welcome on the mat.
Hoping to get in shape, start kickboxing, or learn the most effective methods of self-defense, visitors to Peaceful Fighter will enjoy the benefit of one-on-one attention from its personal trainers. The classes ranges from mixed martial arts to meditation and even include a Pay It Forward class on Saturday designed for young, at-risk kids in the community to get involved.
At Family Karate Center, fifth-degree black belt sensei Elida Wagner employs her three decades of martial-arts experience to teach the self-defense skills, sportsmanship, and discipline inherent in karate. In her 26 years as an instructor, she has coached many students to victory in national and international competitions. But her dojo also welcomes novices of all ages, offering youth karate classes for practitioners as young as 3.