Yip Man, the Chinese grandmaster martial artist most famous for training Bruce Lee, instilled a legacy of instructional excellence in the students he taught in Hong Kong. This promise of expert training is what drew David Gallaher to the island city. Once there, he sought instruction from Yip Man's son, and even received certification by one of the elder's acolytes. Now, he shares his kung fu and jeet kun do expertise with students at his own training studio. Here, aspiring martial artists master martial arts techniques that instill balance, discipline, and self-confidence.
Inside the 1,300-square-foot training area of Estero Martial Arts & Fitness, experienced and certified instructors teach classes for children and adults. Their curriculums include mixed martial arts, martial-arts drills for children aged 3–6, kickboxing, and aikido. The facility also hosts a pro shop for equipment, as well as an observation area with seating for onlookers.
From kids to adults and seniors, Paramount Fitness invites people of all ages to take part in its group fitness classes. Kids can participate in fitness offerings that help burn excess energy or offer a calming atmosphere, and adults can take advantage of Step 'n' Tone cardio workouts or Piloxing, a fusion of Pilates and kickboxing that helps tone muscle. Energetic instructors also lead low-key group classes of up to 20 people in yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and spinning in a spacious, mirror-lined studio. Above all, the center’s trainers want students to have fun as they exercise, whether that means attending a different class on every visit or showing a Zumba class the new move you made up in the shower. Classes are also offered all week long to give attendees many exercise options to fit into busy schedules.
Though now spread over the United States, Crunch Gym started in a basement-level aerobics studio in New York City. Despite the humble location, the gym's founders aspired to foster a workout environment that would keep members exercising through entertainment and not shouting from drill-sergeant-like trainers. Their idea was to host fitness classes with offbeat touches, including hip-hop aerobics featuring a live rapper and coed action wrestling.
Twenty years later, Crunch Gym's fitness classes still stray from the beaten path. Body Web with TRX sessions suspend members from a pillar, where they complete gravity-defying maneuvers with help from strong resistance ropes. In Bosu Bootcamp, every exercise is completed on an apparatus that is part balance ball, part core board, and fully endorsed by circus seals nationwide.
For Sean and Nikki Davis, the thought of missing a workout was unimaginable—that is, until they had kids. Three of them. Following the birth of the third, when their lifestyles had made the 180-degree revolution from active to inactive, they decided they needed to get back in shape. They started simple: exercising on their own at home using bodyweight routines such as lifting the mailman. After friends and neighbors took notice of the Davis' revamped figures, the Davis' started inviting them along for their workouts. When their house couldn't hold any more people, the duo took the leap and opened Davis Training. Today, at their fitness facility, they whip clients from across the fitness spectrum into shape during boot camp, kickboxing, and classes that train patrons for adventure races.
At Jaco’s Boxing, four personal trainers—two of whom are also professional fighters—teach everything from the basics of boxing to the serenity of yoga in a gym packed with punching bags, boxing rings, and stationary bikes. Every morning, a chalkboard shows the day's group class schedule, which usually includes circuit training, boxing, and hot yoga. Co-owner Kelli Jaco doubles as a professional trainer and a yoga pro, which helps her twist boxing opponents into serene pretzels. Her studio, SOUL, is right next door to the boxing/MMA training zone, offers athletes the chance to experience two fitness disciplines not typically associated with one another.