While many fitness gurus limit their gear to traditional hand weights and medicine balls, the inspired trainers at Accelerated Athlete also incorporate sledgehammers, tractor tires, battle ropes, and ladders into their exercise classes. Far from limited to life in the toolshed, these unusual components are the building blocks of heart-pumping exercise routines that confuse muscles into becoming stronger and bodies into becoming leaner. Trainers' encouraging words play an equal role, inspiring students to sweat through boot camps, power yoga, kickboxing, and high-intensity interval training tailored to each individual’s skill level.
Training mats sweep across 4,000 square feet of the Energy Sport Complex studio, setting the stage for martial arts fitness classes throughout the week. Expert instructors tote professional punching bags to these training mats, where they guide youth and adults alike through the punches, jabs, and kicks of jiujitsu, muay thai, and boxing-infused fitness boot camps. This scene is filled out by the professional-grade workout machines upon which clients train and the sparring that takes place during open-boxing sessions. During these sessions, clients can hone skills while competing for the shotgun seat on the car ride home. After navigating the various workouts that occur in this martial arts haven, guests can spruce up in a full-service changing room, complete with private showers and lockers.
When Sensei Katrina Polen teaches Ryukyu Kempo karate to students of all genders and ages during classes, she?s not just showing them self-defense techniques?she?s encouraging them to adopt a lifestyle of fitness, character growth, and creativity. She oversees sparring matches that teach the value of a strong work ethic or stunt double, and also plans optional competitions for those desiring more concrete stakes. To allow her prot?g?s an artistic say in their practice, she gives them free reign of the demonstration group, TeamKat, which plans routines for performance.
She also offers non-karate classes in the form of cardio-kickboxing and personal-training sessions. She works to cultivate a tight-knit sense community by hosting additional events, such as birthday parties and bimonthly movie nights.
Spawned by gung mao kung fu, a form of martial arts developed in 19th-century Okinawa, Gangi kung fu arose in 1985 thanks to Master Soshihan Joe Gangi. He held a black belt in gung mao kung fu, goju karate, jujitsu, and many other forms of martial arts. So he combined ancient and modern components of MMA to create something new: Gangi kung fu. The method married yoga-inspired conditioning moves and meditation with sparring. At Gangi Martial Arts & Fitness, Master Gangi and his assistant teachers continue to promote the unique practice through their martial-arts classes.
On the blue and springy expanse of AKF Martial Arts Academy's floor, uniformed students kick, jab, and whirl between defensive movements. Stripes of color bedeck their waists, showcasing what level they've reached and the score of their focus and determination.
It may surprise some parents, then, to hear what Master Cantin has to say about his studio. Unlike curricula at many other schools, he says, programs at AKF do not focus on heavy combat, tournament training, Eastern philosophy, or how to rope cattle by twirling a black belt. What his programs do achieve is something even more important and nuanced: building character and athletic prowess. Master Cantin and his fellow instructors count confidence, discipline, and listening among the skills they strive to instill, along with physical agility and stamina. In this way, the AKF team expands students' sense of self, and equips them with tools they can apply to all manner of challenges throughout life. And because many levels can train at once, whole families often enroll together, with parents and kids learning alongside one another.