For Fred Petit, martial arts wasn't just a great form of exercise—it helped him reclaim his body. The founder of Fitness and Performance was overweight when he started training, but he eventually lost 40 pounds. Motivated, he immersed himself deeper in martial arts and fitness, earning his personal-trainer certification and opening Fitness and Performance to inspire others to get into shape. Now, he offers MMA workouts and kickboxing classes that boost endurance, burn calories, and tone midsections, rendering T-shirts with six-pack graphics obsolete. He also provides a weight-loss program that blends fitness and healthy eating.
Studio Booseh owner Souzan Mills grew up in Iran, surrounded by the performances of lifelong belly dancers. Since arriving in America, she has competed in the Miss Belly Dance competition, performed alongside Persian and Arab celebrities, and obtained her personal-training certification. Today she blends her passion for dance and her background in fitness into Studio Booseh, a women-only boutique gym.
Inside her classrooms, Souzan and a team of international instructors lead eight kinds of dance classes, including belly dance, Bollywood, and flamenco. They also offer fitness-focused dance derivatives that burn calories and build long, lean muscles, including Zumba, barre fitness, and pole dancing.
The instructors at US Martial Arts and Fitness combine traditional martial arts with exercises designed to burn calories and build muscle. The resulting workouts teach students the principles of self-defense while making them strong enough to deadlift their terrified attackers. Young martial artists begin their training in kids' karate classes that instill discipline and self-confidence, while adult students participate in MMA classes that delve into the grappling techniques of kickboxing and jiu-jitsu. Some classes, such as Xtreme Kickboxing Fitness, use martial arts as a jumping-off point for workouts that focus more heavily on fitness.