Fifth-degree black belt Hank Valadao has taught numerous students throughout his more than 25-year martial-arts career. At Fit Force, that number continues to grow with each martial-arts, kickboxing, or boot-camp class scheduled. The driving force of Valadao's passion is his energetic, upbeat demeanor, which rubs off on his staff, students, classes, and sweat towel.
In the tradition of mixed martial arts, experienced fighter Paul Mendoza and his expert instructors fuse boxing, weight lifting, and calisthenics to create whole-body workouts in their signature Fighter Fit Conditioning program. In addition to improving heart and lung function, the aim of the classes is to create leaner, more toned bodies of both men and women in a communal atmosphere. Matted training areas cover the 8,200-square-foot facility, where heavy bags and treadmills await pounding. Locker rooms for men and women store personal items.
Since martial artists Ernie Reyes and Tony Thompson co-founded the West Coast World Martial Arts Association, it has expanded to more than 30 affiliate schools. At West Coast Martial Arts in Modesto, acclaimed martial-arts master Rick Jones and his team advance the association's mission of teaching traditional and modern martial-arts techniques during youth and adult programs. To improve students' flexibility and conditioning?two of the most important skills behind screaming insanely?the instructors also schedule cardio kickboxing classes.
Kovar's Satori Academy is Sacramento's leading group of martial arts schools. We have been voted Sacramento's top martial arts school four years in a row by the readers of Sacramento magazine and viewers of KCRA. We have classes for people of all ages and all classes are taught by friendly certified instructors.
Clint Robinson's U.S. Air Force duty took him around the world, but it was his time in South Korea that made the biggest mark. There, he learned the art of tae kwon do—and the positive fitness and values associated with it. When he returned to the states and left the Air Force, it didn't take long for him to found his own martial-arts school. More than 40 years and 19 locations later, Robinson's Taekwondo continues to thrive on the same principles on which Clint founded his business: excellence, personal attention, and tradition. He now counts children's, adult, and family programs as part of his curriculum. With continued training, students of all ages not only hone their fitness, but also improve their mental sharpness, self-confidence, and discipline.
High-school wrestler Derek DiManno stopped pinning his opponents in college when he decided to focus on his studies instead. After achieving a master?s degree, Derek stepped back into the ring?this time learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Studying under a world champion, Derek himself picked up a slew of championship awards, and earned a black belt in the sport. He opened his own martial-arts school to bestow others with the knowledge and skills of self-defense techniques. His classes for kids teach basic moves with the aim of boosting students? self-discipline, sportsmanship, and social skills. Adult classes challenge students of all fitness abilities, and special law-enforcement classes teach police how to take down criminals without the use of a weapon.