Although martial arts help students master invaluable self-defense techniques that come in handy in extreme situations, continued practice helps them develop the confidence and self-control to get a handle on everyday life. Kyoshi Jamie Palmer—a sixth-degree black belt—and Sensei Ashleigh Palmer emphasize both of these aspects as they teach Okinawan-style martial arts at Olathe Karate Academy. The husband-wife team caters to the needs of students of all ages, showing children and adults how to perform the forearm strikes and forceful kicks of kenpo as well as the throws and grappling techniques of jiu jitsu.
As dedicated attendees continue to develop their skills, they can deepen their practice by studying how to spar or safely use traditional weapons, such as staffs, sais, and sarcastic one-liners. The Palmers even use traditional self-defense techniques to create metabolism-boosting workout regimens by leading kickboxing sessions.
All of these classes take place within Olathe Karate Academy's fully equipped practice studio, which sprawls across nearly 4,500 square feet of space. The gray, padded floors provides a welcome bit of cushion and support during class. Opposite the main room's wall of mirrors, a line of crimson heavy bags hang from the ceiling, allowing students to practice their strikes against a sturdy target.
At Title Boxing Club, professional boxers, kickboxers, and mixed martial artists may lead the classes, but their goal is fitness, not fighting. They push patrons to strengthen their bodies from head to toe during one-hour sessions, instructing them to pummel 100-pound bags with jabs, hooks, and roundhouse kicks. They encourage members to hit the bags as hard or soft as they like and to move at their own pace, so the classes accessible to all fitness levels. During one-on-one training sessions, trainers use custom routines of weightlifting, cardio, and sparring to show students how to float like a butterfly and sting like a venomous butterfly. They also develop custom diet plans and exercise routines to help clients meet their fitness goals.
The martial-arts masters at AKKA Karate USA specialize in kenpo karate, a unique form that builds muscle tone and reflexes in order to use the body’s natural weapons—hands and feet—for self-defense. In addition to kenpo, they also lead classes focused on MMA, tai chi, and weapons training. Often, AKKA holds special events such as tournaments and sparring seminars. In addition to learning self-defense techniques, students also build valuable life skills such as an appreciation for fitness, discipline, and self-confidence.