At age 11, Tony Genova faced an inescapable problem: bullies were making his life miserable. Looking for help, he found his way to martial-arts classes—and he was a natural. Only three years later, he was a black belt in karate. Now a fourth-degree black belt, he seeks to pass on the self-discipline and respect he learned through his classes at Texas Karate Center. He and his team of instructors teach kids and adults of all ages and abilities, including classes designed for kids with special needs.
Six principles guide courses at American Masters Martial Arts. These principles—which include politeness, bravery, and respect—ensure that students come away not only with martial arts skills but also with a sense of character and integrity. Instructors specialize in seven martial arts styles, and while some courses are sports-oriented, others focus on self-defense. Whether learning hapkido, tai chi, tae kwon do, or personal safety techniques, students earn a well-rounded education that encompasses both physical and mental goals.
At Absolute Boxing & Personal Training for Women, personal trainers with vast martial-arts experience, including UFC manager Francois Nguyen, help men, women, and children of all skill levels get into fine fighting form. The team combines the fundamentals of boxing and kickboxing into heart-thumping sessions capable of incinerating calories, toning muscles, and arming students with the self-defense techniques necessary to ward off bullies. Personal trainers expand upon fight-based conditioning with yoga instruction, massage therapy, and a promise to hold clients accountable for the goals they set, such as running 10 miles or high-fiving 10 strangers each day.
Signature service: Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, FIT Club for families
Staff Size: 11–25 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: Busho Kai
Pro Tip: Highly qualified professional black belt instructors create a fun and safe learning environment.
Former UFC and Pancrase champion Guy Mezger passes on his accumulated martial arts knowledge to students through his instructors at Guy Mezger's Combat Sports Club. He and his staff teach six different competitive fighting disciplines, such as boxing, judo, and no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu. They blend their disciplines with fitness and practical self-defense techniques, arming students with a valuable skill set that encourages a healthier lifestyle. They also teach kids, building confidence through measurable achievements such as belt advancement and wrestling matches.
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee. "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere."
To make this challenging, yet hopeful, philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. This focus, shared by Body & Brain Holistic Yoga and The Life Yoga, forms the basis of the studio's classes and consultations. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30?40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation?including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cooldown exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance.