Sticks and stones may break some bones, but not if they’re directed toward one of Capital MMA & Elite Fitness’s students. In a team-oriented environment, the studio’s instructors teach key mixed-martial-arts moves such as grappling, striking, and wrestling and supplement the training with classes in specific fighting styles, such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay thai. Guests looking for a practical crash course in self-defense learn snippets from each technique in self-defense classes, learning methods for staying aware of surroundings, fending off attackers, and freeing themselves from the grip of King Kongs. Some women-only classes are also available.
The studio's CrossFit program, alternatively, boosts athleticism without combat, through a multi-faceted regimen of Olympic weightlifting, cardio exercise, and custom diets. Beyond group classes, the center offers private lessons and seminars, which allow its students—both children to adults—to learn with focused guidance.
LA Boxing’s fight-centric gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, LA Boxing sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.
Equipment: Smith Machine, Body Solid Dual, a functional training station, and TRX equipment
Students should bring: Bottle of water and a towel
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
Every client is different. But with so many fad diets that make unrealistic promises, the disappointment that comes from not achieving those results often causes people to quit. I'm different with my clients. I tell them from the start that they must be 100% committed to both exercise and a strict nutritional plan to reach their goals. I'm available to them in any way I can to support them. Once they start seeing the results of their hard work, they are motivated to even work harder and never quit.
When and how did you first develop a passion for fitness?
I've been interested in fitness for as long as I can remember. I first started training my friends when I was in grade school. Having my own business as fitness trainer is not just a business to me; it is my passion.
Trouble Defense's instructors work out of Sharp Shooters, which features 16 handgun and rifle lanes.
Instructors supply rental firearms (pistols or rifles depending on the class), ammunition, and ear and eye protection.
Safety is the cornerstone of Trouble Defense, which teaches two types of classes: hand-to-hand defense and firearms training. Master Gibson takes care of the former. The fourth-degree black belt instructs men and women on situational awareness, physical defense, and how to prevent altercations. NRA-certified instructor Keith Jordan leads things on the firearms front, covering both handgun and rifle use.
As someone who used to struggle with weight gain herself, Denise Lee understands the immense effort that goes into staying healthy. At Pinpoint Personal Training Services, she uses her personal experience to guide clients down the same path toward peak fitness that she undertook herself. Her exercise curriculum spans from kickboxing and yoga to cardio exercises and kettle-bell work. Because she personalizes her services with each client, she's adept at dealing with a range of needs, from rehabilitation after an injury to fitness newbies looking for guidance.
At Potomac Kempo, professional instructors focus on fitness and exercise while teaching self-defense. They help their students build strength, balance, speed, endurance, and coordination, as a way to liven up repetitive fitness routines or add to non-existent ones. Perhaps more importantly, they incorporate the key elements of martial arts—allowing each of their students to reduce stress, increase energy, improve focus, and gain self-discipline.