Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
Each visit to Royal Fitness shakes up workout routines with rows of equipment, an indoor saltwater pool, and group classes focusing on aerobics or mind and body cultivation. The center houses cardio gear from Precor and Cybex, and guests can climb stair masters or paddle away from imaginary anacondas on rowing machines. A dedicated strength-training center tones muscle groups with free weights, kettlebells and Nautilus machines, which can be used for self-prescribed workout routines or under the guidance of personal trainers. Trainers also lead more than 100 fitness classes each week emphasizing conditioning or a unification of the mind and body with classes such as tai chi. Additionally, the onsite youth center keeps an eye on tots while parents exercise or unwind with the help of massage therapy.
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