Instructors at I.M.A. Karate Houston—a USANKF recognized dojo, bring years of skilled experience - including instructor Shihan Patrick Richoux, a 6th degree black belt with the IMA and World Karate Federation. The instructors at the center all have trained under the same accomplished sensei and teach kids and adults shotokan karate, one of the oldest styles of the martial art. The school’s curriculum tends to focus on kihon, kata, and kumite (basics, form, and sparring), but sometimes branches out into self-defense, tournament-specific training, and tying one's belt fashionably. One of the shotokan discipline's primary objectives is to build character, and classes focus on both this tenet as well as the sport's fundamentals.
Brazilian jujitsu could be considered the black sheep of the martial-arts family. Instead of relying on raw force and strength like many disciplines, Brazilian jujitsu uses leverage and precise movements to land blows and defeat opponents. That’s why students at Gracie Barra’s 300+ locations worldwide come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, Brazilian jujitsu often inspires entire families—mom, dad, kids, and security blankets with faces drawn on them—to get in shape and learn the art of self-defense. Its main focus is grappling on the ground, an experience made easier by the new Westchase location’s 2,000 square feet of zebra floor mats. Students learn the basics during a Fundamentals Program, tackle varied techniques at mixed martial arts, or get on the fast track to victory at Future Champions. No matter the class, students are taught by highly trained instructors.
A former member of the USA Shotokan Karate national team, Olympic Karate & Sports Center’s sensei Alex Ndem won multiple martial-arts titles before putting his skills to use to train others. Ndem and his team of karate kingpins help clients bolster fitness, mental discipline, and self-defense skills with a wide range of group karate classes. A certified personal trainer with a degree in physical education, Ndem also conducts 45-minute indoor boot-camp classes that use high-octane exercises to ignite weight loss and hone cardiovascular strength.
When people say they teach mixed martial arts, they often mean a blend of kickboxing and grappling techniques. But the instructors at King's Mixed Martial Arts LLC take a more traditional approach: they also incorporate the unparalleled striking techniques of muay thai boxing, or the devastating joint locks of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. And that's just the beginning—they also teach classes in nunchuku and bo staff weapon forms, Okinawan karate, and even yoga to keep legs limber and fighters capable of punching anyone in the toes.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Kickboxing Classes
Pro Tip: Dress in comfortable work-out clothes
No man is an island, but you can still develop muscles that are hard as rock. The personal trainers at One2One Training Center have helped everyone from professional athletes to body builders get into the best shape of their lives. Anyone who goes through One2One's fitness program—natural athlete or otherwise—must be willing to admit the following: "I can't do it all by myself." With a dedicated staff of trainers so close at hand, that's not such a bad thing. Trainers work with individual clients to develop realistic fitness goals, then follow through with the help of advanced exercise equipment at one of three local facilities.
Even at a 135 pounds, Carlos Gracie Sr. could take down fighters of any size using the Gracie-style of jiu jitsu he created in the early 1900s. By fusing traditional Japanese jiu jitsu with the "no rules" style of fighting he encountered on the streets of Brazil, Carlos was able to submit his opponents and have them bake apology-brownies each and every time. This led the skilled warrior to post articles in local newspapers challenging anyone to test their skills against him and his refined fighting techniques. Nearly a century later, this tradition of "open calling" still remains a main guiding principle in the Gracie style of jiu jitsu, which is now taught across the world.
Though the youngest son of Carlos Gracie's 21 children, Rilion Gracie has made a name for himself in the worlds of jiu jitsu and MMA. Employing his father’s philosophies and techniques—self-discipline, healthy eating, and controlled combat—Rilion has had a successful 33-year fighting career as a black belt, and coached such international fighters as Renzo and Rolles to victories. Rilion also established sparring studios throughout Brazil—many of which have gained praise from local and international newspapers—as well as studios in Ireland, Australia, and Puerto Rico.
At his own studios in Houston and Miami, Rilion and a dedicated team of instructors teach students of all skill levels the fighting techniques and secret steak-marinade recipes of the Gracie family. Little ones aged 4–7 learn the importance of patience as they sharpen hand-eye coordination during educational games, and teens build confidence by learning anger-free self-defense. Rilion also trains air marshals and law-enforcement officials as well as advanced students training to compete in official MMA matches or crocodile-wrestling competitions.