Travis Tooke's passion for mixed martial arts fueled his decorated competitive grappling and Brazilian-jujitsu careers, which instinctively led him to form Team Tooke Mixed Martial Arts and share his expertise with others. He proudly wears a Gracie Barra black belt and has been a Brazilian-jujitsu and submission-wrestling trainer for more than 12 years, during which he’s mentored renowned UFC fighter Yves Edwards. He and his team of instructors lead students in an array of mixed-martial-arts fitness classes, including kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and wrestling. They offer kids' classes, women's classes, and classes for combat buffs looking to break into the professional mixed-martial-arts world, which used to require locking your resume in a chokehold until it got you a job.
At FIT Athletic Club, the sounds of clattering weights, whirring treadmills, and friendly chatter fill the gym from dusk to dawn. These energetic sounds play out over state-of-the-art strength and cardio equipment and high-end amenities such as a steam room and sauna. Members who tire of going it alone enjoy unlimited access to more than 300 group classes each month. After a tough workout, FIT Athletic Bar's smoothie selection gives exercisers a nutritious way to refuel, and the bar’s free WiFi lets them check email, update social networks, or Google the best ways to snag the available treadmill for a date Saturday night.
The grueling, seven-hour Krav Maga black belt test has an average pass rate of 50%—that is, at least, unless you’ve trained at Krav Maga Houston, which boasts an untrammeled pass rate of 100%. Such impressive pass rates are made possible by 2nd Dan black belt, C.J. Kirk, who helms a vetted and experienced team of instructors that teaches the Israeli fighting system to amateurs, military personnel, and law enforcement officers. Classes educate pupils on all aspects of the discipline, including how to respond to stress, act on instinct, and execute textbook strikes, blocks, and Eskimo kisses. To accommodate all levels, the center offers flexible class times as well as time slots dedicated to childrens’ fitness and fighting classes.
Master Blue Siytangco has three specialties: the energy healing technique of reiki, past life regression, and Chen-style tai chi, a practice that combines martial arts and meditation. Group or private classes in Chen-style tai chi take place at a student's home or in the park, and practitioners have the option of eventually showcasing their skills in a competition.
At the various Dahn Yoga studios throughout the country, it's quite common to see people bouncing up and down while hitting their abdomens with closed fists. Like the fighter who pumps himself up by pounding his chest before a big fight, the students perform this movement to help warm up their bodies and prepare them for a Dahn Yoga class. Practitioners believe the repeated fist taps concentrate energy in their abdomen and help them focus.
Next, they move on to more traditional yoga moves that help stretch and strengthen the body, as well as improve balance and boost circulation. Classes wrap up with a variety of energy work and meditation techniques, including brain-wave-vibration therapy and jigam—which helps practitioners quiet their minds and take a break from trying to figure out which really came first: the chicken or the egg?
This type of East Asian energy work drives Dahn Yoga, helping its participants create more balanced lives and enhance their overall feelings of well-being. Because it doesn't follow a strict set of yoga poses, but relies instead on mind-body exercises, Dahn Yoga is good for people of all ages, body types, and fitness levels.
A martial art that focuses on self-defense, aikido teaches its students how to use the efforts of an attacker to their advantage. At Aikido Bootcamp, students team up to practice these techniques. They take turns acting as the aggressor and the victim, which provides perspective from both sides of a physical encounter. As their experience increases, students develop trust in each other, enabling them to practice with more intensity without getting injured or having sessions dissolve into a deadlocked arm-wrestling match.