Meaning “contact combat” in Hebrew, krav maga is the official self-defense system for the various branches of Israeli military. The martial art focuses on instinctive movements rather than ritual, and it aims to impart a sense of awareness and confidence on students. Since its creation in the 1940s, the popularity of the physically demanding practice has spread, like a viscous goo, all over the world. Twenty years ago, the chief instructor of Krav Maga Worldwide requested that Mitch Markowitz and Mike Leifer start a program in California. They soon established Krav Maga of Orange County. In Irvine, their seven black-belt level instructors have taught scores of students through the five krav levels. They have also adapted the program for youth and boot-camp-style workouts.
Helmed by Jackie Nguyen—a certified trainer with a black belt in karate and nearly two decades of martial-arts training—Fast Result Fitness helps students to achieve their fitness goals with group classes and personal-training sessions. All-levels kickboxing classes focus on both fitness and self-defense as they teach participants how to strike attackers using their fists, elbows, knees, and the occasional cartoon lightning bolt. One-on-one workouts tailored to each individual can speed up weight loss and build muscle mass, and sport-specific training helps athletes of any experience level to improve their strength and endurance.
As a surf punk growing up in Hawaii in the early '80s, Daniel Sullivan longed for something that would give his life purpose. Then, after years of catching waves and hanging with the wrong crowd, he discovered the role model he'd been looking for: Bruce Lee. Moving back to his native California, Sullivan enrolled in college and started taking some taekwondo classes. Then, fate stepped in. In a college class, he met fellow student Diana Inosanto?the daughter of martial arts master Dan Inosanto, and the goddaughter of Bruce Lee.
Sullivan's association with the Inosantos only fanned the flames of his martial arts passion. Soon, he was studying under Inosanto himself, his journey mirroring the one taken by Ralph Macchio a year earlier in The Karate Kid. This real-life Daniel-San didn't stop with a victory over his own personal Cobra Kai, though. Traveling the globe to study under world-renowned masters, Sullivan earned black belts and certification in disciplines ranging from muay thai and Brazilian jiujitsu to savate and Bruce Lee's own jeet kune do.
Today, Sullivan guides his own cadre of students as the master of OC Kickboxing & Martial Arts. From their recently-expanded facility in Irvine, he and his team of seasoned instructors fill their schedule with more than 120 classes each week. True to Sullivan's own varied experience, the school offers training in numerous martial arts disciplines, including MMA, kickboxing, and jiujitsu. Whether they're looking for a high-intensity workout or seeking new self-defense strategies, students benefit from Sullivan's own focused training and passion for instruction.
A fitness class isn't effective without the right instructor. Luckily, the staff at Primal Fitness Centers has plenty of experience?made up of athletes, personal trainers, and professional dancers. Together, the team leads fat-blasting boot camp, Pilates reformer sessions, and Hip Hop Barre. During these classes, the instructors help students develop proper form so that they can safely tone up, shed unwanted pounds, and break into Zumba during boring business lunches.
The experienced instructors at Irvine Martial Arts and Fitness welcome adults and children for martial-arts classes that emphasize conditioning and fitness. The center offers classes in tae kwon do, karate, kickboxing, aerobics, and dance for skill levels from beginner to competitive.
Enerji Fitness’s team shares the joy they find in fitness by holding classes every day of the week. The staff unites their diverse backgrounds—from locales as far-flung as New York, Venezuela, and England—to pursue their shared passion for helping others get fit. During yoga sessions, they use gentle warmth (78 degrees) to limber up limbs for power Vinyasa flows that strengthen body, mind, spirit, and the building’s foundation. The barre classes fuse ballet-inspired cardio barre workouts with core work and lightweight toning, and instructors get their students kickboxing, doing plyometrics, and thumping heavy bags during Enerji Knockout classes. The global party beats played during Zumba classes animate bodies, as the staff teaches Latin-inspired dance moves in a fun setting. Enerji Fitness’s sleek, modern studio’s hardwood floors, brick accent walls, and creamy, mocha-tinged colors set a stylishly serene stage for this abundance of exercise.