The experienced instructors at TM Martial Arts aim to help their students strengthen more than muscles in their hapkido, tae kwon do, and self-defense classes. They prize the character development and cognitive benefits—such as self-confidence, perseverance, and improved concentration—that people can experience with regular practice. That said, their American kickboxing and Ultimate Fitness programs blend strength training with sparring drills to help students reshape their bodies and embrace fitness for the rest of their lives, no matter their age or starting level.
UFC competitor Clay Guida's job is to lock himself in a cage with a sinewy monster who is just frothing to roundhouse, uppercut, and strangle him until he can't move anymore. More often than not, he's the last one moving. With four knockouts, 15 submission holds, and nine matches called by the ref, Clay's winning record—and his allergy to getting knocked out—speak to the well-rounded approach to strikes, grappling moves, and defensive techniques he teaches his students.
Whether he's training fighters for the ring, kids to stand up to bullies, or hearts to pump right in MMA family-fitness classes, he maintains a comfortable and controlled environment. Martial-arts classes, striking workshops for women, and children’s programs take place in Clay’s 6,500-square-foot facility lined with shock-absorbing Zebra and full-wall mats. Students spar in full octagon and boxing rings to simulate real-world blood sport and hammer home their techniques on a plethora of striking bags and pads. For people who want the fitness without the fighting, his exercise sessions take place in a separate strength-and-conditioning area filled with kettlebells, weights, ropes, treadmills, sandbags, and tires.
Lance Farrell drew from his extensive background in tae kwon do to take down opponents in the ring for many years before he realized he could use his powers to help others combat obesity and health issues. He developed Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping to provide patrons of all fitness levels with a comfortable place in which to undergo a mental and physical transformation, much like a crushed-velvet cocoon. He stripped away the sparring and contact drills from his fighter training, leaving just the components that burn fat and build muscle.
When students sign up for a program, they're grouped into teams of peers who encourage one another through moments of weakness and provide a sense of accountability. The instructors and coaches guide these teams toward fitness on a 10-week quest based on four pillars—cardiovascular exercise to burn fat, strength training to build muscle, nutrition coaching to map out a healthy diet, and enthusiastic trainers to provide motivation. At the end of each session, each of Farrell's locations rewards a student with a $1,000 prize—or a year’s worth of high-fives—congratulating them on their dramatic physical transformation. Students who stick around and strive to get healthy over the course of a year get a shot at the $10,000 prize, though winners have reported that leading a healthier life is a greater reward than the money.
A joint venture between a professional boxer and a team of successful kickboxing-equipment tycoons, Title Boxing Club maintains a network of dozens of studios spread across 19 different states, winning over a devoted clientele with its invigorating and engaging boxing- and kickboxing-themed classes. Each workout uses the heart-healthy exercise of cardio training to satisfy people’s innate desire to punch and kick something other than a broken jukebox. Participants build lithe, strong muscle tissue by delivering powerful blows to punching bags, and build flexibility and agility by practicing roundhouse kicks and hooks. Students can build their core strength and endurance with medicine balls and burpees, enlist a qualified personal trainer to practice their newfound skills in the ring, or just torch calories during intense full-body Power Hour workouts.
Believers that stress plays a major role in modern illnesses, the staffers at Harmonic Way Group Fitness & Wellness aim to help clients manage their anxiety levels by offering a rounded menu of services that include group exercise classes and massage therapy. Fun-loving instructors guide students through regimens such as Zumba, cardio kickboxing, and circuit conditioning, and therapists treat patients to bodywork treatments in the form of sports massage, chair massage, or therapeutic table massage.
The studio boasts a colorful theme, from the red tiles interspersed throughout a bright-blue floor to the walls, which range from purple to aquamarine and lime green. Around the studio logo emblazoned on the wall, students and teachers leave their mark with hand-scrawled messages, drawings, and favorite mathematical algorithms.
At YK Martial Arts, students train and learn in a rigorous yet supportive environment where instructors marry technique with the principles of respect, discipline, and compassion. A 6th dan black belt in tae kwon do and a 5th dan black belt in hapkido, Grandmaster Yong-ki Yoon leads a seasoned group of instructors. Classes can help develop the motor skills of children aged 3 and older and work with adults to challenge and improve flexibility, fitness, and energy levels.