Developing self-defense skills might be the most-obvious outcome of training at Champions Martial Arts, but it's not the only one. Parents of children enrolled in the school's program say it also boosts kids' confidence levels, social skills, and academic performances. These benefits aren't limited to children, however; teenagers and adults also can achieve fitness goals and improve discipline during their own age-appropriate classes.
Signing up for a class at Karate America is like taking the first steps in a long, fruitful journey. The instructors?who have more black belts than even the most fashionable country music stars?start teaching students as young as 4 years old in the Little Ninjas program. Up next is the Junior Basic class, where kids begin to master essential skills like discipline and focus. The most committed students can join the black-belt team and then move on to the masters team upon earning their belts. To accommodate everyone who wants to learn self-defense techniques, the instructors also teach adult classes.
At four locations around the Wisconsin area, Neutral Ground Martial Arts & Fitness introduces kids and adults to disciplines such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, mixed martial arts, and kickboxing. In addition to helping students get into peak physical condition, the classes are great for those who want to learn self-defense skills, build self-confidence, or someday compete in wrestling or grappling competitions. Of course, martial arts isn't the only focus here: students who want to get in shape in a more traditional way can attend one of Neutral Ground's functional fitness classes, which rely on foundational movements such as running, jumping, climbing, crawling, and jitterbugging, and also incorporate tools such as kettlebells, sledgehammers, and ropes.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes opened The Little Gym based on his new take on physical education. His curriculum emphasized motivating children to achieve instead of pressuring them to win. As a result, The Little Gym became a noncompetitive, positive, nurturing environment where young ones could develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Since then, The Little Gyms have sprouted up across the country. The programs and classes aim to help kids develop skills such as rhythm and coordination, and kids camps during winter, spring, and summer breaks prevent children from creating finger paintings that express the existential ennui they feel when school is out of session.
One World Martial Arts has a lot of experience behind it. Owner and coach Steven Graves holds the rank of brown belt in judo and purple belt in Brazilian jujitsu, and he's also a state-licensed Juvenile Martial Arts Instructor. Additionally, the studio itself is an official Team Curran jujitsu academy, distinguishing the school as part of a group of elite martial-arts academies affiliated with the MMA program helmed by highly respected champion fighter and coach Jeff "Big Frog" Curran. Classes include jujitsu, muay thai, kickboxing, and yoga, and the school also offers kids' programs.
At Karate America, the practice of martial arts isn't just about kicks and punches. It's about discipline, confidence, respect, and focus?basically everything it takes to also pull off a bold new haircut. In classes for 4- to 13-year-olds, students hone these life skills while they learn the ancient art of karate or Jiu Jitsu and work their way up the belt system. Adult classes focus on self-defense with a side of fitness and conditioning.