Gracie Barra is the go-to gym for jiu-jitsu enthusiasts in the Pasadena area. Owned and operated by Carlos Gracie, Jr. of the Gracie family of mixed martial arts fame, Gracie Barra features classes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and offers free parking to all its members. The gym boasts more than 2,000 square feet of open mat space, a sauna, and locker rooms and showers for both male and female members. You can call or go online to schedule a class—the first one is free. Whether you're new to jiu-jitsu or you're a seasoned practitioner, you will love honing your craft at Gracie Barra.
Helmed by professor and capoeira expert Muito Tempo, Capoeira Batuque Pasadena fills with the rhythms that drive the fast-paced sport. In group classes, instructors introduce the fundamentals of capoeira, which fuses the moves of martial arts, the rhythmic and collaborative elements of dance, and the circular formation of Duck, Duck, Goose into a vibrant and aerobic form of exercise. Classes consist of two participants dancing around each other in the middle of the circle, exchanging movements of attack and defense in a frenzied but controlled flow. The classes maintain their lively pace by fueling the acrobatic movements with music heavy in complex, quick polyrhythms played on a range of traditional percussion instruments.
Sityodtong USA is affiliated with Thailand's world-renowned, champion-producing Sityodtong Muay Thai Training Camp. Its west coast gym is considered by many to have legendary status. The gym has partnered with PowerBar TeamElite and NBC's The Biggest Loser, and its fighters won a combined 6 belts in Muay Thai and MMA in 2012. Classes in Brazilian jiu jitsu, boomer- and teen-specific boxing, and Muay Thai fill the gym’s schedule, which also includes open gym time where athletes can practice on their own. With up to 80 classes per week, Sityodtong USA offers technical and competition training and experience paths that range from beginner to advanced, including a "get fit without getting hit" combat fitness program.