It seems like Mark Salgado is constantly in motion—practicing yoga, training in jiu-jitsu, and heading workout sessions at his own studio, Core Focus Training. Armed with a degree in human kinetics and years of coaching experience, Mark captains a staff of certified trainers as they lead personal-training sessions, fitness-rehabilitation programs, and boot camps. Their unconventional 10-week Core Focus course strengthens participants’ cores through fast-paced workouts designed to foster long-term strength, endurance, and agility. The team packs their workout space with functional exercise equipment in lieu of the cardio machines and soft-serve ice-cream dispensers found in most gyms.
Husband and wife team Andy and Wendy Wong first met at the UBC dance club in 1976, joining forces to commence an unprecedented 13-year reign as the top amateur dancers in British Columbia. Finding a dearth of fun, supportive places where people could learn to dance and accomplished dancers could casually hone their craft without crashing local bar mitzvahs, they opened The Grand Ballroom in 1994. Since then, the couple and their cadre of dedicated instructors have initiated more than 16,000 students into the rug-cutting arts. The beautiful 5,000-square-foot dance floor sits ringed by soft blue walls and plush red chairs, allowing dancers to lean back and rest feet.
The experienced instructors at Premier Martial Arts imbue their student with more than just slimmer waists and harder punches. Perhaps most importantly, their fitness and martial-arts classes instill students of all ages and skill levels with the confidence to take on challenges both inside and outside the ring. Young students may especially benefit from learning how to defend themselves, as new challenges in the form of bullies and volatile imaginary friends barrage them daily.
Open since 2005, West Coast Martial Arts promotes the spread of jujitsu through the capable hands and feet of its expert instructors. From 23 locations, they train students of all ages and experience levels in the nuances of an international array of martial arts. Their fundamentals programs introduce tots, youths, and adults to some of the fastest-growing disciplines in North America, arming students with pragmatic self-defence skills that work as well in the heat of the moment as they do in the calm of the dojo. Instructors also lead an array of classes for more advance practitioners. Teaching the grappling and ground-fighting techniques of Brazilian jujitsu, they lead students in battling larger opponents with the holds and submissions of the Gracie street self-defence system. They round out their curriculum with the striking arts of kickboxing and muay thai, which is also called the "science of eight limbs." In this combat style, students unleash flurries of blows using their hands, feet, elbows, and knees, turning into a more fearsome opponent than Bruce Lee before he had his conjoined twin removed.
Inside a converted garage nestled behind Alegria Cafe, the yoga instructors of Perfect Hearts Yoga lead small groups through therapeutic poses. Students can practice the lengthy poses of Yin yoga to soothe the body's connective tissues, participate in energizing flow classes, or opt for a calming candlelit Hatha class. Instructors cater to all experience levels and will guide students through modifications to make poses easier if necessary.