Eduardo Torres’s interest for capoeira began in his teens, but it wasn't until he traveled from Northern California to Florida that he discovered his passion for teaching the Afro-Brazilian sport. After extensive training, Eduardo earned the title of Professor Girino and became a member of Grupo Maculelê. Tucking that experience into his back pocket, Eduardo now leads four Tampa Capoeira studios across the Greater Tampa Bay Area.
At those studios, Professor Girino and his savvy staff teach the ways of capoeira to students of all ages and skill levels, and they have even trained Major League Baseball catcher Russell Martin. During classes, students form a traditional roda, or circle, as they learn everything from the rhythmic chants that keep fighters on beat to the fluid, acrobatic movements that send their bodies spinning across a mat. Professor Girino also points out that capoeira is not about fighting but rather anticipating the opponent's next move, much like playing chess against a short-tempered orangutan.
As a USPTA-certified tennis instructor, David Kuhlman draws upon 12 years of coaching experience to impart the game's finer points to groups and individuals. He couples his hard-earned experience with video technology to analyze his students' serves, volleys, and ground strokes. After reviewing the tape, he's able to make recommendations for improving mechanical flaws ranging from a grip that's too tight to a grunt that's a little over the top. He also employs the USTA QuickStart program to help players under the age of 10 make smooth forays into the professional game.
At Hurricane Sammy Boxing Gym, 2016 Olympic hopeful Sammy Valentin teaches the sweet science to boys and girls ages 9 to 16. Although he's only 18 years old, he's already earned the nickname "Hurricane" for the speed, agility, and power he developed over a long-term training regimen that began at the age of 5. As a teacher and ambassador of boxing, he encourages youngsters to follow a similar path to supreme fitness and self-confidence. With hard work and proper training techniques, students improve their own agility, reaction times, and hand-eye coordination, which are all necessary for boxing at a high level or fending off an uncle's noogies.
Simply knowing how to land a kick or a punch is one thing. Having the discipline to use those skills effectively in a real-life scenario is another thing altogether. The instructors at 1 ATA Martial Arts draw on years of training to teach children, teens, and adults the complete meaning of martial arts such as tae kwon do and kickboxing. As one might expect, the classes emphasize physical training in a safe environment, but they leave room to focus on mental growth as well.
Holding a state certification and multiple NRA training certifications, Julio A. Cortes leads an instructional team drawn from retired law-enforcement, military, and SWAT personnel. Specializing in basic pistol instruction—including women-only courses—Gulfcoast Firearms Academy's instructors qualify students to apply for a state concealed-weapon permit by teaching fundamentals such as basic terminology and situation awareness. For students desiring more-advanced training, they also lead tactical pistol and rifle shooting classes, imparting skills from one-handed reloading to shooting from a standing, seated, lying, and fetal position.