Amilcar "Mica" Cipili, head instructor of Gracie Jiu Jitsu Las Vegas, knows what works for self defense and when placed in a real life fight. Raised in southern Brazil, Mica was already mastering the martial arts of kung fu, capoeira, and judo until he saw a Brazilian jiu-jitsu match that changed his life. Mica became obsessed with the "gentle art," which eschews brute force for more effective strategies of balance, leverage, and debate skills to use mid-grapple. Mica soon perfected the grips, flips, and submissive holds of jiu-jitsu with help from the Machado brothers–progeny of jiu-jitsu pioneer George Gracie. With his new-found fighting savvy, Mica earned a third-degree black belt, a mantle-busting array of over 90 champion titles, and even trained MMA greats such as UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta. At his Gracie Jiu Jitsu Las Vegas institute, Mica trains fighters of all levels in classes six days a week. In addition to Brazilan jiu-jitsu and judo for adults and kids, the training center features courses in judo, MMA, wrestling, and boxing.
Equipment: CrossFit, MMA, Power Plate, Free Weights, Circuit Training, Cardio
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: More than 25 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: We have a talented, caring team of instructors that will provide a great workout for all levels.
"We are the only gym in Las Vegas to receive the prestigious Conde Nast Five Star distinction, and have one of the largest CrossFit facilities in the world." That's how manager Robert Garza describes City Athletic Club, and indeed the facility is impressive. Its 48,000 square feet house a range of workout equipment and group exercise studios, as well as places to relax, including a sauna and hot tub. Yet despite this encyclopedic collection of fitness gear, City Athletic Club doesn't really look like a gym. It takes on more of a night club vibe, just with less sweating. White couches wait right inside the doors, soft neon lights drape in front of spinning machines, and a row of bar stools sits along counters near the front desk?the perfect place to sip a beverage from the smoothie cafe.
Shine Alternative Fitness helps all types of fitness goers achieve health goals. Named one of the 20 “Coolest Clubs in America” in Shape magazine’s 2013 Gym Awards, the center’s founders are both Cirque du Soleil veterans: Dima Shine, a solo artist in Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity, and Russ Petroni, Cirque du Soleil’s Las Vegas production manager.
The duo’s passion for performance arts shines through in each of their classes. In their Aerial Arts courses, for example, students develop upper body, core, and grip strength while wrapped in silks that hang from the ceiling. Meanwhile, antigravity classes have students striking balancing poses while suspended in the air by silk hammocks. To round out their coursework, the team also offers an array of more traditional gym classes, from boxing sessions to Zumba, ballet, and hip-hop.
David Inman, the black-belted head instructor of Champion Martial Arts, has a vision. When he's not focused on taking down attackers, Inman imagines a world in which martial arts is accessible to students of all ages and athletic abilities. He's doing his part to make that world a reality, offering classes in disciplines such as tae kwon do and krav maga, the latter a self-defensive art used by the Israeli Defense Forces. Other classes, such as fitness kickboxing, use martial arts as a starting point for a fun and effective workout. Inman and his team also offer classes for kids, giving them the courage necessary to stand up to bullies and rip their homework in half right in front of the teacher.
Aluja Bramble, the founder of Cardio Kings Fitness Boxing, has more than 30 years of experience with fitness and boxing. The son of WBA Lightweight Champion Livingstone “Pit-Bull” Bramble, Aluja has trained with renowned boxing greats such as Janks Morton and Jacob “Stitch” Duran, and he designed the program at Cardio Kings to use boxing principles to help inspire athletes to stay healthy. Aluja's group classes and one-on-one sessions focus on health and conditioning as athletes burn calories with a mixture of aerobic exercises, bag drills, and pad work.
A five-time American Taekwondo Association World Champion, chief master Von Schmeling, began Victory Martial Arts to teach pupils confidence and leadership skills while imparting martial-arts techniques. Classes capped at 30 students, with at most 10 students per instructor, cover disciplines such as general martial arts, krav maga, and self-defense for thwarting assailants and heavily armed spiders. Budding martial artists hone their craft alongside loved ones in family sessions or practice maneuvers in age-specific sequences for kids, teens, or adults.