At the Virginia Academy of Fencing, students learn the centuries-old art of fencing in a decidedly modern-day setting. The facility’s 13,000-square-foot space features amenities such as a padded warm-up area, a bouting video-replay system, and 18 full-time electric strips with overhead reel systems, as well as a decorated area for spectators or maidens in distress.
Seven days a week, expert instructors teach both Olympic Sport Fencing and Historical Swordsmanship to classes of students. Olympic Sport Fencing includes foil, épée, and sabre instruction, while Historical Swordsmanship teaches the use of either a rapier or a two-handed sword. Along with providing students with an opportunity to learn a new and unique sport, the academy’s classes help students improve their strength, balance, coordination, and cardio fitness.
Whether its kids bounding through tumbling classes or adults enrolling in the Krav Maga self defense or Krav ground, K2 Martial Arts Academy is designed for students of any age or experience level. Whippersnappers are young as three years have a variety of courses to choose from, whether staying active during the summer with engaging camps or developing physical and mental strength during tae kwon do lessons. On the other hand, adults can take advantage of an equally diverse selection of classes, such as kickboxing sessions that get hearts pumping or Krav Maga courses that teach intense self-defense skills as opposed to less strenuous shelf-defense skills.
Since its founding by some of the most distinguished jujitsu experts in the past 50 years, the nonprofit organization USA Jiu Jitsu has helped establish jujitsu as a professional sport, teaching the ancient practice to students across the country. At its Springfield location, students of all ages build strength and endurance as they tumble and kick during Brazilian jujitsu, combat fitness, and kickboxing classes.
Saphira, the matriarch and founder of Saffron Dance, didn?t even exist 20 years ago, much like ?I survived Y2K? bumper stickers. Saphira was known as Rachael Galoob-Ortega, a lawyer who practiced in DC and Florida for a decade. But her high-power career and hefty paycheck couldn?t extinguish her passion for dance. And so she became Saphira, an international belly-dance artist and instructor with numerous accolades, including being featured in American Belly Dancer, a documentary about belly dance in the United States.
Saphira opened Saffron Dance six years ago, and along with 18 fellow instructors, channels her years of expertise into dance courses that get progressively more challenging from week to week. Welcoming all levels, her classes teach both Egyptian-inspired belly dance and community-focused tribal belly dance. Regardless of the class type, Saphira and her teachers encourage pupils to express their unique voices through dance, all while keeping proper alignment, mastering precision, and having fun.
Karate master Kancho Ninomiya adapted the classic techniques of his favorite fighting style to the needs of modern self-defense, creating the style known as Enshin Karate. The fast-paced style emphasizes constant movement, a blend of kicks and grappling take-downs, and techniques for facing multiple opponents at once. The practical nature of the street-savvy style appealed to a young Nima Mazhari, who discovered a dojo on his way home from school one day.
Mazhari joined the school hoping to learn to fight, but instead discovered the value of a determined work ethic. The lessons he learned in that dojo inspired him to excel in school, pass his college-entrance exams, and pursue his degree. He then decided to share the lessons he had learned with the world. He founded Enshin Karate to not only teach kids and adults his fighting techniques, but to help them discover how to be the best versions of themselves without relying on personality upgrades downloaded online.
Kaizen Mixed Martial Art borrows its name from a Japanese term that describes a type of activity that, when performed regularly, yields momentous results over time. This concept forms the core of Kaizen Mixed Martial Art's training philosophy—any action, no matter how slight, brings great results with continuous effort. Under the tutelage of skilled instructors, students steadily develop self-defense skills, tone muscles, and learn what it takes to be a professional fighter in a variety of disciplines. In Muay Thai classes, K-1 tournament finalists teach students "the art of eight limbs" through striking techniques that rely on the hands, feet, elbows, and knees. Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA cover a wide array of grappling techniques from a faculty that includes former WEC and UFC fighter Kamal Shalorus, and old-fashioned boxing lessons come straight from coaches with Golden Gloves championships in their trophy cases.