In the tradition of mixed martial arts, experienced fighter Paul Mendoza and his expert instructors fuse boxing, weight lifting, and calisthenics to create whole-body workouts in their signature Fighter Fit Conditioning program. In addition to improving heart and lung function, the aim of the classes is to create leaner, more toned bodies of both men and women in a communal atmosphere. Matted training areas cover the 8,200-square-foot facility, where heavy bags and treadmills await pounding. Locker rooms for men and women store personal items.
Since martial artists Ernie Reyes and Tony Thompson co-founded the West Coast World Martial Arts Association, it has expanded to more than 30 affiliate schools. At West Coast Martial Arts in Modesto, acclaimed martial-arts master Rick Jones and his team advance the association's mission of teaching traditional and modern martial-arts techniques during youth and adult programs. To improve students' flexibility and conditioning?two of the most important skills behind screaming insanely?the instructors also schedule cardio kickboxing classes.
Fifth-degree black belt Hank Valadao has taught numerous students throughout his more than 25-year martial-arts career. At Fit Force, that number continues to grow with each martial-arts, kickboxing, or boot-camp class scheduled. The driving force of Valadao's passion is his energetic, upbeat demeanor, which rubs off on his staff, students, classes, and sweat towel.
As CEO and chief instructor of Condition and Competition Kickboxing, Ed Carpio draws from a victory-studded background of competitive fighting. Though he came to the art of Chinese kickboxing (also called sanshou) at 21, later than many greats, he rose through successive bouts to become a national lightweight champion. Ed then turned to training others with his expertise, remaining devoted to his sanshou students throughout his sporadic returns to the ring, a study in judo, and a government summons to deflect an impending asteroid.
CCK preaches acceptance and positivity through programs for all ages, from toddlers to adults. Its gym has been highlighted on one of KRON 4's "Best of The Bay" segments for casting a familial air over martial-arts learning. Bordered by camouflage-painted walls, guests can launch strikes at bags, pads, and partners during kickboxing courses, or focus on classical conditioning with weights and fitness machinery.
Weak bodies are whittled into lean, muscular fighting machines as instructors at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) teach the martial arts styles used for UFC competition, self-defense, and overall conditioning. Men, women, and kids train in the company of students such as professional fighter Cain Velasquez and instructor Daniel Cormier, a former Olympian. AKA splits its MMA, jujitsu, and muay thai kickboxing classes among four facilities, with group-training sessions and private professional sessions taking place in modern training studios with heavy bags, speed bags, and Olympic-grade mats. The Hillside location also features a professional-size ring for sparring or marriage-proposal practice, and the two-story AKA headquarters on Realm Avenue highlights an MMA cage, TRX suspension room, and cardio theater stocked with StairMasters and Jacobs Ladder machines.
Students grapple their way across 112 Swain tatame-style mats, which cover more than 2,400 square feet of space inside Heroes Martial Arts. The studio specializes in teaching Brazilian jujitsu courses, including classes that introduce students to the fundamentals and incorporate judo. In addition, instructors help students gain self confidence and an arsenal of self-defense moves during youth antibullying classes. A separate fitness area hosts free weights, a rowing machine, pull-up bars, and weighted popsicle sticks.