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.
The instructors at Ultimate Martial Arts & Kids Karate of Fresno must pass through an entire college of martial arts training to be approved to teach. For every year as a full-time instructor, they also complete 40 hours of additional training—a process that helps them stay up-to-date with the latest self-defense and nutrition research. All of this training makes them the perfect candidates to guide children as young as 4 and adults as old as 64 through the center's intensive, progressive martial-arts programs. Classes cover physical and mental conditioning in styles such as children's karate, or muay thai kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and mixed martial arts for teens, adults, and ninja turtles.
White Tiger Martial Arts Academy, a multi-discipline school, sculpts the minds, character and bodies of everyone from young children to grandparents. Choose from a variety of classes that run from 30 minutes (ages 3-5) to 60 minutes six days a week.
Within the walls of China's Shaolin Temple, a new breed of kung fu was born. Egyptian Shaolin Martial Arts University imports the practice, named for the Chinese temple, to the United States. The university gives women a new way to defend themselves, using only their own bodies as their weapon. The academy also offers traditional Shaolin kung fu and weapons classes for more advanced learners.