Training mats sweep across 4,000 square feet of the Energy Sport Complex studio, setting the stage for martial arts fitness classes throughout the week. Expert instructors tote professional punching bags to these training mats, where they guide youth and adults alike through the punches, jabs, and kicks of jiujitsu, muay thai, and boxing-infused fitness boot camps. This scene is filled out by the professional-grade workout machines upon which clients train and the sparring that takes place during open-boxing sessions. During these sessions, clients can hone skills while competing for the shotgun seat on the car ride home. After navigating the various workouts that occur in this martial arts haven, guests can spruce up in a full-service changing room, complete with private showers and lockers.
On the blue and springy expanse of AKF Martial Arts Academy's floor, uniformed students kick, jab, and whirl between defensive movements. Stripes of color bedeck their waists, showcasing what level they've reached and the score of their focus and determination.
It may surprise some parents, then, to hear what Master Cantin has to say about his studio. Unlike curricula at many other schools, he says, programs at AKF do not focus on heavy combat, tournament training, Eastern philosophy, or how to rope cattle by twirling a black belt. What his programs do achieve is something even more important and nuanced: building character and athletic prowess. Master Cantin and his fellow instructors count confidence, discipline, and listening among the skills they strive to instill, along with physical agility and stamina. In this way, the AKF team expands students' sense of self, and equips them with tools they can apply to all manner of challenges throughout life. And because many levels can train at once, whole families often enroll together, with parents and kids learning alongside one another.
MMA Underground is a training ground and fitness facilty for students who want to get into the best possible physical shape. The center is helmed by head coach Oscar Olivares Sensei, who brings with him a long list of achievements and venerable lineages in both stand-up fighting and ground fighting. Oscar Sensei believes that anyone can achieve their fitness goals, be they weight loss, muscle gain, or competitive fighting readiness, if the drive to succeed is there. So, he and his other instructors fuel this drive in a spacious Mixed Martial Arts facility, where clients will find a padded floor, hanging bags, and dummies waiting to punched, kicked, and jabbed during group classes or personal training sessions. Along with kettlebell and Xtreme Cage Fighter Workout classes, MMA Underground also offers mixed martial arts classes and programs for all ages.
A joint venture between a professional boxer and a team of successful kickboxing-equipment tycoons, Title Boxing Club maintains a network of dozens of studios spread across 19 different states, winning over a devoted clientele with its invigorating and engaging boxing- and kickboxing-themed classes. Each workout uses the heart-healthy exercise of cardio training to satisfy people’s innate desire to punch and kick something other than a broken jukebox. Participants build lithe, strong muscle tissue by delivering powerful blows to punching bags, and build flexibility and agility by practicing roundhouse kicks and hooks. Students can build their core strength and endurance with medicine balls and burpees, enlist a qualified personal trainer to practice their newfound skills in the ring, or just torch calories during intense full-body Power Hour workouts.
Spawned by gung mao kung fu, a form of martial arts developed in 19th-century Okinawa, Gangi kung fu arose in 1985 thanks to Master Soshihan Joe Gangi. He held a black belt in gung mao kung fu, goju karate, jujitsu, and many other forms of martial arts. So he combined ancient and modern components of MMA to create something new: Gangi kung fu. The method married yoga-inspired conditioning moves and meditation with sparring. At Gangi Martial Arts & Fitness, Master Gangi and his assistant teachers continue to promote the unique practice through their martial-arts classes.