LA Boxing offers classes in boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and hand-to-hand kangaroo combat. In all, there are more than 31 group classes offered weekly, each one led by a professional or top-amateur fighter. Session sizes are kept to a minimum, ensuring personal attention and manageable battle royale numbers. Gyms also offer a full range of fitness equipment to supplement time spent with a bag or in the ring.
Fresno Kickboxing Academy schools young fighters in the subjects of muscles, speed, and coordination during a four-day, noncontact MMA sports-training camp. Kids ages 8–17 train in the 12,000-square-foot private sports gym under the watchful eye of a staff of expert instructors, which may include former wrestlers, MMA fighters, or extras from The Karate Kid. During each three-hour session, coaches lead students through a warm-up and nutrition discussion, as well as workouts based on muay thai, American-style boxing, jujitsu, and wrestling. The fully equipped facility boasts an Olympic-size mat, complete weight room, and professional punching-bag rack, good for finessing fist throws or practicing do-si-dos. Check the schedule for dates.
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.
Martial-arts master Francis Farley conquered his childhood timidity by studiously practicing martial arts. He went on to win the North American middleweight title in 1989, and by 1993, he had won the International Sport Karate Association middleweight championship, holding on to that title for five years. He decided to open Farley's Kickboxing Academy, a dojo with a full weight room and boxing ring, in order to teach others various kicks and jabs gleaned from his successful 27-win, 2-loss career, which featured 17 knockouts and one intimidating finger wag. Francis's passion for martial arts—and fitness in general—led him to pair up with instructors such as Joey Thomas, a professional surfer and black belt in Brazilian jujitsu; Willow Brown, the facility's yoga expert, who has more than 10 years of teaching experience; and MMA coach Mike Roberts. These gurus help fitness seekers of all levels blast calories, learn self defense, or gain spiritual tranquility, and they adhere to the motto, "You don't have to be a fighter to train like one," as opposed to, "Once a couch potato, always a couch potato."