As an expert in kung fu and tae kwon do, Louis Charron had learned to wield his body as a weapon. After a time, however, he felt that his martial arts repertoire had ceased to expand—how was he supposed to respond on a dime to dangerous situations if his technique couldn't adapt? It wasn't until he began to specialize in krav maga that he experienced a combat system that continuously evolved, honing rapid-fire reactions to real-life scenarios. Louis dedicated himself to mastering the same self-defense maneuvers utilized by the Israeli Defense Forces, and today runs Close Combat and Fitness as lead instructor and the Louisiana State Director for the International Krav Maga Federation.
Inside the training facility, Louis teaches students to build from the body's natural movements and ward off armed and unarmed attackers, demonstrating tactics for offense, defense, and evasion. He maintains that fostering a positive mindset can create the best sense of security, second only to the confidence that comes from wearing brass knuckles on your hands and feet. That sense of security can particularly benefit youngsters, who gain the confidence to ignore bullies and the self-discipline to succeed in their studies. Guests of all fitness levels can benefit from his lessons, which have been featured on WWL-TV and Cox Sports Television Fitness 411 for their growing influence on the martial-arts scene.
At Snap Fitness’ 24-hour gym, guests come and go armed with their access keys and are able to work out at their convenience. Around the gym, rows of cardio machines and stacks of free weights stand by as personal trainers show guests the most efficient ways to pump iron and bench-press their old refrigerators.
Experienced photo gurus Doug Box and Randy Kerr impart practical photo skills to curious shutterbugs during engaging seminars that have appeared across the States and in eight countries abroad. Doug Box, author of myriad photography-technique books, is one of 13 Kodak mentors and is the Executive Director of the Texas Professional Photographers Association. His co-teacher, Randy Kerr, heads World Photographic, which uses photography as a vehicle for illuminating humanitarian and environmental topics. Both men have been teaching photography classes for years and help amateurs take photos that capture piercing looks, toothy smiles, and elusive dodo sightings.
Nani Cusson switches gears from tango to swing as easily as she pivots on the floor. The certified dance instructor has mastered a library of styles, including the elegant steps of the waltz, the twirls of salsa, and the fluid dips of the foxtrot. When teaching, she coaches only one person or pair at a time?that way, she can adjust her guidance to suit their skill level, and not just resort to the one dance that everyone can do: the first fourth of the YMCA. Her tutelage therefore pushes clients toward specific goals, whether they hope to dance in competitions, learn a wedding routine, or simply carry themselves with confidence. Her studio welcomes students seven days a week by appointment, and she also leads group classes by request.
Lined wall to wall with the latest equipment, Fitness Connection invites its members to not only take advantage of its facility—but do it whenever they want, as the gym is open 24/7. During regular hours, meet one-on-one with a personal trainers to take a body-fat test, make a meal plan with the help of a nutritional planner, or design a workout routine to optimize results. Onsite, visitors can also drop in to the shop for vitamins and supplements or get bronzed with a custom airbrush tan.
In 2001, Carrie Rezabek Dorr's only venue for her Pure Barre workouts—a blend of dance, Pilates, and strengthening stretches—was the basement of an office building. Crowds drawn by Carrie's choreographing expertise and the infectious music of her routines necessitated expansion, however, and eight years later, Pure Barre spread its franchises to what is now more than 160 locations across the country, spurred by mentions in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Health magazines.
Pure Barre guides students through precise isometric movements that craft lean, not bulky, muscles. By flowing through scalable maneuvers that balance limbs against a ballet barre, physiques can lift and tighten traditional problem areas such as the thighs, abs, seat, and arms. The total-body workout is accessible to all fitness levels, and can help new mothers to regain their desired shape without leading the daycare's piggyback carpool. High-energy, intimate classes with small amounts of attendees ensure personalized adjustments and tips, allowing each guest to derive the deepest possible burn from the workout's alternating strength and stretch drills. Pure Barre also offers private barre-ties, DVDs, equipment, designer exercise apparel, and more.