Though the sword may seem an instrument of division, at SBM Wellness Center, it’s a uniting force. Here, kendo and wellness classes for men, women, and kids blend swordsmanship with cardiovascular exercise. This combination promotes fitness while instilling the mental discipline necessary to execute sharp cuts with explosive energy.
Grand Master Brandon Richards, PhD is an 8th-degree Black Belt awarded the 2013 Grandmaster of the Year by the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame. At Seattle Tae Kwon Do, he joins a team of veteran instructors with world championship and Olympic team trial medals under their multi-degree black belts. So it?s no wonder that the school was voted Best Martial Arts by King5 Best of Western Washington in 2013. Whether in advanced adult classes or Tiger Cubs sessions for toddlers, the instructors strive to instill a black-belt mindset in every lesson they teach, stressing perseverance, focus, and discipline. Beyond tae kwon do, classes in Thai kickboxing whip bodies into shape with practical self-defense techniques, from blocking punches to bear-hugging schoolyard bullies.
NorthShore MMA?s 3,000 square feet ensures plenty of matted space for kids and adults alike to punch, kick, and crabwalk their way through classes. Rows of punching bags serve as the opponent during boxing sessions, while giant tires and ropes build muscles during boot-camp workouts. The gym also offers shower facilities for students to freshen up after a vigorous workout.
Karate West is one of the largest martial arts schools in the country. Inside the 9,000-square-foot Issaquah training facility or the Mercer Island branch, kids and adults learn classic karate and self-defense moves, while also developing self-respect and discipline for both themselves and one another. Certified instructors lead students through traditional belt programs designed for kids as young as three, as well a specialized programs such as a women's only course, combat hapkido course, and a weapons program where students learn how to properly wield a bo, cane, sword, and loaded seltzer bottle.
Through the use of proper exercise form and technique, students can learn to unleash their hidden potential at Warrior Fitness. The instructors specialize in a variety of workout methodologies. Exercisers build reserves of strength using kettlebells, elevate their heart rates with circuit training, or devastate six-foot heavy bags using a variety of kickboxing strikes and withering insults. Specialized sessions tailor workouts to varying skill and fitness levels, although virtually every class aims to provide a total-body workout that helps tone muscles and increase cardiovascular health.
A sign hangs over the entrance of MKG Martial Arts International: Leave your ego at the door. It’s the first indication of the group-minded, family-like camaraderie among the students and highly trained instructors, and it's a sentiment that holds true in each of the gym’s three areas of expertise—adult martial arts and kickboxing, cross-training fitness classes, and youth programs for tykes as young as 4. MKG's MAX10 Fitness & Boot Camp program challenges fitness-goers to reach new goals.
Known as MAX, the 4,500-square-foot studio's cross-training classes help students get into shape during boot-camp- and kickboxing-inspired workouts. Sessions, such as Bag Combat or MAX Strength, torch calories and tone muscles while keeping boredom at bay with continuously changing routines and punching bags that explode into butterflies every time they’re hit.