John Wai is a living bridge between the ancient and modern styles of kung fu. Born in Hong Kong and schooled in the orthodox traditions of martial arts, Wai was already a kung-fu master by the time he opened his first academy in 1997. He has managed to stay relevant by combining the ancient approach with a modern, practical outlook that draws in a wider range of students. His classes—which include fitness kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu as well as kung fu—focus on things such as exercise, stress-relief, and self-defense, and he also offers a summer camp where kids learn discipline, self-confidence, and how to open a care package with a single well-timed kick.
Founded by Chief Master William Clark, Karate America is a popular martial-arts school that believes martial arts can make people happier and healthier. With locations around Florida, Karate America is staffed by highly trained instructors teaching children and adults the self-defense moves of tae kwon do, krav maga, and kickboxing. While training in a team-like atmosphere in each of these classes, members learn self-discipline and respect, gain lean muscle, and burn calories.
If people are always laughing at you in a dubbed voice and loudly declaring that your kung fu is weak, it may be time to stop watching movies and start working out. Today's deal will get you in fighting form: for $50, you get 10 dance, fitness, or martial-arts classes of your choice at Temple Arts Fitness in Davie (a $150 trial value or a $100 value for new gym members). This Groupon can be used for any class, though you'll have to call ahead to schedule OmGym, Pilates, or spinning. Parking is free.
Throughout Jim Sayih’s career, he’s helped people from all walks of life get in shape. He’s created fitness programs used by the US Secret Service and SWAT teams. He's chatted with President Bill Clinton about the childhood obesity epidemic and dedicated himself to mapping out classes, exercises, and lifestyle plans. And Jim was so inspired by the races he's run while pushing his son Michael, who has cerebral palsy, that he organized Michael's Special 5K Run/Walk, where runners pushed riders in wheelchairs.
Today, Jim shares that lifelong love of fitness through Broward County Adventure Boot Camp. He and Rhonda Core—an American Council on Exercise–certified trainer—give their clients the extra push they need to get in shape. The boot-camp routines constantly change to keep participants engaged and muscles from rebelling. On any given day, students might be practicing Pilates, doing yoga, overcoming obstacle courses, or going on a hike. Before new attendees start camp, the trainers invite them in for an evaluation to answer any questions, take a few measurements, and record their body-fat percentage so their results can be more easily tracked over time.
A veteran fighter and instructor for over 30 years, Barry Stephen helps impart fighting skills to the next generation at Stephen's Karate and Kickboxing Center. Boxing, kickboxing, karate, and MMA classes meet seven days a week, teaching self-defense skills, concentration, and self-control to amateur fighters, first-timers, and children. In addition to his other responsibilities, Barry serves as an adjunct professor at Florida Atlantic University, where he is always on hand to roundhouse a misbehaving snack machine in the teachers' lounge.
Growing up in his native Brazil, Rodrigo Ramos started studying the arts of karate and judo at an age when most kids were still struggling with multiplication tables. A martial arts practitioner since the age of 9, Ramos brought his love of combat with him when his family moved to the United States. He brought his Brazilian heritage, too, eventually becoming a 3rd degree black belt in Brazilian jiujitsu. Now, as the owner and chief instructor at American Top Team, he shares his knowledge with the next generation of martial arts masters. In this spacious facility, he and his staff train students of all ages in disciplines ranging from kids martial arts to MMA and Brazilian jiujitsu. They also oversee more fitness-based training, helping students get in shape through CrossFit and kickboxing.