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.
Staffed by professional fighters of several styles such as professional boxing trainer Lou Martinez and American Top Team Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and UFC trainer Marcos da Matta, Palm Beach Boxing whips pugilists into fighting shape with a crammed calendar of classes. An official Spinning facility, Palm Beach Boxing pushes indoor cyclists to their limits, preparing them for a season of indoor soccer playing and indoor sunbathing. Meanwhile students can roughhouse in their own way with Brazlian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, kickboxing, wrestling, and other classes of eight to 20 people, for both children six years old and over and adults, employing rows of punching bags, speed bags, and weight machines.
A good MMA fighter appreciates the importance of balance—a false move on the mat can signify the end of a tournament, whereas a stable hold can ensure one’s victory. At American Top Team West Palm Beach, instructors cover these aspects of grappling in a variety of classes. Marcos “Parrumpinha” Da Matta, a fourth-degree black belt and winner of several championships, demonstrates the joint locks and chokeholds of Brazilian jujitsu. Meanwhile, Joel Garcia teaches the jabs and kicks of muay thai kickboxing, which also come in handy for creating air-circulation holes in your house’s walls.
However, the gym also endorses balance in its programming. To offset the fast-paced maneuvering of MMA, Adam Henkel hosts Ginastica Natural—or "Natural Gymnastics"—classes. These routines consist of fluid movements and measured breathing, which lets pupils know which one of their lungs is the dominant one. Finally, whether they are promoting confidence during children's classes, or pushing a client to complete a challenging CrossFit WOD, the staff prioritizes emotional balance. Its lessons include equal parts passion and control, stressing safety and discipline in addition to positive energy.
Synergy Performance & Fitness owner Christy Vanness, who is also certified ISSA personal trainer and certified TRX and Johnny G Spin instructor, believes that a happy life is a fit life. Christy, along with her expert staff of certified and specialized trainers, channel vigorous devotion for physical well-being into varied classes that include muscle training, kickboxing, yoga boot camp, barre method, chisel, and high-energy fitness boot camps. In addition, Synergy Performance & Fitness incorporates new and innovative workouts on a daily basis to make each class different from the last.
At Legend Muay Thai, instructors continue to honor a martial-arts legacy that dates back more than 200 years. Instructors teach the ancient Thai fighting style of Muay Thai, known as “the art of eight limbs” for its use of fists, elbows, knees, and feet. Classes implement basic techniques that burn calories, challenge agility, and tone muscles.
All of the instructors at Legacy Mixed Martial Arts do indeed take on a legacy. They are taught by founder Sensei Cameron to preserve his style of training, passing it on to their students in an undiluted form—a practice that is less possible at chain martial-arts schools.
This method ensures a high level of training, regardless of the martial-arts style. Kids' karate classes, for example, mix the strikes of tae kwon do with kickboxing and submission grappling, and MMA sessions for adults include full-contact drills that incorporate muay thai and jujitsu techniques. Instructors also lead aikido and fitness-kickboxing lessons. Though the techniques of each class differ, the coaches strive to carry over core values such as respect and self-discipline.