Normally, any association with a guy nicknamed "The Axe Murderer" seems like a bad idea. But for the competitors at Wand Fight Team, that couldn't be further from the truth. Having received the gruesome nickname for his aggressive style in the octagon, UFC legend Wanderlei Silva now takes a more passive approach to helping others earn macabre monikers of their own at his training facility in Las Vegas. Here, martial arts programs in Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling, and boxing prepare both adults and kids for success inside and outside of the ring.
After battling pros in the ring for nearly 30 years, Tim Lane quit his knockout quest to teach commoners how to confidently repel unsanctioned attacks. In Xtreme Couture's decked-out facility, mixed-martial-artist Lane counsels students in how to defend themselves against assailants and friends’ pet lemurs through a sequence of lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on tutorials. Each two-hour seminar sharpens general awareness of surroundings and zeroes in on deterring and disabling larger assailants. Upon completion of the class, students walk away with bottles of pepper spray, certificates, and greater self-assurance.
At Quest ATA Martial Arts, fifth-degree black belts and Songahm tae kwon do experts Maria and Jesse Pino have to have flexible teaching styles. That's because they offer a Tiny Tigers program for ages 3–6, a kids' program for ages 6–12, and an adult program for ages 13 and older. Across all levels, their goal is to inspire students with martial arts training and instill leadership skills. The youngsters' classes emphasize basic techniques and life values, such as respect and self-confidence, whereas the adult classes focus more on strikes and traditional self-defense techniques, such as the Wet Willie. Further instilling patrons with strength and discipline, Quest now schedules yoga classes, too.
Amilcar "Mica" Cipili, head instructor of Gracie Jiu Jitsu Las Vegas, knows what works for self defense and when placed in a real life fight. Raised in southern Brazil, Mica was already mastering the martial arts of kung fu, capoeira, and judo until he saw a Brazilian jiu-jitsu match that changed his life. Mica became obsessed with the "gentle art," which eschews brute force for more effective strategies of balance, leverage, and debate skills to use mid-grapple. Mica soon perfected the grips, flips, and submissive holds of jiu-jitsu with help from the Machado brothers–progeny of jiu-jitsu pioneer George Gracie. With his new-found fighting savvy, Mica earned a third-degree black belt, a mantle-busting array of over 90 champion titles, and even trained MMA greats such as UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta. At his Gracie Jiu Jitsu Las Vegas institute, Mica trains fighters of all levels in classes six days a week. In addition to Brazilan jiu-jitsu and judo for adults and kids, the training center features courses in judo, MMA, wrestling, and boxing.
In more than 25 years of devotion to martial arts, Nick D. Blomgren has trained top kickboxers and MMA contenders. At One Kick's Gym, he and his staff bring their experience to children and adults of all experience levels, specializing in classes for kids aged 8–12. Lessons cover techniques and conditioning as well as life skills such as self-confidence and discipline.
Dahn Yoga on Windmill Lane offers a holistic approach to health and wellness. The studio features a comforting classroom, where wooden floors and a large mirrored wall help to create a traditional take on Korean décor. Large wooden doors and windows let in loads of natural light, bathing attendees in a warm glow. Both relaxing and tranquil, Dahn Yoga focuses on energy and helping others to enjoy a more balanced, healthy and energetic life. Even the suggested outfits are built for comfort, with most guests sporting simple t-shirts and loose-fitting pants as a way to maximize their poses, work on their flexibility and never feel constrained. Classes taught at the studio include basic yoga, Tai Chi, core strengthening and energy movement.