Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
If you walk amid bFit Studio’s high ceilings and sprung floor within the Fox Chapel Yacht Club, you would not see solo exercisers walking aimlessly among complicated machines without knowing how to properly use them or motivate themselves. Instead, your eyes would meet the sight of bodies moving in tandem to energetic beats that pump from a surround system. That’s because the staff of certified instructors focus all their attention on classes, in which clients of all fitness levels make use of equipment such as TRX straps, BOSU balls, and Kangoo boots.
Throughout the week, Live Learn and Play abounds with youngsters of all ages, genders, and special needs, frolicking among inflatable obstacle courses, therapeutic swings, and ball pits under the supervision of childcare professionals. During youth classes and camps certified instructors lead classes in art, dance, and music, enriching kids' bodies and minds while distracting them from plots to age. Meanwhile, in the parent-resource center, adults attend childcare-training workshops and an abundance of classes, including kickboxing, nutrition, and yoga. The center even offers mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which utilizes healing oxygen treatments in an effort to improve conditions such as autism, arthritis, and allergies.
Rather than a competition, the instructors at Lehigh Valley Shihou-ken Karate treat their self-defense style as an art form. Sensei Charlie draws from more than 40 years of martial-arts training to lead his team in training students as young as 9 or old enough to be technically immortal. In classes tailored to specific ability levels, the instructors drill students in strikes, blocks, and kata—a choreographed series of fighting moves. All classes focus on the shihou-ken style, which blends elements from three forms of traditional Japanese karate and also introduces principles of muay thai, boxing, and judo.
Walter Copeland II’s workouts embody his signature catch phrase: “Hate me now, love me later.” Drawing on his diverse certifications in personal training, cardio kickboxing, Silver Sneakers, and Battling Ropes, Walter builds intense, transformative workouts that yield results. Along with kinesiologist Ayana Donaldson, Walter molds healthier clients through one-on-one and small-group training sessions or larger-group fitness classes.
Instructors at the female-only W.O.W. at Bodies R Us lead Zumba, spin, yoga, and kickboxing classes designed to strengthen and tone the bodies of their students. Gym members may also opt to use the strength training equipment in the weight room or cardio machines after dropping off children at the in-house daycare center.