It started with watching Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris movies as a kid—since then, Sean McHugh has taken his martial-arts study seriously. Since 2001, Sean has trained under 8th-degree red-and-black belt Master Marcus Soares as part of the Carlson Gracie team. In 2010, he decided to spread the benefits of Brazilian jiu-jitsu by opening First Strike Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Penticton. By 2011, he was ready to open another school in Kelowna. Together with his team of instructors, he trains students in the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which helps strengthen bodies and minds alike.
Because many real-life confrontations end on the ground or in close struggles, Sean views Brazilian jiu-jitsu—which focuses on ground-based grappling—as one of the most effective martial arts for self-defense. Each of the studio's classes starts with a warm-up and drills. Next, the instructor will teach new techniques and supervise a half hour of free rolling, where students can practice their moves with one another, rather than waiting to try them out on stuffed animals at home.
Whether students want to tone their muscles, learn self-defense, or simply compete in martial arts, Pacific Top Team Kelowna is there for them. Brazilian jiujitsu classes help students in all three areas, whereas Future Champion kids' classes focus on building the values every athlete needs, including self-discipline, cooperation, and respect.
Women's only kickboxing and self-defense classes also build self-confidence, and they empower women by teaching them how to fend off an attacker. The classes rely on techniques from kickboxing, boxing, and jiujitsu, and often have a party-like atmosphere complete with pounding music and balloon animals.
During muay thai classes, instructor and world muay thai champion Adolfo Lozano teaches students the crucial eight points of contact—the two hands, elbows, knees, and shins. This class is designed to push bodies to their limits.
Kees Tae Kwon Do's stylized logo, depicting a man driving his leg through a circle, is actually based on a photograph of Grandmaster Kee Ha performing a flying split kick. The graceful move—which as a logo represents the drive to aim for goals beyond immediate objectives—exemplifies the philosophies and techniques that Ha and his masters and instructors teach to students in a range of tae kwon do classes for children and adults. Teachers guide students through the mentally and physically demanding journey from white to black belt, introducing skills that discipline their bodies and prepare them to fend off assailants or demolish their front doors if they forget the keys. They also instruct students in other martial-arts styles, such as kick-boxing.