Mikyo Riggs began his martial arts training in 1990, instantly drawn to freestyle fighting before the world knew it as mixed martial arts. In his quest to become the best fighter he could, he studied boxing, muay thai, and enshin karate, and earned a black belt from Ralph Gracie in the grappling art of Gracie Jiu-jitsu. Eventually, though, he realized he didn't want to just use these techniques in the ring, he wanted to help others along the path he'd followed. So, he founded Marin Mixed Martial Arts in 2006.
Today, his school teaches students of all ages a wide range of martial arts—exactly the way Mikyo himself learned. Alongside Jiu-jitsu they teach muay thai kickboxing, kali stick fighting, wrestling, and a women-specific Jiu-jitsu and self-defense class. Yet no matter the class, the staff applies a simple, singular core value: 100% technique. They believe that more than strength or speed, practice always wins, so they encourage their students to bring discipline and focus to their training. Students have responded positively, voting the studio the Best Martial Arts School four times, most recently in the Pacific Sun's 2013 Reader's Choice Awards.
Though kids, adults, and families walk away from Canyon Kajukenbo Martial Arts Institute knowing how to defend themselves, the studio aims to teach more than a basic set of skills. For kids, the three most important principles are self-discipline, self-defense, and self-confidence. The studio has spent years developing their children's program, honing teaching methods designed to help kids discover for themselves the benefits of those principles, rather than feeling compelled to follow them.
Adults, on the other hand, can count on the three F's: fitness, focus, and fun, during classes that focus on kickboxing and MMA techniques. The martial arts classes aim to teach self-defense to folks of every skill level. The kickboxing classes on the other hand are designed to melt fat fast by engaging the entire body to sculpt and tone physiques.
For the family classes instructors focus on bringing kids and parents together with routines that help them bond while getting them away from smartphones or the isolation pods required by our alien overlords now.
There's a lot that goes into and comes out of martial arts. At Dae Han Martial Arts Center, they dedicate themselves to giving students the complete package. Besides the techniques of Korean martial arts, they instill students with respect, humility, discipline, and perseverance. Fitness and self-defense skills, of course, are accrued, as well. Their instructors enact this holistic system in an immaculate facility laid with padded flooring and lined with mirrors. In that welcoming environment, they lead classes open to everyone, dividing sessions into age groups for students aged 4 and older.
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form that combines elements of song, dance, and ritualized fighting that is centered on a physical game called jogo de capoeira. Like Spock and Kirk forced to fight by a threatening tribunal of bearded men, two players dance around each other in the center of a circle, exchanging movements of attack and defense in a constant, heart-pumping flow. Both players attempt to control the space by confusing their opponent, although no intentional contact is made or harm done—unlike sticks and stones with hurtful words carved into them. The observers in the circle play a variety of traditional Brazilian instruments and sing, setting the pace and beat of the dance-fight. Explore the schedule to find times during the week that work for you; additional classes are held at 7 a.m. by appointment only. Each session will immerse you in the flips, feints, kicks, and songs of capoeira.
Maybe it's a good thing the founders of Brazilian jiujitsu were not huge men. At just 135 pounds, co-founder Helio Gracie was forced to rely on leverage rather than rote strength or merciless tickling to help him overcome larger opponents. So in an effort to reduce the natural advantage of size, he worked these techniques into Brazilian jiujitsu's system of joint locks, chokes, and take-downs. In that way, Brazilian jiujitsu became a practical form of self-defense; you didn't have to be able to kick down a tree to become dangerous.
At Ralph Gracie Jiu Jitsu, black belt martial artist Dave Clahan and his team have armed students of every size with these same leverage-based self-defense techniques. Inside their 4,000 square foot studio, students of all ages and levels soak up grappling and submission skills they can refine for the ring or reserve for life-saving moments on the street. In addition to building physical ability, the instructors also emphasize building intangible qualities, such as confidence and self-respect.
The International Academy of WingChun trains its students in an especially versatile form of martial arts, first pioneered in 1998. Built on a foundation of self-defense and based in a variety of combat traditions, WingChun is designed to shore up physical fitness, mental agility, and self-confidence. At a variety of facilities, students of the Academy focus and practice, developing skills that will benefit them for a lifetime.