A fight between Mr. Miagi and Steve Knopfer would be a fight worth seeing. That's because the highly decorated Steve would be an equal match for the famed fictional teacher: he was dubbed a Master Instructor of the Year by United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2012. That title is the culmination of a long career that started in 1980, when his training in shorin-ryu karate began. Over time, he added styles such as konujutsu, jujitsu, and shotokan to his toolbox of techniques, earning membership with the Lo Man Kam Wing Chun Federation and the Universal Martial Arts Association along the way.
In addition to winning state, regional, and national championships himself, Steve has trained some talented students; his acolytes took 26 state-championship and 12 national-championship titles in 2011 alone. At Impact Wing Chun and the Karate Connection, this seasoned fighter leads classes on wing chun and Chinese kickboxing, as well as championship programs in karate, jujitsu, and maintaining a constant steely gaze.
At Your Time Fitness, members pump iron and fortify their heart 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a key card that grants access any time. Cardio-training equipment, such as treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals, lets clients sweat without the hassle of hiring a personal interrogator, whereas strength-training equipment, such as free weights, adjustable benches, and squat racks, boosts muscular prowess. To take the mathematical calculations out of muscle toning, the gyms’ full Cybex resistance-machine circuit targets every muscle group without a thought, letting patrons go from one to the next for an easy, no-nonsense workout.
Bodily makeovers go even further with a session from Your Time’s team of certified personal trainers. Fitness pro Jesper Anderson stepped into the spotlight when he trained a contestant in season 3 of The Biggest Loser; the contestant lost 118 pounds and went on to become a runner-up in the competition.
At Tribal Yoga, students of all levels of yoga experience (or even no experience) can meet in a positive community space designed for fun, healthy interactions. The Yoga Alliance-trained teachers lead a diverse selection of classes—from preschool yoga to prenatal—all of which balance breath work, meditation, and asana. They can accommodate whatever intention students have for their yoga practice, whether they just hope to relax, lose weight, and, for kids, just have fun.
Dim lights gently glint off rich crimson walls, fostering a suitably seductive ambiance for Respectapole Dance Fitness's women-only sensual dance classes. Founder Jessica "Elaine" Edwards helms the studio's team of certified instructors, who aim to enhance both physiques and self-confidence through a blend of aerobic exercise and dance techniques. They strive to cultivate an upbeat, motivating environment for novices and veterans alike as they teach pole-, chair-, and lap-dance moves such as spins, floor choreography, and upside-down poses. To further sculpt toned musculature, the staff pilots hip-hop aerobics classes, and Zumba sessions.
Certified personal fitness trainer Ken Williams’ boot camps were voted Hampton Roads' best in 2011 by the Virginian-Pilot, and he was honored in NV Magazine’s 2011 Movers & Shakers list, a designation for outstanding business people who prove “anything is possible.” Today, he captains a crew of certified trainers in his boot-camp programs while also offering private training and diet coaching. Believing his boot camps can benefit anyone, he trains clients of every stripe, from those looking to shed fat to competitive bodybuilders to local celebrities such as WVEC News 13’s Benita Adams. Each of his workouts aims to challenge fitness seekers both physically and mentally, much like solving math problems with a 130-pound bronze pencil.
In addition to helping clients along the path to healthier selves, Ken commits himself to offering a hand in the local community. He provides motivational speeches at local schools to encourage healthy habits among youth, and conducts food and supply drives for local homeless shelters Haven House and ForKids, Inc.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
ArtInspired pools together various forms of art to spark creativity and help members make positive lifestyle changes. In one part of the facility, visitors wade through the depths of their imagination during educational programs, including in graphics, photography, marketing and design. To burn off stored-up energy, those same visitors may want to slide into their workout gear and take part in ArtInspired's collection of dance-based fitness classes. The classes–which steer away from typical group fitness routines–include Zumba, Bollywood dance, and hip-hop, among others.