Open since 2005, West Coast Martial Arts promotes the spread of Mixed Martial Arts through the capable hands and feet of its expert instructors. From 23 locations, they train students of all ages and experience levels in the nuances of an international array of martial arts. Their fundamentals programs introduce tots, youths, and adults to some of the fastest-growing disciplines in North America, arming students with pragmatic self-defence skills that work as well in the heat of the moment as they do in the calm of the dojo. Instructors also lead an array of classes for more advance practitioners. Teaching the grappling and ground-fighting techniques of Brazilian jujitsu, they lead students in battling larger opponents with the holds and submissions of the Gracie street self-defence system. They round out their curriculum with the striking arts of kickboxing and muay thai, which is also called the "science of eight limbs." In this combat style, students unleash flurries of blows using their hands, feet, elbows, and knees, turning into a more fearsome opponent than Bruce Lee before he had his conjoined twin removed.
Open 24 hours a day, the facilities at Sport Central come stacked with modern fitness equipment, squash courts, and instructors. Guests who opt for a two-month membership get 24-hour access to a 45,000 square foot gym full of body-toning cadre of cardio and strength-training equipment such as elliptical trainers, treadmills, bikes, steppers, and rowers. The membership also comes with 12 tanning sessions, which can aid iron-pumpers in looking more like a golden Atlas than a pallid one. The centre also boasts two steam rooms, a women's only area, and a children's centre where tykes can play under supervision while parents get fit.
Equipment: LifeFitness, Hammer Strength, Cybex, Technogym, Hoist, Power Plate
Students should bring: fitness apparel, water bottle, towel
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Average class length: 30?60 minutes
Class location: Indoors only
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Pay-to-park parking garage
When Vancouver won the opportunity to host the 2010 Winter Games, the city of Richmond decided to build a venue that would be of lasting benefit to the community: the Richmond Olympic Oval. What was once the home of long-track speed skating has since been transformed into a 20,000-square-foot fitness complex, housing a state-of-the-art gym, two ice rinks, volleyball courts, basketball courts, indoor soccer fields, running tracks, climbing walls, batting cages, an indoor rowing pool, and more. Staff members organize activities using each aspect of the venue, ranging from sport leagues to fun fitness challenges. Members gain access to the facility and its programs as whole, allowing them to work out on their own or experience the gym's amenities as part of a group fitness class.
Fitting such a variety things under one roof?and doing so elegantly?is no small feat. But here, a beautiful arching roof literally covers the entire facility. "The Richmond Olympic Oval has won over 50 awards for building design and innovation, including the Institution of Structural Engineers' 2009 Structural Award for Sports or Leisure [Structures]," according to the facility's program manager. The competition for that particular accolade was pretty fierce, since it also included Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium and Water Cube aquatics centre, as well as a 50-foot-tall statue of Joseph Pilates whose core keeps getting more defined.
Given all the medals they’ve accrued in international competitions, you’d think the instructors at Apex Martial Arts would dedicate more space to a trophy case. Instead, owners Milo and Marcy Hilario opted for 1,200 square feet of open mat space and a roped-in, 18’x18’ boxing ring, ideal for imparting their vast stores of competition-level experience. Named Richmond’s top martial-arts school for three years, Apex teaches through hands-on instruction and attention to technique. Instructors emphasize the proper leverage behind successful jiu-jitsu holds, or personally demonstrate a coy tickle to the trachea or the hip shifts that power a devastating right cross punch. Students stretch and cool down after class, talking shop in a modern lounge appointed with black-leather couches and a flat-screen TV.
Fusion Fitness Pilates Studio helps guests improve their core strength, flexibility, and posture through an array of Pilates classes. Rather than focusing on a few specific muscle groups, Pilates workouts are designed to exercise the entire body?unless you have vestigial wings, that is. Some sessions involve mat exercises, and others use devices such as the Reformer. Unlike free weights, the Reformer alters its levels of resistance as you use it, creating an exercise tailored to your specific capabilities.
After a stint as a world-champion martial artist, Adam Ryan turned his fighting talents to teaching, quickly amassing a 30-3 record as an MMA coach. At Dynamic Mixed Martial Arts, Adam grooms the next generation of feared fighters, assisted by a staff of current professional fighters and wrestlers. The spacious gym includes 3,000 square feet of mat space, a realistic octagon, and a weight-training area with bumper weights, kettlebells, sandbags, and squat racks.