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.
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.
The experienced instructors at Premier Martial Arts imbue their student with more than just slimmer waists and harder punches. Perhaps most importantly, their fitness and martial-arts classes instill students of all ages and skill levels with the confidence to take on challenges both inside and outside the ring. Young students may especially benefit from learning how to defend themselves, as new challenges in the form of bullies and volatile imaginary friends barrage them daily.
Inside a converted garage nestled behind Alegria Cafe, the yoga instructors of Perfect Hearts Yoga lead small groups through therapeutic poses. Students can practice the lengthy poses of Yin yoga to soothe the body's connective tissues, participate in energizing flow classes, or opt for a calming candlelit Hatha class. Instructors cater to all experience levels and will guide students through modifications to make poses easier if necessary.