The owners of Smash Hit Kickboxing invite anyone interested in undertaking a physical, emotional, or spiritual transformation to explore kickboxing and meet with their cadre of experienced instructors. Each instructor boasts over 20 years of martial-arts immersion with backgrounds including a world-ranked kickboxing champion, a former member of the USA National Karate Team, and an award-winning hand model. Their program blends the fitness and self-defense aspects of kickboxing along with specific courses geared towards beginners or advanced students training for their black belts.
Before founding World Sports Fitness, Pierre F. Mouele routinely went toe-to-head in the ring, earning a kickboxing championship title. Finally, he hung up his gloves and retired his cactus-covered shoes so that he could use his boxing training to whip people into shape. Today, he puts his clients and classes through the same demanding conditioning regimen that prepared him to lay out his opponents.
His students cut swathes of muscle pummeling red, black, and blue punching bags in Shotokan karate and self-defense classes. Alternatively, clients heft weights and toss heavy balls during strength-conditioning courses, which help them sculpt a fighter's body without any of the impact exercises associated with traditional boxing training, such as getting constantly punched.
Blue and red padded squares glow underfoot in the vast gym, unused punching bags standing in neat ranks to the side of the space. Above them hang tidied rows of flags, representing the many nations and organizations from which World Sports Fitness draws its curriculum.
Feet dance up and down the six electric strips that run across a 4,200-square-foot raised floor amid shouts of “En garde!” and blunted foils whipping through the air, meeting each other with the piercing ring of steel on steel or glancing off of padded vests. This scene takes place each weeknight at Salle d'Etroit Fencing Academy, where coaches Ben Schleis, Rebecca Keeling, and Jon Zelkowski teach the finer points of fencing, a sport originally developed by the French as an excuse to wear white after Bastille Day. The experts preside over classes for adults and youths, teaching them to wield foils, épées, and sabers.
In addition to organizing classes, the United States Fencing Association–sanctioned club hosts tournaments and matches pupils with new and used equipment at the pro shop. Should their weapons have issues after being used to clean whales' teeth, students can drop by the armory, where technicians take care of rewiring blades and other fixes.
Master Nick Colling views every student who walks into his studio as a potential black belt. If anyone knows what it takes to get there, it’s him—he holds black belts in multiple styles and boasts a martial-arts teaching career that spans more than 25 years. Colling and his team of knowledgeable instructors tutor students in tae kwon do, krav maga, and aiki-jitsu. Though they’re experts in each style, to them, the martial arts aren’t just about physical disciplines—the instructors believe their students emerge from the programs as better people in all areas of life.
Guardian Martial Arts & Fitness's staff of instructors enhances fitness via a robust schedule of lessons conducted in a welcoming, constructive atmosphere. Give your physique a once-weekly firming with the Pilates fundamentals class, a holistic approach to fitness designed to hone core strength, flexibility, and posture, or attack calories in a fast-paced kickboxing course incorporating hand weights and floor work. Pilates courses are offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6 p.m., and kickboxing classes are offered Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m., allowing workers out to sweat away the stress of the office and its high-pressure conference-room Scattergories tournaments.