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At Moore's Chinese Martial Arts, which is one of more than 20 affiliated martial arts schools on the West Coast, the instructors specialize in shou shu, a system of pure self-defense. Literally translating into "beast knowledge," the efficient fight system utilizes the motions of seven different fighting animals. Each animal specializes in a specific type of motion and relies on the laws of physics to generate immense powers channeled in different ways. A demonstrative video showcases the martial as a practical defense technique, which Al Moore Sr. brought to the U.S. from China more than 45 years ago. In some cases, the shou shu practitioners in the video show how the discipline's strikes and takedowns can subdue multiple attackers, which would be needed if you were at a super villain's cloning facility.
Initially, walking into Urijah Faber's Ultimate Fitness might be a bit intimidating. At any given time inside the 8,600-square-foot facility, members might be sparring in the professional boxing ring, or they might be immersed in heated verbal debates with some of the 16 heavy bags. But the staff here immediately douses any concern by making the facility's goal clear: this is MMA-style fitness for anyone, no matter their age, gender, or exercise experience.
A former Division I wrestler at UC Davis and a decorated MMA fighter, Urijah Faber handpicks every single instructor on the facility's staff. Some instructors are professional MMA fighters, boxers, or kickboxers; others are certified personal trainers; and many of them occupy several of those groups. Their collective knowledge enables Ultimate Fitness to offer a number of different disciplines, including kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In addition to its programs, Ultimate Fitness also boasts a plethora of equipment, including TRX suspension-training gear.
Walking into the weight room at The Capital Athletic Club, visitors may think they’ve stepped into a European cathedral. Vaulted wood ceilings soar above resistance machines and free weights, immersing exercisers in a light, airy atmosphere and allowing trainers to participate in the annual Bring Your Giraffe to Work day. Dozens of classes cater to group fitness in four wood-floored studios and a heated, outdoor pool ensures comfortable laps regardless of outside temperature. Enthusiastic, highly qualified personal trainers collaborate with members, helping craft new programs for beginners or enlivening veterans' tired routines.
The club's amenities mirror its luxurious appointments, with each full member receiving a permanent locker for stashing clothes and parking meters you tore out of the ground with your bare hands. The staff launders workout clothes overnight, freeing up members’ time for relaxing in the expansive saunas and steam rooms. WiFi facilitates impromptu business meetings and spa services offer relaxing treatments.
Power duo Angelo Nunez and Cary Williams-Nunez opened their first Prime Time Boxing Club location in 1998, determined to spread their love of fitness and boxing to one small group at a time. Today, their boxing fitness empire extends to three gyms that been spotlighted by such reputable publications as the New York Times, Men's Fitness, and Shape. Angelo, Cary, and a team of encouraging trainers lead 45-minute fitness classes that build boxing skills from the ground up and increase stamina through an intense combination of basic jabs, bobbing and weaving, and sashays that best show off Americana shorts. The boxing aficionados train students aged 13 and older, with younger classes focusing on overall cardio and playing nice with pendulous speed bags.
Clint Robinson's U.S. Air Force duty took him around the world, but it was his time in South Korea that made the biggest mark. There, he learned the art of tae kwon do—and the positive fitness and values associated with it. When he returned to the states and left the Air Force, it didn't take long for him to found his own martial-arts school. More than 40 years and 19 locations later, Robinson's Taekwondo continues to thrive on the same principles on which Clint founded his business: excellence, personal attention, and tradition. He now counts children's, adult, and family programs as part of his curriculum. With continued training, students of all ages not only hone their fitness, but also improve their mental sharpness, self-confidence, and discipline.