The Brazilian martial art known as capoeira was founded 500 years ago. Though it began as a fighting practice disguised as a game, capoeira is now widely practiced as a form of exercise, self-expression, and community celebration. Its fluid movements combine acrobatics and dance and are often set to traditional Brazilian music. Professor Fenix, the founder of Fenix Fitness, has been training in capoeira for nearly 20 years. During private and group classes at his studio, he passes on his skills to children, adults, and exceptionally coordinated dogs.
Despite immigrating to North America, Mestre Curisco and Contra Mestre Lua Branca chose not to leave their native Brazil entirely behind them. The duo founded Capoeira Mal?s?a community-run, non-profit organization?as a way to share Brazilian cultural traditions with the Seattle community. One of these traditions is capoeira: the movement-based Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, music, and dance. At the studio, students build strength, flexibility, while also honing their confidence and self-control during each class. Capoeira is only one of the center's offerings, though. It also features samba classes that introduce attendees to the Afro-Brazilian dance while accompanied by live music.
There's more than one way to defend yourself. Just ask Alpha Martial Arts' instructors, who include muay thai world champions Kru Alberto Ramirez and his wife, Ariana Ramirez, who has appeared on Oxygen's reality show Fight Girls. Kru Alberto and Ariana teach the adult Muay Thai kickboxing classes, while Chris Herman and Silas Ness teach the Kenpo Karate programs. These master fighters teach teens and adults an array of martial arts techniques, including the strikes of karate and muay thai, all while helping them shed pounds and tone muscles. Alpha's team also coordinates youth martial arts programs for ages 4?12.
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Aside from covering your body with pepper and entering the fetal position, the human knows a limited number of self-defense techniques. Today's side deal educates you in the Japanese martial art of aikido with eight classes, a month's worth, at Washington Aiki Kwai for $40. With two classes a week—Mondays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.—you'll work with instructor John Kanetomi to learn to defend yourself while not inflicting pain on your attacker, thus making you a benevolent almost-victim.
With black-belts in several forms of Japanese, Korean, and Filipino martial arts, Master Boiselle would be a formidable opponent for any competitor. To kids, though, he's a mild-mannered instructor. His martial arts may be serious, but his studio?Rainier Beach Martial Arts Academy?is kid-friendly, with bright colors and padded floors and practice areas. Here, Boiselle and his team specialize in training students of all ages during martial arts classes held six days a week. Instructors provide training in karate and taekwondo, introducing the age-appropriate fluid strikes and blocks that improve physical fitness and confidence as well as mental clarity. The studio also prepares pupils for real-world self defense with classes in arnis, kali, and eskrima, the three main styles of Filipino martial arts. A structured after-school program also gives students the chance to do their homework while preparing for the inevitable wood block uprising.