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.
The coaches at Cappy's Gym arm their students with ring-ready pugilism skills and endless encouragement. Boxing Fitness corrals small troupes in one-hour sessions designed to condition bodies without actual boxing competition. Classes focus on fortifying each fighter's foundations by first aligning posture to safely stack muscles and properly balance on traditional boxing stilts. Coaches help students shape up with medicine-ball drills, plyometric moves, and footwork drills to build lean muscle mass, and jump-rope routines raise heart rates with a hastened twist on a playground pastime. During punching practice, learn to time quick jabs at a speed bag or blast full-powered blows against the indifferent surface of a jaded heavy bag. Those that opt for a month at Cappy's can protect their wrists with stabilizing hand wraps as they take to the gym's equipment as often as desired.
Fuerte means "strong" in Spanish, and if anyone knows the strength required to stay fit, it's Fuerte Fitness owner Adriana Medina. Having completed an impressive transformation herself, Adriana founded Fuerte as a way to reinvigorate a dedication to health and fitness in others.
A brightly lit, brightly colored facility, Fuerte separates itself from big-box gyms with its friendly, intimidation-free vibe. But make no mistake: the focus here is on fitness, as evidenced by the gym's army of cardio machines, weights, and cross-training equipment, including heavy bags and agility boxes. Fuerte also hosts a rotation of more than 10 fitness classes, plus other events, such as hiking trips, cooking classes, and outings at sporting events so members can get to know each other face-to-face instead of grunting their hobbies between every rep.
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.
Kickboxing classes deliver a knee to the face of fat, burning up to 860 calories an hour with the high-energy striking moves of martial arts and boxing. All four limbs get in on the bag-bludgeoning action at iLoveKickboxing as each class provides a full-body workout that tones arm, leg, and tentacle muscles while tightening the body’s core and improving balance. Hitting the heavy bags won't skin your knuckles once you don the included boxing gloves, which also double as excellent spring-loaded props for re-creating Three Stooges gags. Class times and dates vary based on each location: Woodinville, Seattle, Gig Harbor, Puyallup and Lacey.
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.