A sign hangs over the entrance of MKG Martial Arts International: Leave your ego at the door. It’s the first indication of the group-minded, family-like camaraderie among the students and highly trained instructors, and it's a sentiment that holds true in each of the gym’s three areas of expertise—adult martial arts and kickboxing, cross-training fitness classes, and youth programs for tykes as young as 4. MKG's MAX10 Fitness & Boot Camp program challenges fitness-goers to reach new goals.
Known as MAX, the 4,500-square-foot studio's cross-training classes help students get into shape during boot-camp- and kickboxing-inspired workouts. Sessions, such as Bag Combat or MAX Strength, torch calories and tone muscles while keeping boredom at bay with continuously changing routines and punching bags that explode into butterflies every time they’re hit.
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.
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.
Parkour Visions teaches aspiring traceurs—the French word for parkour practitioners—how to overcome physical obstacles. Though the sport's origins are a bit fuzzy, it has achieved a wider audience thanks to the many parkour videos uploaded to Youtube as well as the popularity of the television show American Ninja Warrior. These all highlight the purpose of parkour: to improve speed, strength, and coordination while learning how to move efficiently through your environment. At Parkour Visions's three locations, seasoned traceurs teach students of all skill levels and ages how to safely execute basic movements and landings, and, as a non-profit organization, they pay it forward by working with parks to help maintain their grounds and encourage safe outdoor training.