Ultimate Martial Arts owner Dante E. Peña, an award-bedecked tae kwan do black belt, instructs fleet-fisted self-defenders in a state-of-the-art, 5,600-square-foot wonderland. The school's schedule teems with classes that furnish men and women of all ages with the muscle-molding prowess of krav maga, boxing, kickboxing, and jiu jitsu. Ultimate Martial Arts' cutting-edge TRX suspension system gives burgeoning cores an intense resistance workout, and the school's yoga classes maintain the flexibility necessary to select hard-to-reach Street Fighter characters.
Trainer-to-professional-athlete David Englund enlists a certified staff to sculpt healthy bodies through group classes that encompass all elements of fitness. Bump boxing gloves and Mickey Mouse gloves with experts in muay thai, its sessions helmed by instructors who earned their dukes in the Land of Smiles. Swift jabs and kicks fly while pupils hone powerful punches and cardio pumps to triumph over opponents. In kids' boxing and martial-arts courses, experienced teachers shepherd students aged 8–13 to the peak of fitness within a fun, collaborative atmosphere. Englund himself reigns over Pilates sessions, which fortify abdominal powerhouses to facilitate future exercise and old-timey loads of laundry.
Born in Bulgaria in 1959, fencer Hristo Etropolski soon traded his rattle for a saber, competing twice in the Olympic Games—including a fifth-place finish in 1980—and earning medals in two World Championships. After settling down in 2005, Hristo founded Midwest Fencing Academy, where, as head coach, he draws on almost 40 years of competition and teaching experience to sharpen students’ sparring skills. Of his past protégés, one received a gold medal in the Junior World Cup, and many have secured fencing scholarships at Ivy League universities, where their mighty swords reign undefeated against opponents' puny pens.
Midwest Fencing Academy specializes in the lightest of fencing's three weapons, the saber, whose required speed and quick thinking puts students' hearts and reflexes to the test, building discipline and good sportsmanship. The facility boasts five regulation strips, four of which are wired with electronic scoring, and includes a large viewing space for friends or parents to shout French translations of witty retorts from the sidelines.
Helmed by grand master Fred Degerberg, Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts whips exercisers of all experience levels into shape during high-intensity kids karate and adult mixed martial arts classes. Blending over 300 different types of fighting styles, MMA classes help students build strength, develop mental discipline, and establish effective defense strategies for use in both sport competition and street encounters. Xtreme Fitness classes present a range of exercise options, from boot camps to women’s boxing sessions to kids' karate classes, which blend techniques such as kickboxing, jujitsu, and tae kwon do.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
The masterful instructors at Keller’s Martial Arts nurture self-confidence and enhanced physical fitness in a variety of focused disciplines. Each of the instructors operates under the philosophy that learning a martial art heightens physical strength and endurance by burning calories and strengthening muscles, and bulwarks emotional fortitude by instilling a sense of achievement and self-mastery. The resulting inner peace nurtures continued learning and, like the ripples in a pool after an elephant's cannonball dive, ramifies to other areas of life. Commitment-free classes welcome newcomers to sample the discipline of their choice, such as MMA, or kickboxing.