Before becoming owner and head trainer at Sityodtong Muay Thai Academy, Mark DellaGrotte spent a decade in Thailand, training under muay thai guru Kru Yodtong and competing in high-profile bouts. His experience transformed him into a formidable muay thai kickboxer, earning him spots on several TV shows including Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter and UFC Countdown. However, it also made him an expert ambassador for Thai-style boxing. Today, Mark and his team of instructors foster fight-ready fitness with classes in muay thai, Brazilian jujitsu, mixed martial arts, and boxing.
Carlos Neto Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has a class for everybody: Brazilian jujitsu, mixed martial arts, muay thai kickboxing, and wrestling for adults, a women-only Brazilian jujitsu class, and a kids' foundational class. Owner and head instructor Carlos Neto brings a wealth of experience to every class he teaches.
More than three decades have passed since head instructor Bobby Giordano founded American Martial Arts Center. Giordano spent that time earning not one, but five black belts, and learning the ropes of muay thai and jeet kune do. The former bodyguard spreads his expertise to the masses through private martial-arts classes and enlists a staff of talented instructors to amplify the effect. Together they expound practical self-defense techniques designed to preempt attacks in the ring, on the streets, and in grocery-store aisles the day before Thanksgiving. Teachers whip students into shape during mixed-martial-arts, muay thai, Brazilian jujitsu, and kickboxing classes, which are all practiced in a fun, safe environment.
Kids and teens warrant their own kid-friendly branch of the business. Whereas adult classes aim for fitness and skill, the kids’ sessions emphasize values such as self-confidence and self-discipline, which come in handy when betting a punching bag that you won’t punch it.
There are more black belts in Mass BJJ's Acton and Arlington studios than even the biggest of Johnny Cash's walk-in closets. Though in this case, they're tied around the waists of expert martial arts trainers, who teach the finer points of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to both kids and adults. This particular martial art form focuses on getting an opponent to the ground, where size doesn't matter and proper fighting technique reigns supreme.
While Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu inspired Mass BJJ's name, it isn't the only discipline taught atop their red padded floors. In fact, the instructors encourage students to mix different classes to get a well-rounded martial arts education. To that end, they lead kick-boxing, MMA, and general strength-conditioning classes.
Most boxers train to punch an opponent in the face, but some train to knock out fat instead. At Boston Boxing & Fitness, former fighters turned certified instructors lead classes focused on both the competitive and fitness aspects of the sport. Coaches design each course to tone specific body areas, teach students to spar, or improve the body's overall fitness through strength and conditioning sessions. The studio also runs ladies-only boxing classes, allowing women to perfect jabs in an encouraging, dude-free environment. Classes run five days a week, with the gym hosting weekend sparring sessions and amateur team-oriented fight nights. When not in class, trainers and students alike also supplement their training with the gym's 1500 pounds of free weights, athletic training, and fire pits designed for the ritualistic sacrifice of old gloves.
Babe’s Bootcamp's founder, Kristine Barry, use her skills as a certified yoga instructor, personal trainer, and group-exercise instructor to whip her students into tip-top shape during one-hour total-body workouts. Medford High School's indoor gym, weight room, and outdoor field serve as participants' stomping grounds on weeknights. As Kristine makes use of a variety of exercise techniques, students should bring a water bottle, towel or yoga mat, and pocket-sized personal cheerleader to each class.