Owner and black-belt Donna Middendorf of Sumner Taekwondo Academy leads a team of instructors who share their expertise in Korean hand-to-hand combat with kids and adults. And while the classes spend time with the more martial aspects of the art, they're really not about fighting. For Donna and the team, Taekwondo promotes peace through learning self-respect and gaining confidence—it's the heart of the discipline. At the same time, the instructors help students hone their punching and kicking skills and they engage with their peers in safe, supervised sparring sessions and fully-padded staring contests.
"Discipline is an act of freedom." United Fitness Center's motto sums up the facility's approach to working out. By offering up high-intensity classes that challenge its members' willpower, agility, and endurance, the center pushes participants to dedicate themselves to life-changing fitness. The center furthers this end goal by incorporating the Fittest Warrior system, which tracks members' workout routines and nutrition, ensuring they are overhauling their lifestyles rather than sending their clone, whose DNA has been spliced with a bodybuilder's, to the gym.
Though thousands of miles from Thailand, Leading Edge Kickboxing & Martial Arts imports the country’s national sport, Muay Thai kickboxing, fresh daily. The fighting style, built on a foundation of kicking, punching, and elbow and knee strikes, forms the core of their fitness programs, engineered by head instructor John Stabb. Enamored of all arts martial, the instructors also teach Jiu-Jitsu’s unarmed combat techniques, MMA, and Jeet Kune Do’s self-defense method that employs weaponry, grappling, and strategically scattering banana peels to throw your opponent off balance. Unlike more repetitive workouts, the studio’s varied martial arts sessions build lean muscle mass and enhance cardio fitness.
At Eastside Kickboxing's gym, a group of students perform hip-twisting kicks, connecting hard with 6-foot Thai-style heavy bags before pummeling them with quick jabs. For 60–75 minutes, they perform intense cardio-kickboxing combinations. Eastside's team of instructors lead this combination, helping clients slim down, boost stamina and energy, and sculpt all muscle groups. To keep things interesting, trainers also may infuse routines with weightlifting and unique cardio exercises, both designed to further goals of losing weight or intensify workouts.