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.
Father-daughter duo David and Danielle Pelham co-own Velocity Taekwondo, where they join up with a small team of coaches to share their love of martial arts and training with anyone interested. Danielle won the 2009 World Taekwondo Federation championships, and David is an award-winning taekwondo competition coach. Together with CrossFit and MMA trainers, they equip clients with fighting and fitness skills. Taekwondo is the focus, however—the academy has its own competition team, and after-school programs accommodate the schedules of children and sentient pencils.
"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.
Students should bring: Towel, water.
Average class length: 60–90 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Very friendly atmosphere.