At age 11, Tony Genova faced an inescapable problem: bullies were making his life miserable. Looking for help, he found his way to martial-arts classes—and he was a natural. Only three years later, he was a black belt in karate. Now a fourth-degree black belt, he seeks to pass on the self-discipline and respect he learned through his classes at Texas Karate Center. He and his team of instructors teach kids and adults of all ages and abilities, including classes designed for kids with special needs.
Just listing Sensei Steven Jackson's accolades might render a rival martial artist powerless. He's a third-degree Tae Kwon Do black belt, a third-stripe Brazilian jujitsu blue belt, a kickboxer, a tournament competitor, and a student of karate master Bill Simpson. At Lone Star Black Belt Academy, he and his seasoned instructors lead martial-arts classes for toddlers, kids, and adults, stressing self-confidence and self-defense. Martial arts practiced at the academy include Tae Kwon Do, Brazilian jujitsu, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts fighting.
Six principles guide courses at American Masters Martial Arts. These principles—which include politeness, bravery, and respect—ensure that students come away not only with martial arts skills but also with a sense of character and integrity. Instructors specialize in seven martial arts styles, and while some courses are sports-oriented, others focus on self-defense. Whether learning hapkido, tai chi, tae kwon do, or personal safety techniques, students earn a well-rounded education that encompasses both physical and mental goals.
At Absolute Boxing & Personal Training for Women, personal trainers with vast martial-arts experience, including UFC manager Francois Nguyen, help men, women, and children of all skill levels get into fine fighting form. The team combines the fundamentals of boxing and kickboxing into heart-thumping sessions capable of incinerating calories, toning muscles, and arming students with the self-defense techniques necessary to ward off bullies. Personal trainers expand upon fight-based conditioning with yoga instruction, massage therapy, and a promise to hold clients accountable for the goals they set, such as running 10 miles or high-fiving 10 strangers each day.
Former UFC and Pancrase champion Guy Mezger passes on his accumulated martial arts knowledge to students through his instructors at Guy Mezger's Combat Sports Club. He and his staff teach six different competitive fighting disciplines, such as boxing, judo, and no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu. They blend their disciplines with fitness and practical self-defense techniques, arming students with a valuable skill set that encourages a healthier lifestyle. They also teach kids, building confidence through measurable achievements such as belt advancement and wrestling matches.
More than 40 years ago, the four Machado brothers—Roger, Rigan, Carlos, and John—founded RCJ Machado Jiu-Jitsu to pass on the Brazilian martial-arts knowledge they acquired from the late jiu-jitsu master Carlos Gracie. Although the Machado brothers' legacy now spans TV and movie appearances, plus work with celebrities ranging from Chuck Norris to Usher, their school still takes new martial artists of all ages through the fundamentals and beyond. Some locations also include classes in kickboxing, MMA, and capoeira—a Brazilian blend of martial arts and dance.
Inside Brandt Fitness's facility, skilled trainers and yogis offer neglected bodies upgrades to better shapes. Bend and stretch during basic Hatha or Vinyasa flow yoga to achieve nimble nirvana or practice knot mimicry for victorious rounds of sailor charades. Alternatively, introduce youngsters to the limb-limbering world of karate with kid-focused martial-arts classes that guide students through a sweat-inducing tapestry of kicks, punches, and grappling techniques. Although self-defense is an aspect of the classes, the main focus is self-discipline and confidence, which children will need to navigate upcoming years of academics, self-discovery, and offers to join supervillain guilds.