In his tae kwon do classes, former world welterweight kickboxing champion Eric Melton covers techniques from basic stances and blocks to black-belt sparring. In another room, members of the competitive gymnastics team hone their flips and flexibility in year-round preparation for bouts against rival gyms. The competitive streak continues on in the cheerleading team, with whom decorated cheer directors harness national-title experience to perfect the squad's choreography and teamwork.
Along with classes with a competitive bent, the Mpact staff hosts sessions for kids who just want to try out new activities and have fun such a Nerf Wars where kids engage in friendly nerf football battles or open gym sessions. A parent-and-child gymnastics class introduces youngsters to obstacle courses and trampolines, and extreme tumbling's foam pits and padded mats train students of all skill levels to jump and flip more fearlessly than a blindfolded dolphin in a shark tank. For performing pupils, Mpact also teaches aerial-acrobatics classes and Demo Team programs, where kids learn how to deftly handle martial-arts weapons, including nunchaku and staffs.
Fighting Spirit Karate and Fitness specializes in competition USA-NKF Karate and Functional Fitness. As a member of the US Olympic Committee, Sensei Joe Valdez prepares all ages for olympic-style karate competition. As a certified trainer and MD, he directs functional fitness classes that include non-traditional methods.
Nashville Mixed Martial Arts' experienced instructors keep students fighting fit during cardio kickboxing bootcamp and mixed martial arts classes that unfold over more than 7,000 square feet of mat space. The schedule's one-hour cardio kickboxing bootcamp sessions turn hearts into war drums as students batter heavy thai-style bags and tone muscles while performing pushups, crunches, and pantomimes of favorite heavy-metal lyrics. Mixed martial arts classes blend up a mixture of brazilian jujitsu, muay thai kickboxing, wrestling, and boxing in every 60-minute class, teaching basic moves and defensive strategies as students improve their balance, coordination, and strength. Call ahead for scheduled MMA times and reservations.
Ricko grew up fascinated by the human body’s exceptional ability to adapt. As a child he read monthly issues of Muscle and Fitness magazines cover to cover, studying the techniques of bodybuilding greats. His passion for fitness led him to a degree in Exercise Science, a professional football career, and, eventually, to the role of athletic trainer to help others achieve their ideal body. He founded Team Edge and Fitness to share his love for personal training, mixed martial arts, and sports training.
In addition to martial arts and sport-specific classes, Ricko and his staff conduct boot-camp-style workouts. They also draw from the more fun aspects of martial arts training when putting together heavy-bag workouts or kickboxing classes. They make one of their top priorities to keeping people interested in the workout and feel the support from their classmates. “We have a strong family feel at our gym. Everyone works together. Our motto is, ‘A chain is only as strong as its weakest link,’” Ricko says.
Signature service: Constant and Never-ending Improvement
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: Choong Sil Taekwondo
Pro Tip: Come prepared to have fun.