Columbia Martial Arts and Fitness provides a wealth of martial-arts knowledge at its spacious studio. Adult programs train students in everything from Brazilian jujitsu and MMA to combat submission wrestling and Bruce Lee's legendary jeet kune do. Youth programs begin with martial-art fundamentals and work to build self-confidence and teach self-defense.
Masters Studios trains students to defend themselves using the traditional styles of Shaolin Kempo karate, kung fu, jujitsu, and tai chi. After an introductory lesson, instructors pace students according to their skills in programs designed to heighten mental focus, improve strength and technique, develop responsive strategies, and build a healthy lifestyle. In addition to standard classes, the studio runs summer camps and maintains a list of its black belt team.
Located in Matthews, Scott Shields Martial Arts Academy offers instruction in martial-arts disciplines such as jujitsu, jeet kune do, and muay thai. With fitness-kickboxing classes and programs for kids and adults alike, the experienced instructors at this light-filled studio not only help clients burn calories and build muscle but also teach them discipline and self-respect. All classes introduce students to self-defense moves; they then learn to grapple, punch, and kick with efficiency as they gain strength and confidence.
Growing up in a family of competitive wrestlers, Quinn Reynolds paved her own road away from the sport. She diverted from her father and brothers by pursuing swimming, ballet, and soccer, the latter of which won her a scholarship to the University of Illinois. When she began hot yoga, however, she realized that she was destined for a career on the mat after all. She completed her certification and brought her flexing expertise to Arrichion, a training facility for wrestlers and mixed martial artists where her specialized classes challenge yogis and help to round out the workout routines of seasoned athletes—including the wrestlers on her dad's team.
In class sessions named after different gemstones, Quinn and her team of instructors emphasize approachability and sound technique. They refrain from potentially distracting practices such as chanting or applying mascara to third eyes during the purposeful flow sequences and core-tightening stretches. The hybrid Tiger's Eye class even begins with a fighter's circuit-training component, lending credence to the gym's claim that "real fighters do yoga."