UFC Gym?s four fight-centric Denver-area gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, UFC Gym sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym?s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.
As a teenager, Master Mauricio Zingano studied under members of Brazilian jujitsu's founding family, the Gracies, including Grand Master Helio Gracie himself. Nowadays, at Zingano Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he and his seasoned staff—which includes his wife, UFC fighter Cat Zingano—relay the Gracie family's teachings to students young and old. Although their main program is Brazilian jujitsu, they also fit mixed martial arts, muay thai kickboxing, and youth martial arts classes into the jam-packed schedule.
Tran?s Fitness & Kickboxing?s trainers marry the ancient discipline of martial arts with the newest of newfangled technology to jumpstart each exerciser?s flagging willpower and defibrillate their steely resolves. Before each session, trainers hand out heart-rate monitors at the front desk so that students can begin to understand their peak performance and zero in on it. A 52-inch screen displays jumps in heartbeat frequency alongside the number of calories likely being burned by each participant. The system?s design tends to motivate people to push themselves, soldering strain and hard work to palpable results, and strengthening resolve during particularly fatiguing RealRyder and kickboxing sessions. Other classes forego the device in favor of old fashioned fisticuffs, including Brazilian jujitsu, which strengthens bodies and teaches people self-defense tactics such as how to leverage spindly limbs to best a bigger opponent.
Colorado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy's Helio Gracie, one of the original adapters of the now-venerated martial art, teaches alongside Rigan Machado. Gracie designed his system around the principle of leverage, allowing smaller fighters to overcome larger opponents regardless of the difference in strength or size. At the school, the team of instructors teach authentic Brazilian jujitsu moves to adults and kids, honoring Helio's legacy.
With a staff of trainers handpicked by owner Trevor Wittman, Grudge Training Center spurs all sorts of exercisers to get in shape through boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and mixed martial arts. The center's family-friendly 6,000-square-foot training area features several modern amenities and regulation facilities.