Her crosshairs sweep from left to right as she peers over the edge of the plywood wall; seeing that the coast is clear, she motions to her comrades, who usher their charge through as swiftly as possible, ready to take a shot if needed. These aren't real bodyguards, nor do they play them on TV. This game is called VIP, one of 15 variations players can engage in at the indoor field of Patriot Airsoft. As teams navigate a post-apocalyptic arena, littered with abandoned cars, makeshift bunkers, and empty barrels, they engage in friendly battle, firing low-impact BBs from their realistic-looking airsoft weapons. Guests age 10 and older can play, as long as they're wearing closed-toe shoes and leave their riot gear at home.
Tom Bloom's distinguished martial-arts career began more than 30 years ago when he was a student at Chuck Norris Karate School. Similar to the school's namesake, Bloom would spend the next three decades fostering the sport of martial arts. He co-captained the USA Karate team from 1984–88; received black belts in tae kwon do, hapkido, shippalgi, and kung fu; and helped train more than 300 students and 1 ostrich to black-belt-level status. Today, Bloom and his staff continue carrying the torch by leading martial-arts and fitness classes for students of all ages.
Bas Rutten's Elite MMA’s members have use of 8,000 square feet of space to get into shape. That vast space houses racks upon racks of dumbbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls, and plenty of cardio machines. Members strap on protective gloves and head gear before entering the gym’s boxing ring and pin down their opponents during brazilian jujitsu classes. And kickboxers can avail themselves to the gym's 3,000 square feet of cushioned mat space that's lined with heavy bags to kick, punch, and hug during kickboxing classes. The spa-like bathrooms include towel service and saunas to relax in after a hard workout.
What's the use of self-defense if you're not nimble or strong enough to deploy the moves properly? Sifu Gus Gates answers that by incorporating fitness into his Shaolin kung fu training. When he's not teaching kung fu's village style to kids, teens, and adults, he's overseeing group fitness classes designed to improve strength, flexibility, and balance—the three keys to winning a presidential logrolling contest. For more concentrated doses of exercise, his team of personal trainers schedule one-on-one workouts.
James Deirmendjian had a decorated career as a brazilian jujitsu practitioner, winning martial-arts competitions and teaching submission grappling. He's parlayed that success into opening Fight Fit Training, where he helps clients get fit through boxing and kickboxing training, kettlebell workouts, and traditional lifting.