Francisco Antonio Rodrigues da Silva⎯better known to his students as Mestre Fran⎯began his journey with Caopeira at age 10, studying the ancient dancelike martial art under a seasoned teacher in Sao Paolo. After years of learning the hypnotic rhythmic moves of Capoeira and studying the African dance rhythms of Macuele, Mestre Fran took his art to the streets of Londrina, Brazil, giving impoverished youth a positive outlet for their creative energies with public performances and classes. After developing a successful martial arts organization in his home country, Mestre Fran set out for the United States in 2002, introducing Americans to Caoperia through cultural shows throughout the Atlanta area and instructing newcomers through beginner, children's, and adult classes.
Like punching a portrait of your smug fruit bowl, capoeria combines both art and fighting. The practice develops the mind, body, and spirit by instilling self-confidence, building agility and strength, and teaching students about the vibrant culture of Brazil. Capoeiristas twist and bob to the rhythm of drums as they execute gymnastic kicks and turns, or they show off their newfound knowledge at the studio's Friday-night Samba, Macuele, and Portuguese language classes.
Seasoned bushido artist John Okochi taught Michael Issa martial arts when Issa was 6 years old. Now, the two teach together at Kaikudo Martial Arts. Although Okochi has a leg up on his pupil—he has been teaching for more than 30 years, or three presidential terms—Issa is no slouch. His certification for practicing Wudang tai chi and qigong adds a holistic element to the studio. That comes in handy during the studio's kaikudo classes, which stress discipline and mental focus in addition to the self-defense tactics of Japanese and Chinese martial arts styles such as taido karate, judo, and aikido.
Started 14 years ago, Knuckle Up Fitness has grown into one of the largest fitness and mixed martial arts clubs in the Southeast. And there?s a reason for this gym?s popularity?KnuckleUp welcomes everybody, from professional fighters to absolute beginners, and employs top-notch instructors who?ve competed in hundreds of bouts. They also have a mission to inspire members who may be bored by tradition fitness regimes to commit to exercising and achieve their fitness goals by offering alternative fitness options.
Each of KnuckleUp?s three locations have more than 1,000 square feet of grappling mats, a regulation-size boxing ring, and plenty of heavy, speed, and uppercut bags for pummeling. There are also free weight areas, equipped with Life Fitness and Hammer Strength Nautilus machines, where clients can strength-train at their own pace. Skilled instructors lead classes in group cycling, wrestling, boxing and kickboxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kali, and MMA, to help members get into and stay into fighting form, as well as learn to compete for titles and gain self-confidence. They also offer personal training and programs for kids, to start youth on a path toward self-discipline, physical fitness, and a role in The Karate Kid, Part III.
As children, two brothers witnessed firsthand the violence that can destroy a home. As adults, the vowed that their daughters would never suffer the same fate. That?s why they founded Divas In Defense, a safe haven for girls and women to learn self-defense techniques. At their personal-safety classes and self-defense workshops, healthy self-esteem and mental strength develop naturally as women learn how to use their own bodies or those of any nearby mannequins to defend themselves. Trainers hone simple strikes and kicks at beginner classes, which evolve into ground techniques at intermediate classes and defense against armed attackers at advanced classes. Their Girls Can Fight Too! program welcomes students as young as 7 to learn how to stave off bullying, date violence, and interact appropriately online, among other skills.
In 1992, Atlanta Kick opened as a karate dojo, teaching martial arts with an emphasis on respect, physical fitness, and discipline. By 2000, the certified trainers at Atlanta Kick had punched through the wooden planks blocking them from bringing their studio to the next level of fitness by adding boot camps. Now, 13 years later, Atlanta Kick is bigger and stronger than ever. They still teach karate classes for children and adults, but they’ve added a slew of hard-hitting fitness classes to keep their boot camps company, including CrossFit, self-defense, and kickboxing. Certified trainers help motivate clients to blast through workout plateaus.
Unit 2 Fitness is a locally owned fitness martial arts gym located in midtown Atlanta, GA. Unit 2 was founded by a small group of martial artists and professional fighters. Like many of you we loathed corporate big box gyms. We wanted something for people that wanted hard core fitness and demanded results.