It was early one Christmas morning when Mr. and Mrs. Powell presented their son Robert with his present— tae kwon do lessons. Robert took to the sport instantly, studying, practicing, and mastering its powerful kicks and swift punches throughout grade school and all the way up through college. Along the way, he put his skills to use competing in local and international tournaments.
Today, Robert draws upon his impressive history with tae kwon do and heads his own martial-arts studio, where he teaches adults and kids techniques and form. He intersperses tae kwon do lessons with movements from a variety of different martial-arts styles, including jujitsu, haganah, and pekiti tirsia. In addition to combat and self-defense instruction, Robert and his instructors strive to promote life skills such as perseverance, self-control, and integrity, while at the same time discouraging undesirable habits such as bullying or making fun of babies because they can’t fill out their own tax forms.
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee. "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere."
To make this challenging, yet hopeful, philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. This focus, shared by Body & Brain Holistic Yoga and The Life Yoga, forms the basis of the studio's classes and consultations. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30?40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation?including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cooldown exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance.
Signature service: Brazilian Jujitsu and Women's Self-Defense
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Experience: More than 35 years of experience teaching BJJ and capoeira
Pro Tip: Always bring comfortable workout clothes and a bottle of water.
Since Paramount Strength & Conditioning opened in 2012, they have focused on training everyone as if they were a competitive lifter, regardless of their experience. Owner Christian Washington began building Paramount’s strength-training philosophy while serving overseas in a Navy response team, which is to give students the individual attention needed to accomplish their goals in a laid-back atmosphere. "We know that not everyone wants to be a world record holder," says Christian, "but we will give everyone just as much attention as the most elite guy here." To be sure students learn the finer points of squats, deadlifts, and the snatch—but the small class sizes and the presence of trainers willing to lend a hand help clients of all abilities to effectively reach their goals in a more relaxed atmosphere. "We genuinely care about our folks here," Christian emphasizes, "they're our family and we succeed when they succeed."