Positivity. Simple as it sounds, it's a central pillar of the philosophy behind Jason Yi's Tae Kwon Do College. At each of the school's five locations, the warm, supportive atmosphere starts with the instructors. Sure, they pass along years of martial arts wisdom, but they also strive to help students–younger ones, especially–realize that having fun doesn't necessarily mean sitting in front of a TV, or arguing the legitimacy of the moon landing with an imaginary friend. Through programs for kids, teens, and even entire families, the college's instructors lead students along a path that builds self-confidence and improves self-defense techniques. Instructors build on these same skills in the college's extracurricular offerings, which include after-school programs, birthday parties, and week-long summer camps.
The Jow Ga Shaolin Institute promotes the study of authentic Chinese martial arts for health, fitness, emotional well-being and self-defense. We provide expert instruction for adults, teens and kids. We offer training to anyone interested, provided they have good moral character and a sincere desire to learn.
An incubator for kung fu, the Songshan Shaolin Temple is one of the most famous sights in China. More than 1,500 years ago, Bodhiharma introduced the temple’s Shaolin monks to basic techniques for boosting their health, fitness, and defending themselves and their fortress. Centuries later, this practice of Shaolin Kung Fu has emanated across the known universe, especially through the temple’s satellite Shaolin Temple USA Culture Centers. At two locations in California and one in Virginia, Shaolin monks lead students of all ages through Dharma’s ancient teachings, including the authentic, traditional fist and weapon forms in addition to sparring techniques, self-defense maneuvers, and peace-inducing meditation.
The odds of earning a black belt are about one in a hundred, according to Sterner's Tae Kwon Do Academy. That's how many martial-arts students actually stay with it long enough to achieve the honor. The instructors understand the struggle—they've gone through it themselves—and strive to keep their programs engaging and fun. Their tae kwon do, karate, and MMA classes are available for everyone aged 2.5 and up.
LA Boxing’s fight-centric 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, LA Boxing 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.
Suldbayar “Sugi” Damdin, a judo instructor at Northern Virginia Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness, represented Mongolia when he competed in judo for the 2004 Olympics. His colleague, boxing and CrossFit instructor Derek Sierra, was once a Master Fitness Trainer for the US Army and has amassed more than two decades of boxing experience. Résumés like these are common at the martial-arts and self-defense oriented fitness studio, where every instructor is either a current or former competitive athlete. Whether they're teaching muay thai kickboxing, boxing, or mixed martial arts, the veteran instructors ensure that their charges’ self-confidence rises along with their stamina, flexibility, and frequency of dreams about punching bags.
"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. 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. Cool-down exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance. Dahn Yoga is also taught at independently owned and operated franchises called Body & Brain Yoga.