Developing self-defense skills might be the most-obvious outcome of training at Champions Martial Arts, but it's not the only one. Parents of children enrolled in the school's program say it also boosts kids' confidence levels, social skills, and academic performances. These benefits aren't limited to children, however; teenagers and adults also can achieve fitness goals and improve discipline during their own age-appropriate classes.
Signing up for a class at Karate America is like taking the first steps in a long, fruitful journey. The instructors?who have more black belts than even the most fashionable country music stars?start teaching students as young as 4 years old in the Little Ninjas program. Up next is the Junior Basic class, where kids begin to master essential skills like discipline and focus. The most committed students can join the black-belt team and then move on to the masters team upon earning their belts. To accommodate everyone who wants to learn self-defense techniques, the instructors also teach adult classes.
With a long-standing commitment to women, children, minorities, and social-justice issues and a presence in the district since 1905, the YWCA is more than just a workout facility. The history of the organization is peppered with groundbreaking programs to bolster race relations, achieve women's empowerment through business ventures, and promote children's health by providing access to physical activity. Other fitness initiatives take place in the YWCA's gyms, where instructors put to use training in Zumba, kickboxing, and other disciplines. Staff members further the organization's vision with dedication to school-age programs for health and fitness efforts and initiatives to help unemployed community members locate jobs in the area.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes opened The Little Gym based on his new take on physical education. His curriculum emphasized motivating children to achieve instead of pressuring them to win. As a result, The Little Gym became a noncompetitive, positive, nurturing environment where young ones could develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Since then, The Little Gyms have sprouted up across the country. The programs and classes aim to help kids develop skills such as rhythm and coordination, and kids camps during winter, spring, and summer breaks prevent children from creating finger paintings that express the existential ennui they feel when school is out of session.
One World Martial Arts has a lot of experience behind it. Owner and coach Steven Graves holds the rank of brown belt in judo and purple belt in Brazilian jujitsu, and he's also a state-licensed Juvenile Martial Arts Instructor. Additionally, the studio itself is an official Team Curran jujitsu academy, distinguishing the school as part of a group of elite martial-arts academies affiliated with the MMA program helmed by highly respected champion fighter and coach Jeff "Big Frog" Curran. Classes include jujitsu, muay thai, kickboxing, and yoga, and the school also offers kids' programs.
At Karate America, the practice of martial arts isn't just about kicks and punches. It's about discipline, confidence, respect, and focus?basically everything it takes to also pull off a bold new haircut. In classes for 4- to 13-year-olds, students hone these life skills while they learn the ancient art of karate or Jiu Jitsu and work their way up the belt system. Adult classes focus on self-defense with a side of fitness and conditioning.