Winner of more than 100 mixed-martial-arts competitions, Tiger Schulmann shares his pride and love for fighting and self-defense with both adults and children in gyms across five states. From first-time grapplers to expert muay thai fighters, students of all fitness and experience levels are welcome to dive into a class at Schulmann’s. At more than 47 locations, adults can take classes in kickboxing, MMA, and jujitsu—the last of which instills students with the skill and confidence to take down opponents of any size, strength, or telekinetic ability. Kids, meanwhile, can learn martial arts for fun, or gain useful experience in bully prevention; the kids’ classes help victims immediately identify and safely diffuse situations when pitted against an aggressor.
Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
Wheel Wright Bike Shop's staff doesn't just outfit people with bikes–they outfit them with a lifestyle. Avid cyclists and riders themselves, the team uses a 10-point measuring and fitting system to choose the right bike for each customer. Once chosen, the bike technicians can trick them out with custom modifications in their full fabrication shop. They can also repair bent frames after bikers decide to play chicken with a car door. High-quality bike brands such as Trek and Giant line the shop's racks, alongside shelves full of accessories including helmets, lights, and riding gear.
In 1933, the founders of Keswick Cycle opened their doors with a common goal in mind: to make each visitor feel like a part of the family. Almost 80 years later, a staff of avid cyclists and triathletes maintains the same friendly vibe at all three locations, meanwhile stocking an assortment of bikes and accessories. Bicycles from Cannondale, Specialized, Electra, and other big brands conquer myriad terrains, from roads and triathlon courses to mountain trails mucky with discarded cooking oil. Tires, apparel, and other accessories round out the inventory, situated around the shop's central hub, the services department. Here, factory-trained mechanics tune up or overhaul any type of bike or shopping carts masquerading as bikes. These same experts fit athletes for competition at the triathlon studio and, in their spare time, lend a hand to local charities.
At Competitive Edge Martial Arts, boxers pound out a repetitive rhythm on the speed bag while muay thai students land fearsome flying knee kicks. A staff of competitive fighters and past national champions introduce students to the subtle movements of tae kwon do, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and traditional western boxing. Instructors also can personalize training with one-on-one instruction.
TryKickboxingNow.com's self-defense classes are more than just kickboxing sessions. Their courses blend traditional kickboxing, muay thai, boxing, karate, and interval training to burn fat and build muscle. In order to make it easy for exercisers to learn the kicks and punches of the sport, sessions take place at affiliate gyms across the country.
At Premier Martial Arts, students of all backgrounds train in self-defense, combat sports, and martial-arts-based fitness. Kids ages 3–12 earn colorful belts to mark not only their mastery of martial arts techniques, but also their demonstrations of character. Teachers also provide belt-free training for adults in arts like Krav Maga—developed for the Israeli Defense Force—and kickboxing, which incorporates both Western boxing techniques and the knee and elbow strikes of Muay Thai, the official fighting form of Thailand’s postmen. To supplement each fighter’s striking game, the instructors offer classes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which uses throws and takedowns to bring fights down to the ground, where joint locks and choke holds can be applied to great effect. They round out the combat curriculum with the weapon techniques of Kali, a lightning-fast form of stick and blade fighting that hails from the Phillipines.
This blended training methodology arms students for self-defense as well as kickstarts careers in professional fighting. Elite affiliates include such UFC names as Kurt Pellegrion and Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro.