Sensei Ed Melaugh spent 18 years practicing street jujitsu before training with Professor Wally Jay, the founder of New England Small Circle JuJitsu. Professor Jay later promoted Ed to eighth-degree black belt and asked him to lead the United States Small Circle Jujitsu Association. In 1991, Ed was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He also trained with Sijo James DeMile, a student of Bruce Lee. DeMile is best known for his contribution to Lee's intense one- and three-inch punches.
As the sensei at New England Small Circle JuJitsu, Ed Melaugh teaches street safety to kids, adults, and law-enforcement officers. He instructs them to target an attacker's weaknesses, using simple circular motions on their fingers and wrists or bribing them to go away with a sprinkle-flecked donut. Though targeting certain body parts can cause pain, it aims to take down opponents without wounding them.
True to its name, Today's Fitness Center embraces an ultramodern ethos in its spacious, high-ceilinged gym, with flat screens buzzing above high-tech treadmills and weight machines. Instructors lead groups in interval training classes—popular, effective workouts built on high-intensity movements and constantly varied exercises. Kids play in a toy-filled paradise at the gym's daycare while parents take Zumba and Pilates classes or focus on spinning, lifting free weights, and bending iron bars. Personal trainers help members of all fitness levels maximize the efficiency of their workouts.
Though dance is a great form of exercise, it's equally a great form of self-expression. That's the idea behind Shine On Performing Arts, a dance studio that focuses on not just the discipline of dance, but also artistry and fun. Children combine an appreciation for fitness with fancy footwork in such dance styles as hip-hop, ballet, and jazz, helping them potentially work up to a spot on the studio's competitive dance team. Adults immerse themselves in creative workouts such as the dance-heavy Zumba, barre fitness, and ballet bootcamp, which teaches students to lace a pointe shoe blindfolded.
Teaching from multiple locations, the experienced martial artists at Fenix Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Team introduce men, women, and kids to the techniques of Brazilian jujitsu, muay thai, boxing, and other martial-arts disciplines. At the Woburn location, founder and Brazilian jujitsu black belt Ronaldo Campos leads a team of coaches who train clients on 2,100 square feet of Zebra mats, inside a half-cage, or within a full boxing ring. At the Marlborough location, head coach Everilton Silva—also a black belt—helps students hone their boxing and grappling skills.
During afternoons at Together in Motion, children, accompanied by their parents, safely crawl through tunnels, practice somersaults, or explore a Parthenon made completely out of padded building blocks atop a cushioned floor. Evenings, however, turn the tables, allowing grownups to take over the space to fling dodgeballs at opponents or rehearse martial arts strikes in time for their kids' Bring Your Ninja to School Day. Weekend nights find thumping dance soundtracks traveling through the rooms, as black-light parties for teens and tweens celebrate birthdays and raise funds for nonprofits.
Though they admit disparate age groups, these classes and events provide a venue for guests to connect through movement. Together in Motion's facility rents its rooms to independent organizations—Social Boston Sports and Arlington Martial Arts among them—that encourage exercise and camaraderie. From the Latin-inspired beats of adult-centric Zumba classes to the musical motor-skill activities of Movin' Groovin' Tots, all of the programs foster both communal support and a healthy sense of self-confidence.