Certified by the American Mountain Guides Association, the staff of climbing instructors at Boston Rock Gym teach torsos how to ascend altitudes with indoor-, outdoor-, and youth-climbing activities. The savvy instructors lead the way around the facility’s more than 40 ropes, which set the stage for both group and private indoor lessons, as well as open climbing sessions in which self-guided climbers reach for neon-colored handgrips while being supported by auto-belay devices. Outdoors, students learn to navigate nature’s authentic slabs during lessons and clinics that start with the basics and graduate up to advanced ice-climb maneuvers. Additionally, the facility’s youth programs cater to smaller grips and aim to boost self-confidence while preparing children for the physical-fitness portion of the SAT.
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.
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.
The instructors at Elite Freestyle Karate believe that power isn't in the punch but in the person behind it. With a philosophy geared toward building character, they foster self-confidence and positive attitudes in each of their safe, fun karate and kickboxing classes. Children aged 3 and older learn valuable lessons in dealing with real-world challenges such as bullies and peer pressure.
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.