Amilcar "Mica" Cipili, head instructor of Gracie Jiu Jitsu Las Vegas, knows what works for self defense and when placed in a real life fight. Raised in southern Brazil, Mica was already mastering the martial arts of kung fu, capoeira, and judo until he saw a Brazilian jiu-jitsu match that changed his life. Mica became obsessed with the "gentle art," which eschews brute force for more effective strategies of balance, leverage, and debate skills to use mid-grapple. Mica soon perfected the grips, flips, and submissive holds of jiu-jitsu with help from the Machado brothers–progeny of jiu-jitsu pioneer George Gracie. With his new-found fighting savvy, Mica earned a third-degree black belt, a mantle-busting array of over 90 champion titles, and even trained MMA greats such as UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta. At his Gracie Jiu Jitsu Las Vegas institute, Mica trains fighters of all levels in classes six days a week. In addition to Brazilan jiu-jitsu and judo for adults and kids, the training center features courses in judo, MMA, wrestling, and boxing.
After battling pros in the ring for nearly 30 years, Tim Lane quit his knockout quest to teach commoners how to confidently repel unsanctioned attacks. In Xtreme Couture's decked-out facility, mixed-martial-artist Lane counsels students in how to defend themselves against assailants and friends’ pet lemurs through a sequence of lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on tutorials. Each two-hour seminar sharpens general awareness of surroundings and zeroes in on deterring and disabling larger assailants. Upon completion of the class, students walk away with bottles of pepper spray, certificates, and greater self-assurance.
Tapout Boston's astonishingly well-appointed digs swell with muscle-molding equipment and a slew of trainers skilled in a variety of pugilistic recreations. A select team of martial artists teach their protégés the finely honed craft of painting masterpieces of victory across the gym's 2,200 square feet of sparring and wrestling surfaces, using the fist-flurries of muay thai and jiu-jitsu to punctuate instructional lessons and grammatically incorrect road signs. Discover a worthy boxing opponent in the ring, spring into the 22-foot caged octagon's medley of grappling and pummeling, or debate the probability of a grand unified theory from caged battle podiums.
Throwdown Training Center's experienced instructors bestow health training and martial-arts knowledge to fitness-focused members of all skill levels at the 10,000-square-foot facility. Groupon customers can train their bodies in Throwdown's combat classes, including muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, sparring, boxing, and wrestling, to give them the skill set necessary to defend against outside threats or intimidate pickle jars into opening themselves. Students can also mold their muscular forms in any of Throwdown's cardio and conditioning classes or tackle weights, machines, ellipticals, and treadmills in the full gym.
Equipment: CrossFit, MMA, Power Plate, Free Weights, Circuit Training, Cardio
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: More than 25 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: We have a talented, caring team of instructors that will provide a great workout for all levels.
"We are the only gym in Las Vegas to receive the prestigious Conde Nast Five Star distinction, and have one of the largest CrossFit facilities in the world." That's how manager Robert Garza describes City Athletic Club, and indeed the facility is impressive. Its 48,000 square feet house a range of workout equipment and group exercise studios, as well as places to relax, including a sauna and hot tub. Yet despite this encyclopedic collection of fitness gear, City Athletic Club doesn't really look like a gym. It takes on more of a night club vibe, just with less sweating. White couches wait right inside the doors, soft neon lights drape in front of spinning machines, and a row of bar stools sits along counters near the front desk—the perfect place to sip a beverage from the smoothie cafe.
Shine Alternative Fitness helps all types of fitness goers achieve health goals. Named one of the 20 “Coolest Clubs in America” in Shape magazine’s 2013 Gym Awards, the center’s founders are both Cirque du Soleil veterans: Dima Shine, a solo artist in Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity, and Russ Petroni, Cirque du Soleil’s Las Vegas production manager.
The duo’s passion for performance arts shines through in each of their classes. In their Aerial Arts courses, for example, students develop upper body, core, and grip strength while wrapped in silks that hang from the ceiling. Meanwhile, antigravity classes have students striking balancing poses while suspended in the air by silk hammocks. To round out their coursework, the team also offers an array of more traditional gym classes, from boxing sessions to Zumba, ballet, and hip-hop.