A sixth-level black belt and the founder of Charleswood Karate, Sensei Ron Porath has always understood his dojo as a community where physical fitness is forged and character is refined. In fact, he lives in a house attached to the training facilities where he and his instructors lead more than a dozen classes a week—including day-time sessions— that foster a sense of belonging in students that is further developed with regular family events and occasionally climbing into one giant belt. The dojo stresses the karate-do teachings of personal perfection that go hand in hand with the art's fighting techniques, pairing physical achievement with the virtues of patience, confidence, and discipline. The school is affiliated with International Karate Daigaku, which traces its lineage of masters back to karate founder Gichin Funakoshi, providing the school with its rigorous training system of moves, forms, and sparring. Classes for kids as young as 4 use games to liven up more formal exercises while regular classes continue training for older youngsters and adults of all ages.
Innovative Martial Arts’ team of experienced instructors is determined to impart the varied benefits of martial arts–from self-discipline to weight loss and confidence– upon Winnipeg’s citizens. In doing so, they work hard to tailor their mixed martial arts (MMA) curriculum to the needs of students and enable them to advance at their own pace while achieving their fitness goals.
A host of preschool and elementary programs focus on helping youngsters build character and self-esteem while developing discipline and controlling aggression. Alternatively, their dynamic, high-energy adults program combats workout boredom via a challenging mix of self-defence moves and flexibility-bolstering exercises. Along with traditional MMA classes, they also hosts fitness boot camps, which marry martial arts techniques with plyometrics, core training, and agility training. The camps help pupils develop strong, chiselled bodies slim enough to fit back into their favourite pair of high school sunglasses.
Casting off traditional gym formulas, Vivacity Fitness's curriculum focuses on alternative, fun classes that bolster health without monotonous exercise regimes. Kassy Bouchard, a certified personal trainer and fitness enthusiast, helms a team of certified instructors whose varying specialties come together in a schedule of diverse, distinctive classes. Boot camps jump-start fitness programs with cardio and weight-training routines geared toward everyday exercisers. Meanwhile, kickboxing and Zumba get hearts pumping with quick, invigorating movements, while pole dancing forges inner strength and outer confidence with strength- and flexibility-building choreography.
Within the studio's 4,000 square feet of training space, trainees of all walks of life rub elbows. Groups of competitive boxers train with experts to master Olympic-style boxing by sparring in the studio's ring and at 15 heavy hanging bags, students punch and kick during adult MMA and kickboxing classes. In one area, personal trainers even work one on one with clients to improve their skills. But the benefits aren't just for grown-ups. Youngsters flood the gym in the late afternoon and during youth programs that focus on building confidence, rejecting bullying, and learning how to stand up to homework.
Instead of training his students for tournaments like many other martial-arts schools, Northwest Martial Arts Academy's master instructor, Frederick Natividad, focuses on basic self-defense and fitness in his four martial-arts tracks: tae kwon do, kickboxing, brazilian jiu-jitsu, and mixed martial arts. Natividad, who has more than 20 years of martial-arts experience, teaches adults and youths hand-to-hand combat and how to use weapons in tae kwon do classes that pair with muay thai kickboxing. During MMA boot camps, he teaches new students 16 and older a variety of fighting styles.
A born and raised Winnipegger, Taryn Young became so enamoured with Turbo Kick workouts that she travelled to the United States to become a certified instructor. Now back at home, Taryn leads groups through blistering, up-tempo sweat-sessions that can burn up to 1,000 calories per class. During each Turbo Kick workout, Taryn transitions effortlessly from jabs and roundhouse kicks to simple to execute dance moves, powered along the way by the thumping beat of modern dance music.