At the Virginia Academy of Fencing, students learn the centuries-old art of fencing in a decidedly modern-day setting. The facility’s 13,000-square-foot space features amenities such as a padded warm-up area, a bouting video-replay system, and 18 full-time electric strips with overhead reel systems, as well as a decorated area for spectators or maidens in distress.
Seven days a week, expert instructors teach both Olympic Sport Fencing and Historical Swordsmanship to classes of students. Olympic Sport Fencing includes foil, épée, and sabre instruction, while Historical Swordsmanship teaches the use of either a rapier or a two-handed sword. Along with providing students with an opportunity to learn a new and unique sport, the academy’s classes help students improve their strength, balance, coordination, and cardio fitness.
Whether its kids bounding through tumbling classes or adults enrolling in the Krav Maga self defense or Krav ground, K2 Martial Arts Academy is designed for students of any age or experience level. Whippersnappers are young as three years have a variety of courses to choose from, whether staying active during the summer with engaging camps or developing physical and mental strength during tae kwon do lessons. On the other hand, adults can take advantage of an equally diverse selection of classes, such as kickboxing sessions that get hearts pumping or Krav Maga courses that teach intense self-defense skills as opposed to less strenuous shelf-defense skills.
Since its founding by some of the most distinguished jujitsu experts in the past 50 years, the nonprofit organization USA Jiu Jitsu has helped establish jujitsu as a professional sport, teaching the ancient practice to students across the country. At its Springfield location, students of all ages build strength and endurance as they tumble and kick during Brazilian jujitsu, combat fitness, and kickboxing classes.
Sticks and stones may break some bones, but not if they’re directed toward one of Capital MMA & Elite Fitness’s students. In a team-oriented environment, the studio’s instructors teach key mixed-martial-arts moves such as grappling, striking, and wrestling and supplement the training with classes in specific fighting styles, such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay thai. Guests looking for a practical crash course in self-defense learn snippets from each technique in self-defense classes, learning methods for staying aware of surroundings, fending off attackers, and freeing themselves from the grip of King Kongs. Some women-only classes are also available.
The studio's CrossFit program, alternatively, boosts athleticism without combat, through a multi-faceted regimen of Olympic weightlifting, cardio exercise, and custom diets. Beyond group classes, the center offers private lessons and seminars, which allow its students—both children to adults—to learn with focused guidance.
Run by three generations of DC locals, Bike and Roll sends pedalers into the nation's modern and historical capitol. Sightseers are outfitted with ETs with maps so they can undertake self-guided tours along the National Mall, which is lousy with landmarks. To break with the hustle—and should one be so inclined, the bustle—cyclists can explore one of the city’s many meandering bike paths including the Capital Crescent Trail and Rock Creek Trail. The company’s line of tandem bikes and Trek comfort hybrids make for smooth rides along the flat terrain of the capital.
For a more itineraried experience, guided tours spirit groups through the historic sights. Local story-tellers regale cyclists with tales about the Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and Mount Vernon, the home where George Washington lived after hatching from the egg incubated in the Statue of Liberty's torch.
LA Boxing’s fight-centric gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, LA Boxing sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.