It was early one Christmas morning when Mr. and Mrs. Powell presented their son Robert with his present— tae kwon do lessons. Robert took to the sport instantly, studying, practicing, and mastering its powerful kicks and swift punches throughout grade school and all the way up through college. Along the way, he put his skills to use competing in local and international tournaments.
Today, Robert draws upon his impressive history with tae kwon do and heads his own martial-arts studio, where he teaches adults and kids techniques and form. He intersperses tae kwon do lessons with movements from a variety of different martial-arts styles, including jujitsu, haganah, and pekiti tirsia. In addition to combat and self-defense instruction, Robert and his instructors strive to promote life skills such as perseverance, self-control, and integrity, while at the same time discouraging undesirable habits such as bullying or making fun of babies because they can’t fill out their own tax forms.
A joint venture between a professional boxer and a team of successful kickboxing-equipment tycoons, Title Boxing Club maintains a network of dozens of studios spread across 19 different states, winning over a devoted clientele with its invigorating and engaging boxing- and kickboxing-themed classes. Each workout uses the heart-healthy exercise of cardio training to satisfy people’s innate desire to punch and kick something other than a broken jukebox. Participants build lithe, strong muscle tissue by delivering powerful blows to punching bags, and build flexibility and agility by practicing roundhouse kicks and hooks. Students can build their core strength and endurance with medicine balls and burpees, enlist a qualified personal trainer to practice their newfound skills in the ring, or just torch calories during intense full-body Power Hour workouts.
At Geared 4 Speed, seasoned trainer Jerry Bullitt and his staff specialize in performance training for serious athletes, as well as adults of all fitness levels in boot camps. That much is apparent from their intense NFL Combine-style training sessions, which are designed to prepare football players for the grueling workouts of the real NFL Combine. You don't have to be an aspiring pro athlete to work out at Geared 4 Speed, though. The facility also schedules personal training, youth training, and boot camps for exercisers of all ability.
At Krav Maga Plano, tough-minded instructors impart street-ready self-defense techniques to help students of all ages cultivate strength and self-confidence. The studio specializes in krav maga, a self-defense system perfected by the Israeli army and adopted by more than 250 American law-enforcement agencies. During indoor and outdoor classes, participants learn to survive in hostile conditions, whether foiling attackers in an alley or deflecting tomatoes during a standup-comedy bit. Built from simple moves and natural instincts, the technique builds speed, agility, and aerobic endurance during striking practice, ground-defense drills, and heavy-bag workouts. In addition to leading krav maga sessions, the faculty teaches martial arts such as tae kwon do, Brazilian jujitsu, and traditional classes such as fitness-focused boot camps and extreme baton twirling.
Like many boxing gyms, 9Round echoes with the steady ring of bells and buzzers. They go off every three minutes, in fact, but rather than signalling the start of a round, they signal the start of a workout session. The trainers devise nine exercise stations every morning, and then run the circuits every three minutes from open until close. The day's workout is never the same, but each one encompasses fundamental similarities. For instance, every session starts with strength training, challenging clients' muscles with heavy weights. Next, patrons move to tackling heavy bags, speed bags, and double-end bags for the bulk of the workout, honing boxing and kickboxing abilities such as power, hand-eye coordination, and speed, all of which help a person to effectively disarm and dismember a piñata. The final station always works the core, enhancing regular crunches and twists with the addition of medicine balls and weights.
Equipment: 9Round Speed Bag, Heavy Bag, DoubleEnd Bag, Horizontal Bag, Wrecking Ball Bag, TRX Suspension Harnesses
Students should bring: Workout Clothes
Average class length: 30-60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot