From Our Editors
Mike Soltysiak knows fitness isn't just about treadmills and dumbbells. He founded Axé Martial Arts and Fitness to help people get fit doing something both practical and fun. Rather than focusing on only one form of martial art, he gathered a group of instructors who teach disciplines from the far corners of the world, creating a weekly schedule of classes that spans continents.
Mike and his staff bring capoeira—an acrobatic fighting art first developed by slaves and natives—and Brazilian ju-jitsu, one of the world’s premiere forms of grappling. Developed in Brazil during the 19th century, Samba is considered the dance of celebration and joy at Carnival celebrations in Rio. Lively and rhythmical, there are many types of Samba dances, just like there are many types of Samba music. Classes at Axé Martial Arts and Fitness, teach the basic steps of Samba followed by more complex movements and choreographies.
Other instructors bring Japanese imports, such as karate, and the subtler fighting form of ninjutsu, the combat art famous for its use by ninjas and 8-year-old boys playing in their backyard. Mike adds the Korean arts of tae kwon do into the mix, as well as the Russian self-defence form called Systema. Mixed martial arts, the international form of sport fighting, rounds out his global collection of styles.