Illya L. ·
Reviewed March 3, 2016
All my life I’ve been into sports, martial arts and fitness. I was always torn between the weight
room (to increase my strength) and martial arts studio (to improve my technique). As I was
getting busier with family and work, I realized that one of these two had to be given up due to
the time constraints. However, every athlete will tell you that technique without body
conditioning has very limited practical application. So my goal was to bind the two together in
one place. Wishful thinking? Not anymore! Finally, after many years of search, we have this
unique blend of your traditional strength training gym and functional self-defense school –
Balanced Path. Balanced Path training allowed me to improve on all 4 fronts: (1) conditioning
my body, (2) improving my technique, (3) understanding recovery and (4) perfecting my diet!
1. I tried out their 30 minute long High Intensity Interval Training (the “HIIT”) programs -
Pathfinder I and II for two weeks. Results were astonishing! I finally was able to break my 200
lbs. goal. In 2 weeks I went down from 210 lbs. to 198 lbs.! I’ve been at it for over 2 years to no
avail, while Balanced Path HIIT training shredded those stubborn pounds in 2 weeks! Ta-ta!
2. I was taking HIIT classes back to back right before the Systema martial arts training (self-
defense module of Balanced Path). This has yielded very noticeable results as well. Often I
compensate lack of technique with raw muscle power and then just push through the exercise
with tension and strength. In Systema however, we train to work with minimal tension to
achieve maximum results. After HIIT classes, I was so exhausted that I simply had no choice
but to work smart, not hard. The result – smoother, more relaxed work and deeper understanding
of my own limitations.
3. What sets Balanced Path apart from every other gym is that there is wholesome approach to
recovery before, during and after the exercise. This concept was introduced to HIIT training by
one of the top Systema instructors in the world - Kwan Lee and reinforced by HIIT and Systema
instructors Art and Baron. Once you get “gassed” and out of breath, all your muscles and all your
tricks are useless – you simply can’t think, even less – move. What their Breathwerx class
teaches you is how to prepare yourself for upcoming exertion, to maintain yourself during the
exercise and to recover immediately after your work is done.
4. Finally, the forth cornerstone of Balanced Path is DIET! This is the most challenging aspect of
training for me. I don’t have time to count my calories and cook well-balanced meals. So what
do I do? I eat out and totally destroy my budget. Well, Balanced Path takes care of that as well.
They will figure out an ultimate meal plan suited for your lifestyle and fitness goals (yes, yes of
course it’s organic, non-GMO, minimally processed foods). Moreover, Balanced Path
proprietary phone app will evaluate your nutrient intake, will tell you where you may be
deficient and how to remedy it. But why stop there? It will even generate a grocery shopping list
tied to your detailed meal plan! Oh boy, where was it during my college years?!?!?
Indeed, Balanced Path is the first of its kind sustainable and intuitive fitness and self-defense
studio in the Pacific Northwest. It stands strong on 4 whales of athletic greatness – (1) physical
strength, (2) intuitive and rational technique, (3) sustainable and replenishing breath, and (4) well
balanced, easy to follow diet.