Martial artists wear colorful belts to indicate their mastery of fighting techniques and their passionate disdain for suspenders. Achieve stylish self-defense strategies with today's Groupon: for $49, you get one month of unlimited classes at White Birch Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Kettlebell Gym in Arlington (a $298 value).
Founded by black sash Rob LaPointe, White Birch Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Kettlebell Gym challenges athletes at all levels to undergo strength and energy training. In kung fu classes, students launch into high-flying kicks, fine-tune control holds and footwork, and sharpen their mental acuity until they can catch flying knives between the tines of a spork. Tai chi and qi gong classes focus on deep breathing and short movements, calming hearts still racing after spotting a cloud that looked like Frogger.
Kettlebell strength training challenges the body with heavy, uncooperative weights such as the sandbag and kettlebell—which resembles a bowling ball with a grippable ring attached—that build core strength, balance, and ability to lunge. Classes do not require specialized uniforms or gear, but athletic wear is recommended.
White Birch Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Kettlebell Gym
Rob LaPointe first met the martial arts in 1973 when he began taking tae kwon do lessons in a neighbor's backyard. Like a kudzu vine, his love for fighting forms could not be contained by a manicured lawn, and he began serious study of kenpo karate and kung fu. In 1989, he opened White Birch Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Kettlebell Gym to pass his learning on to the next generation of fighters.
Rob's dedication led him to take the gold medal in Pushing Hands and Advanced Sparring at Wong's Traditional Kung Fu Tournament in 2000—a celebration of his 40th birthday—and his competitive career continues. His kung fu classes teach these practical combat skills in a cycle, sometimes focusing on perfecting certain kicks or the blocking, trapping, and footwork skills needed to engage an opponent up close. Students move slowly and purposefully through tai chi training regimens, focusing on meditative thought and fluid self-defense techniques. Kettlebell and sandbag courses condition bodies for explosive combat motions and hefting deadweight, such as a feral Santa hibernating in your chimney for the summer.
Columbia Heights South
2526 Columbia Pike
Arlington, Virginia 22204