Gordon Franks and Pat Worley are more than black belts. They’re ninth-degree black belts who share their chosen martial art with youngsters and adults alike through USA Karate, the school they cofounded. The school - which opened in 1973 and has been operating for more than 40 years - was featured on the local CBS station and teaches self-defense techniques that help students graduate to higher-level belts and translate into increased agility, coordination, and self-confidence.
Pure Hitting Fitness' head trainer Jeff Brummett helps students of all ages exceed their personal fitness goals and promote a healthy self-confidence with martial-arts training and intense conditioning. Professional instructors guide both the experienced and novice student in mixed martial arts, muay thai kickboxing, wrestling, judo, boxing, or thumb wrestling, helping their pupils develop both mind and body with discipline-boosting exercises and sparring. Circuit training and boot-camp sessions force participants to face down their limitations and wrestle them into submission with strength-building exercises and cardiovascular conditioning intended to increase energy levels and boost fat oxidation.
Grandmaster Byung Yul Lee founded World TaeKwonDo Academy in 1969 after emigrating to the U.S. from South Korea. Today, his legacy continues to shine at the academy, now run by his son. At their 12 locations, instructors teach traditional and sport taekwondo, unlocking the secrets of the discipline’s signature kicks and strikes. Teen and adult classes incorporate self-defense, tension exercises, and cardiovascular workouts, and little dragons lessons teach focus and coordination to students aged three to five. After-school taekwondo combines daycare with martial arts; after grabbing a ride to the academy, students pair homework sessions with confidence-building taekwondo lessons. In addition to the academy’s namesake martial art, students of all ages can also expand their combat knowledge with jiujitsu, cardio kickboxing, mixed martial arts, or kumdo sword training, or enroll in a yoga class to balance body and mind.
According to Minnesota Monthly, "The Firm is a sexy sort of gym." Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, Self, and Seventeen all agree, having identified it as the go-to gym for an incredible workout. But it's not just the museum-sleek aesthetic or rigorous classes that make The Firm great. Rather, it's the fact that the gym constantly evolves to accommodate new fitness trends. When spinning became the hot new workout, The Firm met the demand, offering the best spinning classes in Minnesota, according to CBS Minnesota. And now that CrossFit has risen to superstardom, The Firm offers it seven days a week. The Star Tribune reports that industry veteran Kelly Miyamoto is the visionary behind the scenes. Having started her career in the 1980s, she's witnessed the rise and fall of various workouts as well as the concurrent fluctuations in the market for neon leotards.
US Air Force and Army veteran SGT Tim Peterson designs military-inspired workouts with a team of trainers trained under a meticulous 12-month curriculum. He leads one-hour boot-camp workouts, motivating 5–20 participants to race through a series of full-body exercises that boost heart rates and draw sweat to the surface by promising it a warm sweatshirt to sink into. Sergeant Peterson mixes up each session, coupling military-style calisthenics with yoga, or speed training with kickboxing. In addition to the group sessions, he also works one-on-one with guests during personal-training sessions, honing in on muscle groups to work out and shouting at specific joints that underperform.