12:43 PM EDT, April 30, 2012
1) AIKI Academy of Self Defense
There's something for everybody at Aiki Academy when it comes to personal fitness. "We do quite a few martial arts," says Chief Instructor Dennis Hill. "We do a combat martial art called hapkido, we do fitness kickboxing, which is very popular. We do a Muay Thai program, Brazilian jiu jitsu, judo, sambo and kettlebells." But this isn't just your average martial arts studio. It's a family friendly, comfortable, inviting environment where each person's program is tailored to their needs. There are children's programs (and a play area for kids to wait in while their parents work out), a coffee bar, a pro shop, two large training areas and a staff of ten. Danielle Brodeur is the staff health coach, who specializes in kickboxing and kettlebells, weight-loss coaching and lifestyle coaching. Brodeur's contributions are helping to transform the facility into a full wellness center, not just a fitness center. "The 'I Love Kickboxing' program is very popular," she says. "People get to try it before they decide if it's for them. We do three classes for $19.99 and they get a free pair of boxing gloves. They come in and get a half hour intro with an instructor and then have three full hour classes, and then decide whether they want to continue from there."aikiacademy.com
2) A-1 Mixed Martial Artsa1mixedmartialarts.com
3) Ziwak's Tae Kwon Do
3350 Whitney Ave.
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