Category: Martial Arts

Self Defense Workshop

Jody Garcia, Monday May 15th & Wednesday May 17th at 12 pm 


May is Women’s Health Month and what better way to get a healthy physically and mentally than a self-defense workshop.  Learning self-defense is a great way to exercise in a community, relieve some stress, and give you tools to use if you are ever in a bad situation.

Join our martial arts instructor Jody Garcia for a complementary 40 min self-defense workshop Monday the 15th and Wednesday the 17th.

Spring Break Martial Arts and Sports Conditioning Camp

 April 11, 13 & 15th | Monday / Wednesday / Friday.

  • 9:00am class is designed for youth ages 5 yrs to 8 yrs
  • 10:00am class is designed for youth ages 9 yrs to 12 yrs

Each hour-long class will consist of karate basics, sports prep & conditioning, athletic drills, and team building.

Please have your kid wear appropriate clothes and shoes for exercising. The Friday class will end with a group game day and celebration.

  • Cost: $60/kid

For more information, please contact our Martial Arts Director, Jody Garcia at

Have you tried speed bag/Heavy bag training?

Have you had a chance to use the boxing equipment and trainers at the Seattle Athletic Club? The training is interactive and great calorie burner. The format of martial arts is to teach you proper technique, timing, coordination, endurance/stamina drills. The calorie expenditure is awesome, if you weigh 125 and did 1 hour of speed bag/heavy bag burns 340 to 400 and if you weigh 175 and did 1 hour of speed bag/heavy bag burns 613 to 700 calories! These are great numbers for consideration, and if you add jump rope, agility, and medicine ball training the calories count grows by 100s more!

A few things you need to know before you start your training. You will need a pair of boxing gloves to protect your hand from bruising, and cuts. When you use a speed bag make sure the bag is at eye level to keep punches, and strikes at a proper distance, and body positioning.

Beginning Speed Bag training

Let’s get your gloves on and approach the speed bag. You want to stand in front of speed bag with hands up at chin level, elbows at shoulder level (think hands 1 on top of each other) you are only using 50 percent power on this apparatus. You will keep your palms facing down and strike the bag with the pinky of the top hand, and let the bag bounce forward 1 time back 1 time then strike with the other hand. It is a rhythmic sound of 2 hits bag bounces then strike. You will need lots of practice, and patience. The timing learned, and eye hand coordination will help you in any sport

Beginner heavy bag training

You are warmed up with speed bag now let’s try some heavy bag work. Stand in front of the heavy bag with gloves on with 1 foot forward, and keeping hands up at chin level this time palms face each (guard up) and hands clinched tight. Try to punch the bag with the front hand (jab) then your back hand (cross punch) called a set. Do 10 sets then switch and do the other side of body to build muscle balance. You will find the cardio/stamina training is excellent and great therapy for stress. If you feel the technique is to challenging feel free to schedule a session with one of our martial art/boxing coaches to clean up your form.

Jody Garcia

Live the life of a warrior!

It’s Just Physics

By Personal Fitness Trainer Amber Walz Seattle Athletic Club Downtown

Physics is the science of matter and energy, intertwined with facets of everything that makes up the physical world. Force is proportional to the mass of something multiplied by the acceleration (f=ma). Every exercise you do is going to relate to how much force needs to be applied to overcome the inertia of the mass in order to create acceleration.

Gravity is fundamental to understanding kinesthetic principles that govern our bodies. Gravity is pulling on our bodies relative to where the fulcrum (pivot point) is located; usually this is at a joint. As an example, when performing a deadlift the fulcrum is at the pelvis and gravity is acting at the longest length of the lever (your head), so you would need to determine how much force would be need to be exerted to move whatever the weight is, or adjust how close the weight in your arms is relative to the body. The use of mechanical levers is used advantageously in the gym in equipment design like pulley systems and can be used in seesaw type lever mechanics by manipulating the lever arm so that you can maneuver a heavier weight at the opposite side of the fulcrum. This can be seen in dollies and tools like wrenches.

The rate of gravity at terminal velocity in free fall is 9.8m/s2. This gives us an understanding of how fast a weight will fall toward the ground once we have lifted it, how this will increase or decrease the difficulty of an exercise dependent on what position we are doing it in, and if we jump, fall, or throw something, what distance it will cover, in what time and with what force. We encounter another force that effects movement and that is friction, of greatest relevance, air resistance. A good example of the effect of air resistance is when we are running. The mechanical advantage is if there is less surface area for the air to hit. In this way, if we bend our knees and elbows at 90 degrees, we reduce the amount of surface area affected by air resistance. So, the study of kinesthetic mechanics dictates our movement through the atmosphere and has to account for both gravity and friction.

Thermodynamics is the conversion of thermal energy to mechanical energy, or heat energy congruent with work input versus work output. Though the first law of thermodynamics states energy can neither be created nor destroyed, complete conservation of energy determining work output does not biologically equate. In other words, energy that should be accounted for degrades, a quantity defined as entropy. The human body has about a 25% efficiency rate with heat energy being of greatest loss. How much we intake should be calculated based on this principle with the understanding of unaccounted for loss through entropy. Heat is a measurement of energy and temperature is an average measurement of energy. Temperature is an important factor when you are working out that determines if it will take more energy when it’s cold to keep your body temperature at homeostasis, or loss of energy through sweat when it’s hot to keep your body temperature at homeostasis. The design of sports clothing is specific to thermal insulation, reduction of water absorption (wick away), and compression for added support in susceptible areas (compression socks/ tights/ sports bras).

Amber WalzIf we are to better control our exercise experience, we can use physics to determine: how to best lift a weight to produce a specific goal, what food intake is needed for a specific workout, and how to best account for weather conditions and terrain. If you have any questions about how physics can be related to exercise contact Amber Walz.

What is Savate Kickboxing?

Seattle KickboxingPerhaps you have heard in the gym, on T.V, and from friends the art of Kickboxing. There are many different kinds from American freestyle, Chinese San Chou, Thai kickboxing, and French Savate to name a few. They have similar names, but differ tremendously. I am going to share with you the art of French Savate.

Originally created in late 1800s, a hand to hand combat style safe to practice at any age, and after you learn the basics is quite fun. The student will learn to use:

  • Footwork patterns,
  • Boxing
  • Leg kicks
  • Body reaction awareness
  • Flexibility physically & mentally

This art will help you to stay relaxed, fluid; while always thinking of the strategies learned from the combinations that are drilled on a regular basis. Increase your cognitive skills as well as hand-eye coordination as technique is always your foundation for movement. Think of the art of French Savate like chess, when your opponent moves you are ready to do the opposite to use brains before brawn!

The fundamental element of Savate is the conditioning; you learn to master every exercise modality, giving the student every opportunity to be a Martial Art Athlete. As you progress with the combinations and their mastery you get promoted with diplomas and graduate to the next level of information/combinations. Your ultimate goal is a Black belt and then degrees of the black belt after. Fall in love with French Savate for the art and knowledge you will learn about, and your own strengths when put under different environmental stresses. This form of kick boxing is taught at the Seattle Athletic Club Downtown. If you would like come try a class or schedule a private class, contact Jody Garcia for more information.

What is Self-Defense Training?

The martial arts have so many reasons why people participate in them weekly, from breathing arts, to sport arts, to combat arts, and traditional fighting styles. The formats all have self-defense practicality, and lifesaving skills that will be introduced to you from your practice. If you want to do a crash course on self-defense then try a seminar/workshop.

The material is simple to learn, geared towards a fast approach to learning practical techniques for getting out of a provoked situation. You don’t have to have a black belt, or a super athlete to go to one. Most class formats are very welcoming to the public, and please look into the format (some can be military based) and require prior experience. I love to teach these seminars with a key chain tool to give the participant a way to be safe and be confident in practicing. What you should expect is to learn how to build a surrounding awareness, know where you are and who’s with you. Learn tested techniques that will work to getting you safe. You should leave feeling like you can practice, imitate the drills, and not get hurt practicing.

Keep your head up confidence is the #1 tool

What to look for in a self defense class:

  • Group setting to practice hands on
  • Learn to use your voice, and body to be a verbal weapon
  • Key chain device (kubaton) used for getting free from holds
  • Safe drills to help you remember escapes and counters
  • Escapes from grabs, holds, and attacks is usual information given

The Seattle Athletic Club Downtown holds Self Defense seminars periodically during the year; sign up for the newsletter to stay connected with what is coming up at the club, or book a session for yourself and friends with Jody Garcia.