Author: Jody Garcia

Martial Arts Director, Seattle Athletic Club Downtown

Self Defense Workshop

Complimentary 40 min Self Defense workshops.

Monday, October 3rd & Wednesday, October 5th | 12:00pm

October is domestic violence awareness month.  Domestic violence impacts women, men, and children of every age, background, and belief. Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the United States have suffered severe physical violence by an intimate partner.

Learn how to defend yourself all while empowering yourself with our martial arts instructor Jody Garcia; offering a complimentary 40 min self defense workshop Monday, October 3rd and Wednesday, October 5th.

For more information or to sign up, please contact our Martial Arts Director, Jody Garcia at

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!

Member Spotlight: RAMYA SHILOH

Moving from the east coast with her husband, she was new to the Seattle area but was interested in learning some martial arts as she already had a background working with personal trainers and fitness instructors and was ready to try something new.  After using Google to search for health clubs that offer martial arts she found the Seattle Athletic Club and my bio.


The club and I were perfect fits for Ramya from the get go; with her positive attitude and wanting to learn martial arts she I knew she would excel quickly here.  After our 1st session she fell in love with the Savate Kick box training where she received a high pace workout, and was learning the martial arts that she had been wanting to learn for a long time.


One year later she has lost over 30 pounds, and is working on getting her black belt. She is attending classes at Seattle Athletic Club downtown to make her training regimen well rounded, and learn from all of our great instructors. I am so proud to have met this amazing person who shows it is never too late to learn something, and have purpose. Keep up your abominable spirit, and dedication. Congratulations.



Summer all-comers track and field meet

Welcome runners and field event enthusiast of track and field for Seattle Athletic Club 2013 season. Starting in June at the Shoreline stadium at 6pm Club Northwest ( will be having open track and field meet where you can walk, jog, run, hurdle, vault, jump, and throw. The goal is to get everyone regardless of age to bring out there inner Olympian and the atmosphere is awesome with 300 participants. You pay a $6 fee for adults to enter, and you compete against your gender and age only. If you already run and do some weight training, come on out and use your skill to do something different. The meets are every Wednesday until end of August, so if you miss one try the following week.
Get out to a local school, or track, get on your running shoes and start training. Here are some fit tips for track prep training to get you motivated.
Always jog a lap to warm up and do a light stretch, make sure you are hydrated, and dress for weather.

  1. Standing tall arms fully extended in front at waist level, touch knees to hands alternating jogging forward for 50 meters ( quads, and core activation)
  2. From where you ended place hands behind you jog backwards kicking heels behind to touch hands alternating ( calf and hamstring activation)
  3. Running in place (sprinters drill) lifting 1knee as high as your waist bring opposite hand up elbow bent past your ear, switch every time. Do for 1 minute
  4. The lap around the track is 400meters you will split into 4 sections of 100meters.Jog 100meters, then run 100meters, walk 100meters, run 100meters to finish line.( stamina )
  5. At designated long jump pit, stand with feet shoulder width, squat low reaching hand behind you. Reach hands forward when body is standing upright jump pulling knees up to chest pushing feet forward land forward. Your goal is to jump your body length do 10 jumps( all muscle groups)

These drills are challenging so take your time to get used to it. You will burn a lot of calories and train the entire body to work efficiently, slowly building stamina and endurance. Today’s practice is tomorrow’s victory.

If you need any more info or fit tips please contact Jody Garcia.

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.

Get outside to burn some calories

Running on sand
Take your fitness to new levels by changing the work out from the ground up. Instead running on a hard surface, think of instability and softer running surface to ramp up your metabolism. We have great places to do this in Seattle like myrtle Edwards Park, Seattle Sculpture Park, Golden Gardens, Bastyr University to accommodate this type of work out. As soon as you run on a surface that is uneven like grass, sand, that sunken feeling makes you burn 1.6 times more calories! You have to work every muscle to land, and pull out of the soft surface, and not as much hard impact on the joints. If you are running in sand as an example you are burning 300-500 calories per 30 minutes if you weigh 125lbs. You are heavier you are already burning more roughly 500-700 per 30 minutes of exercise in sand. The instability of the surface and constantly having to adjust does wonders to all the little muscles (stabilizers) in the legs, core, back muscles, and keeps the work out fresh.

Try Paddle boarding
The great thing about living in the North West is we are surrounded by water and we can do so many recreational workouts anytime. Take advantage of the instability and coordination needed to workout using water and go paddle boarding. The hardest part of paddle boarding is getting up, requiring you to know how to stabilize your body. The rest is all stance, core, and pulling across the water. Eventually your body will adjust to this ever changing water environment, and then all you have to do is keep in motion; all while burning is 500 to 700 per hour. So what are you waiting for get out there and get moving. You will feel refreshed, centered and not realize you are exercising from just the view alone. Make sure to always wear your life jacket, safely first, and always hydrate.

Spring Training Outside on Pier 66

With more daylight extending in to the evenings, why not use this opportunity to change your fitness routine?

Training outdoors can awaken your urban fitness child and enhance your workout experiences. All you need is a good pair of athletic shoes, a resistance band and a jump rope. The challenge of having to do something outside of your comfort zone, along with the fresh air and great weather, is what outdoor workouts are all about. Just outside the Seattle Athletic Club Downtown doors, you can find easy access to the waterfront by heading down the overpass and stairs at the base of Lenora Avenue. There are running trails along the waterfront, as well as the pier 66 stairs and Sculpture Park grounds that provide a lot of options to plan a rewarding routine around.

Here are some exercise examples and calories expenditures pertaining to the movement to get you started:

  • Running stairs for a hour = 612 calories
  • Doing a circuit of upper and lower body = 544 calories
  • Running a 12min mile = 544 calories a hour
  • Jump rope 3 minutes = 100 calories

By using some simple activities, mixed with some base exercises, you can easily build a 750 calorie burning workout together. An example might include: a small run in, do a flight of stairs, stop do some upper body & lower body resistance band sequences, add a minute of jump rope, repeat a 2nd set and run back to club to finish with some core work and stretching.

If you need help with putting this routine together contact any member of our fitness team.

If these benefits seem like something that interest you and you would like to be our group workouts please contact Martial Arts Trainer Jody Garcia.

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.