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OK, NOT GOING TO LIE ABOUT THIS ONE. IT WAS SUNDAY, JULY 11, WE WERE WATCHING THE FINAL WORLD CUP MATCH OF SPAIN VS. HOLLAND AT A FRIEND’S HOUSE AND I’M TELLING MY FRIEND PAYMAN ABOUT THIS SPORTS+FITNESS FEATURE. And Payman is, well, kind of ripped, so he tells me he’s been running and doing these kickboxing classes. Long story short, by the end of the match (and one too many sangrias) I agreed to check out the class the next day with him. Hoger is located in a small strip mall off Richmond across the street from Sam’s Boat (which isn’t a bad thing, ‘cause after that first class you just might want a drink). I showed up with a girlfriend (hey, I was scared!) and rightly so; I walked into the lion’s den. These people were not messing around. But before I get ahead of myself…

weren’t judging my skills. Sam Hoger, a.k.a. The Alaskan Assassin, is our professor. He seems nice and I relax, a little. [I later find out Hoger is the only mixed martial arts (MMA) instructor in town to have fought for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and continues to train and compete regularly. Plus, in MMA he holds a professional record of 8-4, and is the current Cruiser Weight Champion for the Urban Rumble Championship. He also holds belt titles for Art of War as well as Xtreme Combat Submission Championships. WHAT?!] So, the class starts and he runs through a quick warm-up with some sprinting, punching and stretching. Next we pair up with someone for some punching. I end up with Jessica Castillo, super petite and cute gal who happens to be one of those professional fighters I mentioned. My friend Catherine pairs up with Paola, who has a black eye given to her…by Jessica…I’m scared. But Jessica rocks and shows me the ropes Every time you get on or off the mat you bow You will be drenched in no time; Paola does the same for in respect, otherwise (if you get caught) they in sweat; this is seriously Catherine. And at first we’re doing the will make you drop and do 10 push-ups. The physical; more men than punches with the pros holding the class is done barefoot. (And, yes, it kind of punching pads, but then we switch smells, but again are you serious or do you women ratio; this is done bareand now I’m holding the pads for this pint-size pro and all I can want to take a gym kickboxing class?) Now foot; you’ll need handsay is “ouch.” But I’ll be back – ’cause this place is the real deal. don’t expect the instructor to give you a one-on-one explanation. I literwraps. ally walked in, intimidated by the abundance of guys and four girls (two of Hoger MMA | 5717 Richmond Ave. | Houston, TX 77057 whom were professional fighters, more on that later). So you have to pay atten713.808.9682 | tion and go with the flow. Everyone was pretty cool, and from what I could tell,



By Carla Valencia de Martinez



Wednesdays from 6:30 to 7:30pm, $10 at the door or $8 online. Dress comfortably for lots of movement. Bring your water and get ready to get your groove on!

THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX AND TRY THIS WORKOUT THAT SEEMS ALMOST EFFORTLESS BUT DELIVERS A PUNCH. This is literally a dance party that combines exercise with fun and easy-to-follow dance moves in a nightclub setting. The idea is to have fun while your body works up a sweat. The calorie-burning routine is so easy: you simply follow a series of moves set to a DJ spinning 80’s, hip-hop, pop and disco music, add a little of your own panache and voila! Pop! Pop! The instructor shouts out instructions while more than 50 people move their bodies in synchronized motion; it’s pretty cool! The class is divided into segments to keep it fresh. You begin with a warm-up, followed by a more blood-pumping set and then, when you think it’s getting too hard, the instructor breaks the class into a soul train dance line, or at times, a conga line, giving each attendee the opportunity to let loose while they perform their free-style dance. This is a great stress reliever and will have you out of your shell in no time! For some, gyms can be a little overwhelming and this is a great option. The class is welcome to anyone eager to get fit. Kids are welcome too! It’s so great, in fact, that at least three doctors in the Houston area are now giving out Nightclub cardio class prescriptions and that’s no joke.

Rich’s | 2401 San Jacinto Street | Houston, TX 77002 |

40. august 10 |

By Pixie Ibañez

August 2010  

Health + Fitness Issue

August 2010  

Health + Fitness Issue