Best Exercise Class 

UC Berkeley Taekwondo Club

Anyone who's worked out with the UC Berkeley Taekwondo Club knows the world of fast-as-lightning martial arts isn't limited to kung fu fighting. At Cal, disciplined athletes celebrate the Korean art, known as "the way of fist and foot," with such frenzy that each class quickly becomes a sweat-drenched full-body workout. Berkeley's fleet-footed instructors honor taekwondo's traditional emphasis on the art of kicking and punching, but supplement old-school moves with new exercises designed for speed and power -- sometimes cranking up hip-hop to get students in the mood. Whatever the formula, it's clearly working. After more than thirty years of teaching, classes are consistently packed and Cal's competing team wins national championships year after year. With Berkeley hosting a major world-class taekwondo tournament in June, energy now is especially high. A variety of workouts cater to different skill levels, from beginners to black belts. On Saturdays, advanced students don their protective gear and practice sparring techniques. The UC Martial Arts Program also offers classes in hankido, judo, karate, martial arts fitness, therapeutic taiji, and wushu, the Chinese war art featured in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

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