Monday, October 23, 2017 
Kris Roesken Madison, WI Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
I've been training at The Blast for approx 3 years and can honestly say it has been a life changing experience. Before I started, I had poor diet, exercise and life balance. Since joining, I have lost ...

Jon Cleveland
Madison, WI
Muay Thai Kickboxing

Joining The Blast was a great decision! I worked out at a health club for almost two years with little results. It was hard for me to motivate myself to go, and even when I did go, I wasn't motivated to work myself very hard. Nor was I having any fun. Looking for something different, I found my way to the Blast and started training in Muay Thai kickboxing and Jeet Kune Do. Martial arts are a ton of fun. It's physically demanding and intellectually stimulating. And the structure of the classes has helped me stay disciplined with my exercise routines. You have to be at class at a certain time, you can't slack off because people are watching you, most of the work is done with partners and you don't want to let that person down, and the instructors know whether or not you've been to class. I definitely recommend giving The Blast a try if you're looking for a new work out plan, self-esteem boost, weight loss, improved cardio, or a fun activity.

Gretchen Cleveland
Madison, WI
Muay Thai Kickboxing

I initially joined The Blast by enrolling in Boot Camp, with the goal of getting in better shape. I had previously tried all kinds of training, including group classes, yoga on my own, weight lifting, and running, but nothing held my interest more than a few weeks so I thought Boot Camp would be a positive change in my fitness routine–and it was. The best part of Boot Camp, however, is that it introduced me to Muay Thai, which I practice now. Muay Thai workouts are fun, mentally and physically challenging, and teach me discipline. I really look forward to each class because the instructors are motivational and I can actually see progress in my skills and fitness level. And while Muay Thai has definitely helped me become more healthy overall, the greatest benefit I've gained is a new self-image and higher self-confidence!

Chad Miller
Madison, WI
Muay Thai Kickboxing

Before moving to Madison, I would try to keep in shape by running and moderate weight lifting. I was in pretty decent shape, but not even close to my potential. A few weeks after moving to Madison (and not working out at all), I wanted to keep in shape by trying a martial art, so a friend suggested I try Muay Thai. I searched for a place in Madison, and The Blast came up. I was expecting an email back, but the next day, I got a phone call asking if (and when) I wanted to have my free trial lesson. I took it a few days later.

When I first arrived, I was a bit nervous but more excited to finally try a martial art. I met Mike, and did my free trial lesson. Despite it being much shorter, the workout I got from it was more intense than any I experienced in my years of running. I signed up a few days later, and was instantly hooked.

The workouts were amazing. Within a few months, despite having stopped running, I was in far better shape than I had been even while running several miles nearly every day. I even lost weight in those first few months! My confidence, discipline and good health increased. It didn't just stop there, though. Three and a half years later, the classes still push me to my max. The other great aspect is the personal aspect. I have made many friends from The Blast and I know I will make many more.

I am very glad I picked The Blast over the other results that came up that day. I still find it hard to believe a single phone call could change my life like that call did. I am in, by far, the best shape of my life thanks to The Blast!

Michael Greunke
Madison, WI
Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

I joined The Blast looking for some martial arts exposure while preparing for the Marine Corps Officer Candidates School and the experience has been everything I've hoped for so far. The skills I'm learning in both BJJ and MTK will be applicable for my needs in the future and the conditioning each provide are an awesome added bonus. Mike is a fantastic instructor and his well structured classes are a joy to attend every week. Couldn't ask to train with better people in a better environment!

Kris Roesken
Madison, WI
Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

I’ve been training at The Blast for approx 3 years and can honestly say it has been a life changing experience. Before I started, I had poor diet, exercise and life balance. Since joining, I have lost over 30 lbs and developed skills in Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and MMA. Unlike traditional gym memberships, I actually look forward to going to the Blast due to the fun and friendly competitive environment. The instructors are experts in a variety of martial arts, as well as fitness and diet. A membership here will improve the health of body and mind, and has paid dividends for me in all other areas of my life. I am a better person, father, husband, and employee at work as a result!

Chris Luken
Madison, WI
Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Team BLAST

The Blast (Functional Martial Arts and Fitness) has provided an excellent atmosphere for me to learn multiple forms of martial arts and to learn more about myself. The philosophy of The Blast has been life-changing in terms of diet, fitness, and mental concentration and therefore it has been a tremendous value for the benefits received for the cost. All of the instructors are on time for classes, motivational, and consistent in their respect of all students whether an advanced member, child, or new attendee. Every week provides new training techniques and each “block” is finalized with a review of all the material covered in a very rewarding “belt testing”. I cannot think of anyone who could not benefit from attending The Blast!

Adam Saunders
Madison, WI
Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Team BLAST, Jeet Kune Do

I am a student of Mike’s and I have really enjoyed the past 2 years training and hanging out with the people at THE BLAST. I am on TEAM BLAST and have had 1 kickboxing match that I have won, and I plan on doing another one later this year. I partake in all of Mike’s classes. I enjoy learning about every aspect of Jeet Kune Do and I also like to compete in fight competitions.

I have seen the school go through a lot of changes since I have been there and they are all for the better. Where we are at now is a million miles from where we started back at Heroes Gym. I would recommend THE BLAST to anyone [since] there are all kinds of different classes for people to take. I am in the best shape of my life and I owe all of it to THE BLAST, because I love to go and work out and enjoy the company of the people around me. The training is second to none and I will never go anywhere else.

Megan Sharrow
Columbus, WI
Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Team BLAST, Jeet Kune Do

The first time I walked into THE BLAST, I was nervous and a little scared. My first class was Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and even though my big brother was there with me, the thought of rolling around on the ground with strange men was unnerving at best. Throughout the first week of class, Mike did an amazing job of making me feel comfortable and encouraging me. If he saw a hint of discomfort in my face, he would remind me that I should only do what I was comfortable with and that it was OK if I needed to take a break. The discomfort I felt during those first classes quickly faded as I got to know Mike and his team members.

For all the smack these tough guys like to talk, they’re all just a bunch of big brothers at heart. Everyone loves to challenge you and encourage you and help you become a better martial artist as long as you’re willing to get in there and give it a try. I have a lot of love for the people I have met at THE BLAST. They have taught me about humility, pride, and respect. I am an all around better person thanks to them.

Since joining THE BLAST I have become stronger, quicker, more confident, and thicker skinned. I have more energy, I have a better body image and the little things don’t bother me so much anymore. Now I just sweat them out in practice and turn all that tension into consumable energy.

Madison, WI
Personal Protection Program

The girls thought the class was great. It was informative and fun. Megan was trying out the moves as soon as she got home. The PPP definitely made the girls more aware of the dangers around them and how to deal with them, even if they don’t remember all the moves perfectly.

Nick Loumos
Madison, WI
Jeet Kune Do

I wanted you to know how grateful I am for all you have done for me. I walked into that first private intro lesson as a 15 year old kid; now I’m an adult. I feel very lucky to have had you and the Blast be such a major part of my life.

I also want you to know that I don’t give a flying you know what how many fights you win. Obviously, I love it when put some fool down (and I’ll be in the crowd watching many of these. Or on my couch watching it on TV.) But what I will always remember and value, is the friendship and teaching you have given me.

You have given me the skills, physical and mental, to keep myself grounded, stay true to what I believe in, but not take myself too seriously. The way you respect and care about everyone who walks in your academy regardless of who or what they are is an inspiration. Of all the precious things I’ve learned at your academy, that is one of the most important.

Joe D.
Wauwatosa, WI

For those interested in learning a fun and practical form of self-defense, I highly recommend THE BLAST Functional Martial Arts and Fitness. Mike Vaughn, Owner and Head Instructor is talented and a motivated Martial Artist who works with each and every student to accommodate their needs. His teaching skills enable students to walk away even after their first lesson with useful abilities to handle situations where a person may need to use self-defense.

I highly recommend his Personal Protection Program (PPP) for college age students (especially young women) who are learning to cope on their own for the first time. Self-defense provides not only personal satisfaction and the knowledge that you don’t have to be a victim, but is an excellent source for a cardiovascular work-out. Check out all the programs that Mike and THE BLAST have to offer, I’m sure there is one that will suit you.

Steve M.
Marshall, WI

WOW! I learned more in 6 weeks and gained more confidence at THE BLAST than I did in 6 months at other so called “Karate” Schools. I’ve always had a passion for the Martial Arts all throughout my life, but I could not find a school that specialized in real world scenarios such as getting attacked in a parking lot, or having 3 opponents trying to attack you etc.

While growing up, I’ve always wondered why I was being taught to do a “spinning backwards crescent rear butterfly kick” on an attacker. That stuff is fun to learn, but are you going to be able to pull that odd when your knees are shaking in fear of the 300lb attacker rushing you? I have seen instructional videos that taught the more “down to earth” methods that I was searching for but never thought there was a school that taught real world situations. So I had to settle by attending mainstream karate schools.

Last year after class at the “school” I was attending, I asked one of my instructors why he doesn’t teach the use of elbows and knees as self-defense weapons? He told me that he doesn’t teach that because they are “too lethal”. I felt saddened inside to know that my “instructor” wasn’t teaching me the skills that would save my life in a real life or death situation.

I expressed my frustrations to a fellow student who told me I should check out THE BLAST on Cottage Grove Rd. He stated that they taught reality based, real world self defense. I was shocked and had to find out for myself since I didn’t think those schools existed. That same night, I ran out of the school I was at and headed immediately to THE BLAST. Upon entering, I was [amazed] at the training that was going on. I was warmly greeted by the head instructor, Mike Vaughn, and after a tour, I realized that this was the school for me.

Here’s what separates THE BLAST from other schools I have attended

  • The self defense system taught here will work regardless if your attacker is stronger or more skilled.
  • The system can be taught to anyone regardless of your age or physical condition.
  • The school has you covered for every situation, regardless if the attack ends up on the ground or if there are weapons involved.
  • The instructors fully understand how to build your confidence so you aren’t paralyzed by fear.
  • They also care about your diet, nutrition and your life outside of class.

You have an obligation and duty to be able to protect yourself, your family and loved ones especially today with violent crime increasing everywhere.

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