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From yoga to mountain biking to rock climbing, there are many ways for Flagstaff residents to get in their daily exercise, and the martial arts are a fine way to lose weight, practice a traditional art and train the mind and body. This year, Maximum Martial Arts hits a three-peat, winning Flagstaff’s top vote yet again for Martial Arts Training. 

For owners Jim and Conny Ginter, the martial arts are a family business, with their daughters Jocelyn and Kianna often lending a hand with instruction and running the studio. 

“Like a lot of kids, I wanted to be like my dad,” said Jim. “You know, kids see their dad play baseball or something. My dad was in the martial arts sometime in the mid to late ‘60s, and I wanted to do that.” 

At age seven, Jim started training with his father in the martial art of Shotokan Karate. When he turned 19, he received his first-degree black belt and opened his first martial arts school in 1986 in Waseca, Minn. In June 1998, the Ginters relocated to Flagstaff where they opened up the first Maximum Martial Arts studio on Fourth Street. After a few relocations, they found their home in 2005 on Historic Route 66 just east of downtown. 

“Because we’re family owned, we really wanted to get families involved,” Jim explained. “Sometimes I’ll get parents who I taught almost 20 years ago who bring their kids to my class! … We’ll get four-year olds to 64-year olds. It depends on how much you want to do and how disciplined you are.”

Maximum Martial Arts teaches three disciplines: Tae kwon do, kickboxing and krav  maga.

And at Maximum Martial Arts, discipline is key. Centered above a wall-sized mirror is the phrase, “Discipline the mind … and the body will follow.” 

“I tell my students [the phrase] is more than a motto; it’s a lifestyle. If you tell yourself you can, you will. If you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t. It all starts with attitude. Attitude determines your altitude. I wish I made it up,” Jim said with a laugh. “But I think I heard it at my old school in Minnesota.”

For nearly two decades, Maximum Martial Arts has offered the best in self-defense and martial arts training, and Jim says he owes it all to the instruction and customer service of his workers and the people of Flagstaff. 

“You know people come and go and we’ve had a lot of people work here over their years, but they’ve all been the most fantastic instructors. We’ve been really blessed and we’re extremely grateful that Flagstaff has embraced us into their community.”

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