If you’re a Tae Bo fan, then you know the name Billy Blanks. He’s a world famous fitness expert, sometimes referred to as the king of cardio kickboxing with dozens of videos leading people through his original training style.
And he’s coming to Santa Clarita.
Hugo’s Gymfitness, located on Centre Pointe Pkwy, is hosting a Tae Bo Masterclass with Billy Blanks on May 20 from 4-6 p.m. Local resident and certified instructor Angie Eliaszewicz of Stevenson Ranch will partner with him in the day’s instruction. She is a former student of Blanks and the first certified Tae Bo master instructor in Santa Clarita.
In the 1980s, Billy Blanks devised Tae Bo fitness in his basement in Pennsylvania, and now it’s evolved to “Tae Bo Nation,” a fitness exercise program that was created to “challenge your body, your mind and your will.” It became known as the original total-body workout in the fitness industry, eventually rising to common household name. Today, Tae Bo Nation operates through the “Celebrity Sweat” TV series corporate office.
The fourth of 15 children, Blanks is now a fitness guru, actor, trainer and humanitarian, and his travels are taking him, most recently, as far as Romania, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan, where thousands of instructors are earning Tae Bo certifications.
Eliaszewicz became an instructor and has been working with Blanks for the last four months on the specialized martial arts form, which is a combination of tae kwon do and boxing.
“Billy’s conscientious about health issues,” said Eliaszewicz, who teaches Tae Bo to corporate employees, in the aerospace industry, and at universities.
After the May 20 event, she will offer Tae Bo classes locally. Already an instructor at Hugo’s, Eliaszewicz is establishing Tae Bo training in Santa Clarita hoping to bring healthy ideas to residents through both exercise and diet education.
“Our market got saturated with Zumba and beach parties,” she said. “And there are so many cardio kickboxing classes in Santa Clarita. When Billy teaches his Tae Bo instructors, he emphasizes technique a lot … so they don’t get injured.”
Eliaszewicz said you have to study more than 139 pages and pass a test before obtaining certification. “He’s very solid about that,” she added. “Two days, training eight hours each day, and through the whole training he emphasizes technique. We are very qualified instructors.”
Trainers using other modalities tend to get hurt, she said. “This is not a performance, it is for me to create a difference,” Eliaszewicz said. “I’m the tool to make that happen. … I care about you doing the right stuff so you see results. That’s what Billy puts into his instructors.”
Hugo’s is located at 21107 Centre Pointe Pkwy in Santa Clarita. Visit Hugosgymfitness.com.