Going Old School in a New Way

Welcome to Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts, a unique studio blending cutting-edge knowledge with old school training.

Forteza is an ancient Italian word meaning “fortress” or “stronghold”. Within our studio, that stronghold is you. At Forteza our goal is to help each person who comes through our door build their own personal stronghold; the stronghold of their bodies, minds and spirits.

More than just another martial arts school or a gym, rather, we are:

  • A studio combining a unique offering of traditional martial arts and modern self-defense with personal training, adventure racing, functional fitness and nutritional counseling, set in a beautiful, 5000 square foot, hundred year-old facility;
  • The Midwest’s only full-time school for the study of traditional Western martial arts, and historical swordplay;
  • Home to the Forteza Combatives Method, an eclectic blend of empty-hand, ground-fighting and weapons training, incorporating Bare-Knuckle Boxing, Catch-Wrestling, and Martial Blade Concepts’ a nationally known and respected method of hand, stick and knife defense designed for modern people with limited training time;
  • Home to the Bartitsu Club of Chicago, dedicated to the revival of this “Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes,” a unique, Victorian fighting disciple which was the world’s first eclectic martial art;
  • “Pioneers in the revival of 19th century “physical culture” – the combined use of calisthenics, Indian clubs, medicine balls, therapeutic gymnastics, body-weight exercises and games designed to create natural strength and grace with athletic performance;
  • A gymuseum: a unique “living museum” of antique exercise equipment and an inspirational gallery of 19th century prints portraying combat sport athletes in training;
  • An international center for education on the rich and sophisticated martial traditions of Western Civilization;
  • Home to an innovative and eclectic series of workshops, lectures and unique social events.

Above all, we are a fellowship and home-away-from-home for anyone who has ever been fascinated by these subjects and wants to challenge themselves to do more and be more.

This website will give you a visual tour of the Forteza experience, and tell you how to become a part of it. We also have an ever-growing library of articles that will tell you more. Start by reading aboutWhat to Expect, and our extensive Programs.

Or, if you are ready to join and begin building your personal stronghold, here is how to Get Started.

Welcome to Forteza! Welcome home.