Two nights a week, Jeff Faerber and about 10 other men fill a room at the Dance Masters studio at Northwest Highway and Plano. But they aren’t there to learn to tango. They are there to learn to fight.

As Faerber and his classmates punch, kick and spar, the room quickly heats up and fills with sweat and heavy breathing, which is exactly what they want.

“The camaraderie, I like,” says Faerber, who is 50. “And the intense workout.”

When Faerber decided to sign up for martial arts a year and a half ago, he wasn’t interested in a school that caters to children. So he went to Mann’s Martial Arts, a school for adults founded by neighborhood resident Erik Mann. Here, you will not find children lined up in white gees and young instructors breaking boards or jumping and spinning in the air. You will find a pack of over-30-somethings sweating, punching and kicking.

Mann has studied martial arts for 27 years and holds black belts in four different styles. He believes it’s an excellent form of exercise – “aerobics that can save your life.” But Mann also believes that as a person ages, he isn’t interested and is not physically able to do many of moves that younger martial arts students do.

“All these jumps up in the air with spinning, most adults – when they hit 30 – they can’t do it,” Mann says. “Forty-year-olds aren’t ballerinas. They don’t want to compete. They want to have fun. They want a good workout. And they want to be safe.”

So that is what Mann teaches them. He gives his students a mix of martial arts and self-defense. In addition to kicks and punches, they learn all the dirty fighting techniques – eye gouges, groin kicks, neck chops – that are forbidden in tournaments, but can be lifesavers during an unexpected attack.

The fact that Mann focuses on people older than 30 was appealing to Steve Chambers, who is 44.

“I wanted to try something new,” Chambers says. “I was always interested in (martial arts). I work out harder here than anywhere else. On Mondays and Wednesdays, if I’ve had a frustrating day, I look forward to it. It’s a great stress reliever.”

And for Mann, that’s what his classes are all about.