Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
We are self-defense specialists! Schools of Aikido vary widely in orientation. At SJAA we focus on practical self-defense. We believe that Aikido is a living art so we continually strive to improve the effectiveness of what we teach. What works, we keep; what doesn't we drop.
Since 2000, Daddis Fight Camps has equipped thousands of students with the tools to be more confident and more effective in self-defense scenarios. Helmed by founder Brad Daddis, the Philadelphia- and New Jersey-based operation works with individuals all ages, genders, and athletic abilities. An assorted selection of programs speaks to that diversity, and includes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai Boxing, and even a Tactical Urban Defense course. In that, students learn practical self-defense techniques, specifically those in close quarters combat they can use against a mugger or particularly tight blood-pressure cuff.
Since 1987, American Karate System has been preparing students of all levels for national championships, building a foundation for a lifetime of growth and improvement in martial arts. In his career, fifth-degree kenpo black-belt and national champion Mark Schiffman has worked with martial arts experts, police officers, and US marshals to master his craft. This training doesn't just improve self-defense and fitness?it also builds mental focus and discipline to help students improve in all areas of life.
Aikido is the "loving protection of all beings," in the words of Morihei Ueshiba, who created the martial-arts style. Although it sometimes incorporates wooden weapons, at its heart, aikido seeks to act as a replacement for violence. Greg O'Connor, founder and chief instructor at Aikido Centers of New Jersey, brings Ueshiba's tenets to his students, who have included children and seniors, as well as members of the New Jersey State Police, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US Secret Service. O'Connor and more than 40 other instructors teach students self-defense tactics that redirect attacks, as well as more advanced methods that include wooden sword and staff training and aikido's dramatic falls and rolls.
Urban Defense Center founder Master Lawrence Whitaker developed his studio’s signature self-defense program to arm students with practical-minded moves that prepare them for dangerous street situations. Students learn to spar, take down an opponent, defend against weapons, and escape from the shadow of a suspicious-looking skyscraper. Students also train their gray matter, pre-empting potential legal repercussions for defending themselves by studying concepts such as reasonable grounds and probable cause. Alternatively, Tai-Fit sessions shuttle through a series of punches, knees, blocks, and kicks with the goal not of emulating a fight but of torching calories instead. Fighters can pursue either track with a personal trainer who pays closer attention to form and technique than a beauty contestant does during the Simon Says portion of the pageant.