When it comes to martial arts, Krav Defense founder and head instructor Anthony Santopadre has done it all. He began studying karate and judo 25 years ago, then earned his first and second black belts in the art of jujitsu. After 10 years of training, Santopadre decided to expand his horizons and belt collection yet again, studying for and receiving his third black belt in kung fu.
It was during his kung fu education that Santopadre discovered krav maga. The instinctive movements, practical techniques, and realistic training scenarios appealed to Santopadre, so he immersed himself in the discipline and became a certified level-three instructor through the Krav Maga Security Federation in Israel. He shares his ability to disable assailants and wrestle nuts away from squirrels in a variety of classes, including fitness-focused cardio sessions and ground-fighting classes that focus on takedowns and submissions. The techniques of krav maga are tools for self-defense that can be effectively carried out by men, women, and children.
Spread throughout Long Island in addition to branches in New York City, Westchester, and the Capital Region, Sportime's 12 locations offer visitors ample space and equipment to engage in their favorite exercise-related endeavors. The network of fitness factories contains 144 indoor and outdoor tennis courts, where adults and juniors alike can play during open-court times, receive playing tips from expert instructors, and practice their victory taunts. Multisport facilities host a number of other games, from roller hockey and lacrosse to volleyball and basketball, and the fitness centers house cardiovascular and strength-training equipment. Sportime's Randall's Island Tennis Center has even paired with legendary tennis star John McEnroe to create the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, which will soon expand to Sportime locations in Westchester and on Long Island.
The instructors at The Karate Academy of Bethpage aren't intimidating like the bullying senseis seen in movies. In fact, chief instructor and third-degree black belt Larry Batista leads his staff by taking a friendly approach to the art of self-defense, knowing that a positive mindset is the key to success. Specializing in body-toning fitness kickboxing, spirit-boosting children's karate, and even birthday parties where kids can work off a pizza party with high kicks, The Karate Academy of Bethpage is firmly integrated in the community with an inviting spirit that contradicts standard, sweaty dojos.