North Shore founder Marc Meltzer grew up training in many martial-arts practices, but by the early 1990s, he became singularly devoted to muay thai. He fought in one of the first public muay thai matches in the Massachusetts area, and went on to study with champion fighters and teachers of various muay thai techniques.
Today, at his own academy, Marc specializes in two different martial arts: muay thai and thai sword fighting. His competitive muay thai sequence helps students rise through the ranks, beginning with a mandatory introductory class, and progressing with conditioning, midlevel striking with pads, and advanced sparring classes. The thai sword fighting courses are rooted in self-defense practices, as with kali, close-quarters combat techniques that teach students how to use their environment to fend off attackers. Krabi-kabong primarily uses swords and staffs, and muay boran is an ancient practice that focuses on empty-hand striking, kicks, holds, and throws.
The Neves family is a black-belt family, with more degrees than a thermometer. Manny Neves holds an eighth-degree black belt in the uechi-ryu karate style, and his wife, Sheila, is a sixth-degree black belt in the style. Even their daughter, Juliana—a first-degree black belt herself—has several Grand Champion awards in forms, fighting, and weapons. Though you wouldn't want to get caught in a street fight with any of them, the emphasis of their style is on etiquette and self-control rather than brute force. The Academy also offers yoga classes to tone the physique and promote deep relaxation.
Dr. Greg Rosenblatt has been helping his clients achieve healthy, beautiful teeth for more than 17 years. At Saugus Smiles, he and his friendly, experienced team offer family and cosmetic dental services, ranging from exams and checkups to crowns, dentures, and tooth implants. As an added convenience to customers, the office offers late night and early morning appointments to make it easy for patients to schedule visits around work and school, and the staff is also able to converse or swap dentistry-related jokes with patients in several languages, including Spanish and Thai.
Certified martial arts instructors lead self-defense classes for students of all ages. They guide students through dynamic strikes and blocks while emphasizing the importance of conflict-avoidance, discipline, and self-confidence. They also conduct a rigorous fitness program, leading students through high-intensity exercises in kickboxing, cardio boot camp, and personal training sessions. Additionally, they offer a masters clubs, where athletes who have successfully earned a black belt learn the exclusive secrets of the art, from highly advanced techniques to a list of Bruce Lee's high school crushes lifted from his diary.
The instructors at Defensive Edge Martial Arts Training Center see martial arts training as something bigger than a path of becoming a more skilled combatant. They see the tradition of training as a way of becoming a better person. In every youth and adult program, students develop character as much as they develop muscle, deepening their understanding of patience, respect, and integrity. Those virtues prepare them for success in relationships and the workplace as much as they prepare them on the mat.
Each program—from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to Muay Thai to iCAT Reality Martial Arts—is held in Defensive Edge's 5,000-square-foot facility with separate combat and fitness areas. In addition to martial arts training, instructors lead students of all fitness levels through non-combat fitness programs such as FightFIT, a high-intensity CrossFit-style regimen tailored to anyone's specific fitness needs and helps to quickly increase performance and conditioning for combative sports. Simulating two professional MMA matches, FightFIT classes use items such as dumbbells, kettlebells, TRX, battling ropes, and grappling dummies to pump up heart rate and increase metabolism. Most classes take place on weeknights and weekend days to accommodate members' day jobs and the FDA's recommended 18 hours of sleep each day.
Treadmills, stationary bikes, weights, stair-climbers—most gyms are packed with equipment just like this. What makes Elite Fitness Center unique is that every membership also comes with a team of certified trainers who help each person get the most out of each workout. To begin, trainers assess personal fitness levels and use that data to apply the best methods for losing weight, improving stamina, and building enough muscle to open any jar. Their customized programs achieve that through cardio and resistance training as well as in-depth nutritional counseling. Elite also hosts kickboxing and karate classes, giving participants several group-oriented approaches to fitness.