Though Shaolin Self Defense Center teaches students how to punch, kick, and defend against opponents, the lesson its instructors find most important is to maintain self-esteem, discipline, and respect. Drawing upon a rich tradition that spans more than 1,500 years, instructors introduce students to Shaolin kung fu's signature blend of targeted strikes and debilitating grapples. However, classes are about more than just physical form. Instructors also encourage emotional and mental balance, leaving students with a quiet confidence that lasts long after lessons conclude.
The dedicated instructors at Kids Love Martial Arts teach children the techniques of self-defense styles such as karate and tang soo do. But they are just as focused on imparting lessons on discipline, focus, and confidence. The studio's websites shares stories of youngsters who were constantly distracted in school or picked on by their peers. The teachers always prescribe the same medicine: a few weeks in Kids Love Martial Arts classes. The physical aspect of the training engages the youthful participants, but it's the less tangible results that can help them positively channel their energy and confidently stare down the karate-practicing monster under the bed.
With dozens of locations across the United States, Kickboxing FitClub helps guests tone bodies and improve cardiovascular health through kickboxing lessons for all experience levels. Whether in group classes of 10–20 students or private sessions, students learn stretches, resistance exercises, punches, and kicks appropriate for their skill level. Private appointments with staff nutritionists help individuals develop dietary plans that bolster health in tandem with workouts.
Ballet Long Island, a nonprofit professional ballet company that focuses on bringing affordable ballet performances to its community, has been doing just that since 1985. The consummate dancers, many of whom have studied in the organization’s training and education programs, unleash performances throughout the year across several stages, from Disney-themed shows such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty to original numbers.
"The finest blade stays in the scabbard." It might seem counterintuitive to relate this mantra to a sword-fighting technique, but it rules the Iaido sword combat class at Okami Dojo. That's because the most important aspect of Iaido is avoiding bloodshed altogether. When combat is inevitable, Iaido teaches practitioners to control each movement precisely: removal of sword from scabbard, strike, wiping the blade clean, and re-sheathing it.
Along with Iaido, the dojo's instructors also teach another Japanese-born martial art: jujutsu. Through forceful pins, locks, and throws, a jujutsu practitioner can incapacitate an armed opponent with ease.