At Sword Martial Arts, Grand Master Jin K. Seong oversees devotees training in the ancient martial art of kendo, or kumdo, a form of sword fighting nearly 2,000 years old. A member of the International Kendo Federation with internationally recognized rankings, Sword Martial Arts ensures student safety by wrapping combatants in protective gear before they spar to hone self-discipline, develop confidence, and learn how to defeat the black knight's ghost in their attic. Though it originated as a form of combat, kendo's modern form focuses on respect for others and protection of the weak. Mook-sang meditation sessions bookend each lesson, focusing minds on the kendo philosophy and bringing pupils closer to the purity of heart most often found in baby unicorns. The academy’s schedule of classes invites neophytes and younger students to drill in foundational techniques, whereas students 15 and older grip the hilt of bamboo or metal swords under the watchful guidance of expert instructors.
The player toes the baseline, bounces the tennis ball a few times per ritual, and then tosses it skyward for the first serve. The ball is hit a touch too firmly, and it sails past the service area for a fault. No matter, you get two faults in tennis. The second serve takes some oomph off the stroke while imparting spin, hoping to keep it safely in-bounds. Instead, the ball is lands wide of the sideline for fault number two.
It's common situations like these that certified tennis instructor Peter Ohanyan believes separate an average player from confident players whose skills are refined. Recognizing the need to combat mental obstacles and boost confidence, particularly with beginners, Peter applies all the knowledge learned from playing singles at the NCAA level, coaching a high school team, and earning degrees in psychology and physical education. He takes a positive, reinforcing approach to teaching the game, and employs a wide range of equipment—such as agility ladders, cones, and hurdles—to help his students sharpen technical skills.
At Bull Frog Golf, instructor Ted Spielman delivers positive results no matter the student's age, ability, or prior experience with the game. He emphasizes fundamentals, suggesting tweaks to grip and alignment for youngsters or creates drills to break bad habits among more seasoned swingers. While his 30-year career has seen more than its share of successes—including several students who have competed in the Jr. World Championships—his loftiest goal is to make the game more enjoyable for every player, even if a job and mortgage disqualify them from ever playing on a Jr. tour.
The coaches at Junior Sports NJ strive to get children off the couch and into the game through sports training and bouts of friendly competition. Though their work involves various activities, their sport of choice is golf. At Closter Golf Range and area courses, the enthusiastic coaches teach kids all facets of the golf game, such as the full swing, putting, and how to fix a ball mark without hijacking a Zamboni. Group activities encourage tykes to make new friends in a cooperative environment, and many sessions include kid-friendly extras such as arts and crafts.