While working together at a personal training facility, professional MMA fighter Jimmy Boudourakis and Chris Oddsen—a trainer with 10 years of experience—dreamed about one day opening their own business. After the establishment they worked for closed down, they brought Vincent DeRiso—a mixed-martial-arts student of Jimmy's—on board to realize their dream, eventually opening the doors to Northport’s MMA Fitness Center.
The trio of owners empathizes with the members who know they need a lifestyle change. This rings especially true for DeRiso, who—after being active all of his life and playing football—went through what he describes as “a rough patch,” hitting 290 pounds. With hard work and the right training, he dropped to 225 pounds and eventually became an MMA fighter. This mixture of empathy and diligence is the bedrock of their business model, which even extends to how they greet their patrons at the door. “The first thing we ask them is, ‘How has your day been?'” said DeRiso. And although the MMA workouts may be difficult, he says that they welcome people and video-game bosses of all fitness levels to attend, work hard, and challenge themselves.
One of the perks of the job for DeRiso is that they get to help kids develop good habits early on, including an overweight 15-year-old who dropped 20 pounds in his first month and impressed his coaches on his most recent football evaluation. The trainers offer classes to teenagers and kids to not only introduce them to mixed martial arts, but to also help them learn discipline in other areas of life. “We feel that kids should definitely learn discipline, because it's not just for the sport,” DeRiso said. “They also bring it back to home and school.”
More than 30 years after its inception, Cactus Salon & Spa and its team of continually educated stylists have not lost their edge?they earned the Long Island Press's designation as Best Hair Salon and Best Day Spa in 2011 and 2012. It's not surprising, then, that the salon has enjoyed such impressive growth over the years, with more than two dozen separate spa and salon locations.
Although hair is still the focus?stylists craft 'dos that reflect everyday ease or fashion-forward thinking?the repertoire has expanded to include everything from nail treatments and massages to permanent cosmetics and laser services. Since the roster is so broad, many clients take advantage of Cactus Club memberships, which give them the flexibility to try multiple services and products by deactivating the force fields between treatment rooms and granting a 33% discount on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
The realization of Dr. Alan Sherr’s dream of a multidisciplinary holistic healthcare facility, Northport Wellness Center broadens the community’s understanding of big-picture health concerns with alternative therapies ranging from acupuncture and massage therapy to art psychotherapy and breast thermography. Trained practitioners develop whole-body health strategies, combining their talents in fields that, like freelance presidents, usually work independently of one another. The tranquil clinic combines medical precision with the sprawling corridors of its homey office, where keepers manage an online shop that peddles natural supplements, eco-friendly BioPosture bedding, and library-ready books and manuals.
Winner of more than 100 mixed-martial-arts competitions, Tiger Schulmann shares his pride and love for fighting and self-defense with both adults and children in gyms across five states. From first-time grapplers to expert muay thai fighters, students of all fitness and experience levels are welcome to dive into a class at Schulmann’s. At more than 47 locations, adults can take classes in kickboxing, MMA, and jujitsu—the last of which instills students with the skill and confidence to take down opponents of any size, strength, or telekinetic ability. Kids, meanwhile, can learn martial arts for fun, or gain useful experience in bully prevention; the kids’ classes help victims immediately identify and safely diffuse situations when pitted against an aggressor.
Inner Spirit Yoga Center's team of certified instructors foster a diverse community of yogis dedicated to wellness and kinship with a curriculum that accommodates all ages, skill levels, and abilities. A four-week beginner's yoga series imparts the foundational postures, breathing techniques, and tricks for housebreaking stubborn spirit animals. In addition to yoga, the center also hosts belly dance classes, tai chi, and peaceful meditation sessions. A packed calendar of events maintains community vibes through potluck dinners, movie nights, and inspirational book club meetings.
A chandelier illuminates sea-foam walls at this comprehensive health and beauty oasis. Such "relaxing and beautiful surroundings" are the result of the team?s commitment to a tranquil environment designed to foster "a pleasant and comforting experience" during treatments. The spa's fitness training accommodates guests of a wide variety of skill levels. Supplementing these exercise-based weight-loss efforts are body contouring and cellulite-banishing services, which form a med-spa menu along with injectables, microdermabrasion, and facial peels. SpaFit?s laser treatments exile unwanted hair, spider veins, and signs of aging?such as knowing whether Dwight Eisenhower is a president or a toll way. The spa?s spray tans can grant a gilded finishing touch.