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.”
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.
Punching bags, jump ropes, medicine balls, dumbbells, and giant tires help clients get into better shape at North Shore Fitness and Boxing. The gym's experienced staff helps guests release stress, get in shape, and become better athletes during organized boxing or power-sculpting classes. North Shore Fitness and Boxing also does important work in the community by training local sports teams and teaching an antibullying program to area schools and organizations.
As the name suggests, Dany Holdstein’s Two Worlds Dance & Fitness unites instructors from the realms of dance and exercise to help students meet their health goals. Before founding the studio, Holdstein studied with dance icons Martha Graham and Pearl Lang, taught master classes internationally, and served as an adjunct professor at C.W. Post College. He requires his dance instructors' credentials be no less impressive. Dance teachers include Andre Kisselev, a classically trained ballet dancer who has high-stepped it with Riverdance, and Lancelot Theobald, a former professional football player who has performed at the Metropolitan Opera and developed choreography for the Knicks City Dancers. Theobald's Momz-N-Da-Hood group—a breakdancing crew of mothers over 40—is a spinoff of one of his hip-hop exercise classes, and, as noted by the Long Island Press, has appeared on Good Morning America.
As the artistic director of an eponymous contemporary dance company, Holdstein has equipped his dance and workout studios with the same floating floors and Marley coverings found in professional facilities. The center's walls resound with music from spinning, Zumba, and belly-dancing classes as certified personal trainers help guests navigate the weights and cardio equipment in the gym area. The instructors also lead classes for children and teens, including Broadway-style theater-dance sessions and pointe classes that give kids the ability to overcome roller-coaster height requirements.
Equipment: We have the most advanced Martial Art training equipment you can find.
Students should bring: A Free uniform will be supplied. You may bring a water bottle and towel.
Average class length: 30-60 minutes
Number of Staff: 5?10 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Take it one day at a time in order to get the most out of your classes and enjoy the magic of martial arts.
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
Our exercise program is very diverse with many different fitness routines that are rarely ever the same. There are no "routine" exercises. The exercises are tailored to the students that attend the classes.
Besides working out, what else can clients do to spend their time at your facility?
In addition to our co-ed classes, we offer separate women's five-week self defense courses. We also conduct a variety of karate birthday parties for children ages 3 and up. We have special family classes that family members can take together privately. We host a variety of different seminars [on] the following topics: bullying, stranger danger, weapons, getting better grades, national fingerprint registry for missing children, and so much more.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We are a local, family-owned martial arts studio that specializes in the arts of Shaolin Kempo Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, and Traditional Shaolin Kung-Fu. We offer age specific classes with a very flexible schedule. All of our instructors are "home growned" & personally trained by myself in our studio. The instructors go through a rigorous training program and are continually trained and updated in their teaching techniques and overall martial art ability.
At UFC Gym Commack, an orchestra of fists and feet slapping heavy bags resounds through the gym. Nobody here settles for punching empty air; instead, professional-grade bags and training mitts absorb blows chucked by students of all skill levels who can burn up to 1,000 calories during fitness classes. Although each boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts class is an authentic fight-training regimen led by a professional fighter, students never have to step into the ring.