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John Perkins's father began teaching his son fighting techniques when John was 5. His dad trained him to wield a tomahawk, knife, stick, and spear in case of bullying or attack, as well as Native American combat-style wrestling. Blended with formal training in martial arts, John devised Ki Chuan Do—later re-dubbed Guided Chaos—a form of combat that promotes creativity over practiced patterns. He has successfully faced more than 100 threatening encounters as a police officer and bodyguard. At the method's namesake gym, he and his staff lead self-defense classes to spread their tactics to the masses.

8 Vreeland Ave.

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.

269 Livingston St

When people think of New York City transportation, they may picture fleets of yellow taxicabs, speedy subway trains, and horn-blaring sedans. If they adjust their vision, they'll see bicycles weaving through the bustling streets, granting their owners fresh air and exercise. Located just outside the city, Piermont Bicycle Connection arms customers with bikes that make their way to the the Big Apple. Inside the shop, customers can purchase high-quality bikes from Cannondale, Cervélo, and Schwinn as well as biking apparel in the form of gloves, shorts, and one-piece suits for cyclist meetings. They can also hand over their bikes to onsite mechanics for repairs, lounging in the full-service coffee bar as they wait.

215 Ash St