When Paul Melella, Jr. was seven years old, he was the target of a neighborhood bully. Eventually, Paul’s mother enrolled him in martial arts classes. For six months, Paul secretly studied the art of tae kwon do, until one day, he finally had the courage to stand up to his bully. Not only did the boy stop picking on Paul, they became good friends. In fact, Paul was even the best man at his wedding years later, where he helped out by cutting the cake with one swift roundhouse kick.
Paul established the Carmel branch of United Martial Arts Centers in 1996 to help others attain the same self-confidence and lifelong benefits that he found practicing martial arts as a child. Today, Paul is just one of UMAC's many professional instructors who lead programs for children, adults, and families at five different locations. Despite their different addresses, each of UMAC's locations sports the same positive atmosphere and spirit that comes from students working together toward a common goal.
Kickboxing classes deliver a knee to the face of fat, burning up to 860 calories an hour with the high-energy striking moves of martial arts and boxing. All four limbs get in on the bag-bludgeoning action at iLoveKickboxing as each class provides a full-body workout that tones arm, leg, and tentacle muscles while tightening the body’s core and improving balance. Hitting the heavy bags won't skin your knuckles once you don the included boxing gloves, which also double as excellent spring-loaded props for re-creating Three Stooges gags.
Joseph Andreula opened CKO Kickboxing's first location in 1997; his audience was clearly receptive to his high-intensity kickboxing routines, as his gym now boasts more than 40 outposts. Instructors still lead those same kickboxing workouts that simultaneously torch calories and tone muscles through punching and kicking routines. Classes also incorporate punching bags, as the bags' resistance helps carve musculature faster than Michelangelo on a sugar high.
Water gathers into rivulets as it trickles down the glass fountain inside Indulgence Blow Dry Lounge. These thin, smooth streams bear an uncanny resemblance to the frizz-less strands that cascade down clients’ scalps after a brush-out and blow-dry from Dianna Ettari and her team of stylists. As the stylists color locks or bolster length with SoCap human hair extensions, they periodically reference a row of full-length, backlit mirrors that reflect an interior decorated with swirling beige filigrees and vases overflowing with flowers. The salon’s menu of services also includes highlights and deep-conditioning and keratin-smoothing treatments that tame strands recently used to fish pennies out of electrical sockets.
It’s no wonder Westchester Mixed Martial Arts can offer such a variety of programs when you look at its sprawling, 8,000-square-foot facility. Inside, workout mats cover 2,200 square feet of floor space and a 22-foot MMA cage fills out its own corner. As a full sound system blares fast-paced music, students both young and old take on classes such as karate, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and krav maga. The school’s instructors haven’t skimped on their own training, either: the staff includes sifu Brandon Durham, who trained in kung fu under grand master Si-Gung Chan Tai-Sa.
Lexington Avenue Gym boasts 5,000 square feet of physical activity-based space. A full-size boxing ring welcomes kids and adults, and classes include kickboxing, boot camp, and CrossFit. Personal training sessions offer one-on-one attention, while partner sessions offer added support as clients pair up with a friend or imaginary friend.