At Duncan Martial Arts, instructor Gregory Duncan carries on his father’s legacy by teaching the Way of the Winds system. The first martial artists to bring ninjutsu to the United States, Gregory’s father, Professor Ronald Duncan, created a system that emphasizes rapid-fire striking patterns, evasive movements, and joint locking. Implementing elements of traditional taijutsu and jujitsu, the Way of the Winds system also includes education in traditional weaponry, such as sais, tonfa, han-bo, nunchakus, and more. Classes help build self-confidence and mental focus as students learn control over their bodies and responses to high-stress situations, such as a stranger approaching them in a dark alley and asking them to name all the vice presidents in alphabetical order. To expand upon the influences of Eastern fitness traditions, the center also offers yoga classes designed to center the mind and strengthen the body.
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.
The nonprofit Asphalt Green keeps children, teens, and adults in shape with an array of fitness, swim, and sports activities and programs. Members enjoy full access to fitness centers equipped with Precor equipment, including treadmills and ellipticals with built-in TV screens, and lap swim pools fit for all levels of swimmers. For an additional fee, members can also take advantage of babysitting services offered for children ages six months to six years. The Upper East Side location's weightlifting area features a picturesque view of the East River, which members can also enjoy from the adjoining roof deck. Swimmers of all abilities glide through the 50-meter Olympic-sized pool, once home to Olympic bronze medalist Lia Neal and currently the home of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The Battery Park City offers a sunlit fitness center, 25-yard pool, and a wood floor gymnasium with open gym time and pick-up basketball. After battling on the court, members can refuel at the juice bar. The organization also offers training programs and seminars for triathletes, a variety of community outreach programs including adaptive swim for veterans, and kid-focused summer and sport camps to keep young ones from making bad decisions, such as using chewing gum to plug up holes in dams.
At Premier Martial Arts, a team of instructors grants students of all ages a wealth of self-defense knowledge drawn from four distinct disciplines: Krav Maga, kickboxing, submission grappling, and kali. The studio’s hourlong classes are separated by discipline, but each features a practical set of self-defense moves taught via an intense, calorie-burning workout.
The personal trainers at Tribeca Health & Fitness lead calorie-burning classes and personalized workout regimes inside the pristine three-floor fitness facility outfitted with modern exercise equipment. Nautilus machines and free weights stand ready to help bolster muscle strength, rows of treadmills condition cardiovascular systems, and a fleet of StairMasters sates the human need to endlessly climb stairs. For group sweat sessions, the instructors host Latin-themed Zumba classes, kettlebell exercise sessions, and karate training courses within the bright, stark-white fitness studio. After pumping iron or sweating in fitness classes, patrons can seek out the juice bar, where staff blend nutrient-packed smoothies that replenish lost liquids and nourish tired muscles.
Praised in NBC New York's Hip & Healthy Blog and featured on Better in addition to other publications and media, Kettlebell Kickboxing merges Muay Thai martial-arts maneuvers with Russian kettlebell training for a full-body, female-only workout. Classes are led by creator and lauded fitness expert Dasha Libin, equipped with a master's in sports science and over a decade's experience in martial arts. Dasha, this year's official trainer for the Miss New York USA & Miss Teen USA brands and fitness brand ambassador for lululemon athletica Soho, leads sixty-minute classes that may burn up to 1,000 calories array attendees in a mirror-lined studio as they learn specialized moves, including weighted squats, lunges, and swings that hoist the kettlebells skyward. As the nonimpact regimen tones hard-to-target muscle groups, clients can hone their balance and agility without needlessly squashing their joints or practicing perilous tightrope sprints. Classes strive to strengthen and sleekify distinct body areas: the Swing/Kick session bolsters limb leanness, whereas a Punch & Knee course employs mat exercises to kindle the burn in arms, abs, and glutes. Patrons can also flock to a total body scorcher class for kettlebell-heaving drills that incorporate both cores and appendages.