To earn a black belt in Krav Maga?the official self-defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF?Dr. Michael Blitz studied under the style's foremost experts, including Grandmaster Haim Zut and U.S. Chief Instructor Darren Levine. After more than 16 years of practice and 500 hours of instructor training, he was eager and willing to pass on the techniques to others. He has trained military security personnel in the U.S. and New Zealand as well U.S. Air Marshals, police officers, and civilians and taught New York City corrections officers at multiple correctional facilities. Under his supervision, only nationally and internationally certified instructors helm Krav Maga classes at KMLI (Kombat Masters of Long Island).
Dr. Blitz's impressive resum? underscores the real-life relevancy of his class curriculum. Grouped by skill level, the Krav Maga lessons condition physiques as they impart self-defense strategies, emphasizing explosive and decisive maneuvers. The techniques are meant to guard against single, multiple, armed, and unarmed assailants, a goal that rallies Blitz and his team to raise the empowering cry, "Refuse to be a victim." Some of these techniques have been displayed when KMLI's Blitz Krav Maga was featured on News 12 Long Island.
Dana Healy left her career in the fashion industry because she was "tired of selling a product" and simply wanted to help others. She chose yoga because she had experienced its restorative powers firsthand. Diagnosed with scoliosis, Healy suffered from back pain and used yoga's gentle stretching and muscle-building techniques to fight the chronic soreness. At Yoga Palms, Healy offers classes for students of all skill levels, with a special soft spot for beginners and those with pain and soreness—she remembers being a beginner herself. Her skilled staff of instructors teaches a variety of classes including paddleboard yoga at the beach just two blocks from the studio. During these sessions, students row out onto the water atop paddleboards to hone balance, develop muscle control, and improve their cannonball splashes. Healy keeps her yoga schedule open, rotating classes to fit the needs of her students and will always take suggestions for a new class. Inside the studio, soothing tan and blue walls tinted with environmentally friendly paint encompass all-natural decorations. This decor includes bamboo screens, lanterns, and palm plants, which are plants with dozens of mannequin hands requesting high-fives. The reception area also features an array of eco-friendly products for sale, including 100% natural soy candles.
All instructors at Cosmic Kites Kiteboarding boast certifications from either the International Kiteboarding Organization or Professional Air Sports Association, and instill others with the knowledge they've gained during land- and water-based kiteboarding lessons. During land classes, students launch trainer kites, while water-based lessons allow pupils to skip wakes and mow overgrown seaweed while learning fundamentals. For more advanced or specialized instruction, the staff also teaches participants how to perform special maneuvers, tricks, and jumps on water. Additionally, the staff can introduce clients to a range of complete kitesurfing packages, as well as new or used boards and kites, and boots and wetsuits.
Helming additional locations in North Carolina and the Dominican Republic, Cosmic Kites currently sponsors two Dominican riders in their global quest on the World Kitesurfing Tour. When not supervising adrenaline-soaked adventures, Cosmic Kites maintains existing kiteboarding locations, works to open new ones, supports youth sporting events, and develops new ideas for boarding safety that aren't as costly as installing inflatable beaches.
If not for its bright yellow color and the mural of a cornfield painted across its doors, Go Green Dry Cleaning?s 1969 Volkswagen could almost be mistaken for the Scooby-Doo gang?s Mystery Machine. But instead of fighting ghost-impersonating criminals with their wits, the owners of this van fight clothing stains and biohazards with environmentally friendly dry-cleaning techniques. Akin to liquid sand, their GreenEarth silicone solution forgoes harsh chemicals, irritants, and odors to clean clothes in a manner that is safe for both customers and the earth. The shop?s technicians restore all sorts of fabrics?including wool, silk, and Sasquatch fur?bequeathing each with a soft, static-free touch before packaging them in biodegradable plastic. The team then hops into the van, which runs on E85 ethanol, to deliver the freshly laundered clothes directly to doorsteps. Aside from using gentle solutions to clean up sweaters and pants, Go Green Dry Cleaning supports the earth by contributing to organizations across Long Island, including Go Green Festival and the Soular Soundz concert series.
The Theresa Alessandra Russo Foundation believes that children of all backgrounds should have an outlet for artistic expression. To that end, the foundation created the Theresa Academy of Performing Arts, or TAPA—a venue for visitors with special needs to kindle their creativity. With programs that cover art, music, and drama, TAPA boosts its students' confidence and builds an atmosphere of camaraderie. Dance and Sign sessions weave sign-language cues into interpretive movements, and singing and piano classes for all ages compose uplifting rhythms. The academy also hosts fitness workouts for teens and adults, calling on the infectious beats and choreography of Dance Trance to set bodies in motion. Guests of every ability level are welcome to join most courses on the accessible curriculum. Tuition costs benefit further enrichment efforts and programs, the success of which has earned the foundation the title of Best Not-For-Profit on Long Island from the Long Island Press.
It was the back pain that convinced Clint Bigham to give up a promising career in golf—he competed in junior tournaments against greats such as Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia, going pro at age 20—and begin exploring the world of yoga and Pilates for the healing he sought. Now a certified personal trainer and the founder of We Fit Gym, Clint spends his time helping people shrink waistlines and feel energetic enough to perform superhuman feats, such as attending a nudist convention fully clothed. His gym is an oasis that tradition and innovation happily share; conventional equipment and classes work in tandem with ROM (Range of Motion) machines, TurboSonic, and HyperGravity vibration trainers, and an infrared sauna whips bodies into shape with low risk of injury and maximum efficiency. Before clients begin building strength and setting calories afire, Clint consults with them to develop a custom fitness program, covering nutrition basics, recommending workout routines, and exposing the sad, sad truth about motivational posters.