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 resumé 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.
Koko FitClub’s automated personal-training system rockets both men and women toward fitness goals with 30-minute custom workouts that incorporate cardio and strength training. An initial consultation determines fitness levels and baseline measurements, which Koko’s computerized equipment uses to design a tailored workout plan that precisely measures the weight, pace, and rest time appropriate for each exerciser.
The Koko machines guide exercisers through each workout and adapt as the user’s fitness needs change in order to constantly challenge the body. Designed by professional trainers, workouts maximize the body’s lean-muscle mass, which can boost metabolism and help fight off disease by challenging viruses to strength training matches. Exercisers can track their shrinking waistlines and swelling muscles online by analyzing workout scores and comparing individual fitness levels to the Koko FitClub community.
Members of Synergy Fitness Clubs thrive on choice. Choice of location? There are nine. Choice of activity? Instructors lead classes in almost any form of exercise imaginable, such as power sculpt, full-body circuits, and intense cycling. To make sure that members are making the choices that will help reach their fitness goals the fastest, the clubs are staffed with more than 100 lifestyle coaches. These pros are continually educated in their fields of specialty—which might mean nutrition counseling, yoga, or boxing.
A wide slate of equipment and amenities makes it as easy as possible to fit in workouts. Most locations are open 24 hours, and while parents lift free weights or dance a beautiful tango with a Precor elliptical, their kids can hang out in a free childcare room.
Long Beach’s first indoor cycling studio, the newly opened Ocean Ride Cycling Studio, is a spinning-dedicated workout facility. Clients come here to burn calories and get fit while riding state-of-the-art stationary bicycles during spin classes taught by encouraging, experienced instructors. Each energetic class is customizable to all fitness levels, whether cyclists are beginners or spinning aficionados.
Revolution Yoga’s crew of yogis espouses the virtues of self-exploration through movement and meditation, a feat accomplished in 17 different types of yoga classes held seven days a week. Classes are held in full-sized classrooms or a space set aside exclusively for families and kids. Unlike many yogis, the teachers look beyond yoga and napping inside armoires to fully explore the scope of self, turning to community and arts to supplement their teachings.
Behind the studio stands Revolution Gallery, which has hosted paintings, mixed media design shows, films, literature, and musical performances. The staff also runs an artisan boutique, which is full of clothing, herbal supplements, and yoga gear—all manufactured from fair-trade products that provide jobs to unemployed trees and shrubs.