For sensei Julio Rivera, fighting and fitness have always gone hand in hand. After winning a national bodybuilding title at 19, Rivera started to explore martial arts under the guidance of world champion Jack Krystek, eventually earning his black belts in both judo and jiu jitsu. He continues to share that passion for focused fitness at Omni Martial Arts, where he helps his students build muscle and mental focus while maintaining high moral standards. Judo teams master throws, leverage, and body positioning, while MMA classes integrate ground grappling with striking skills to build well-rounded fighters. And whether participants are adults or children, sensei Julio and his fellow instructors ensure they all leave the mat with the poise and strength of a genteel puma.
The scream of skidding tires and the screech of a horn precede the copper taste of adrenaline in your mouth as pigeons and sparrows lift from the sidewalks. Did the sound scare them, or the sight of an onrushing auto? Domenico Pinto doubtless pondered this same question when he established the Ferrari Driving School in 1968. Originally founded to help dyed-in-the-wool and immigrant New Yorkers drive more safely, the school has now expanded to usher more than 6,000 students a year through motorcycle-, truck-, and commercial-driving instruction. No matter the vehicle, Pinto and his family specialize in helping drivers obtain personal licenses and commercial certifications, and learn defensive techniques that help them avoid fender benders or accidentally starting a demolition derby.
Life Health & Fitness packs a single floor with endless aisles of strength and cardio equipment complemented by pristine locker facilities and expansive group fitness studios. During 15 different group fitness classes, including Zumba, Pilates, yoga, and indoor cycling, instructors whip bodies into shape in motivating, high-energy settings. Meanwhile, motivating coaches help guests slim physiques or build up muscle bulk during personal-training sessions. After sweating off inches from the waistline, guests can unwind or hone their Smokey Robinson impression in the private showers before drying off by way of locker-room towel service.
The DMV-certified instructors at Learn-Rite Driving School inject their lessons with interactive curriculum for aspiring and seasoned drivers alike, allowing the former to sidestep driver’s ed. The teachers help students to refresh their understanding of the rules of the road, learn how to drive defensively, or ace upcoming driver's tests. At each instructor's disposal are vehicles with in-car video cameras that record lessons for students to study. Similarly, the classrooms boast modern educational amenities, including a driving-scenario mural, a 6-foot-wide smart board, and updated videos that spotlight the dangers of texting and napping on airbags.
Yoga Studio 6 LIC's experienced instructors bend over backwards to demonstrate a variety of Eastern styles in a cozy setting, from gentle restorative sessions to rigorous yoga-core workouts. The studio's schedule affords ample opportunity to flex with the Vinyasa flow moderate class, where breath syncs up with flowing postures and a fleet of interstellar satellites, and the gentle restorative-yoga session, which clears the mind with easy-going poses. Stretchers can work up a sweat in the energetic yoga-core classes, intensify yogic routines with the physically demanding Jivamukti practice, or learn foundational poses in a yoga-basics session, designed to turn humans into pretzels and pretzels into M. Night Shyamalan's pretzels. Warm saffron walls, shining hardwood floors, and jewel-tone hangings make Yoga Studio 6 LIC a calming venue for stamina building and karmic cleansing.
Today's Groupon is good for 10 days of unlimited, regularly scheduled yoga and/or Pilates mat classes. Multiple levels and styles of classes, including Bikram style hot yoga, Vinyasa flow, Anusara, and hot-yoga fusion, are available to help any seasoned stretcher or malleable beginner stretch and bend until he or she is picking up sidewalk quarters with ease. Pilates mat classes, which focus on core conditioning and help improve coordination, flexibility, and balance, are also offered on a flexible schedule based on drop-in availability (you must bring your own mat for yoga and Pilates mat classes, or you can rent them at The Yoga Room for $2 per class).