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.
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.
Named after the Sanskrit word that signifies wisdom, Bodhi Fitness Center helps clients live long, lean lives by providing access to a clean and relaxing fitness center, inspiring exercise classes, and certified trainers who espouse healthy lifestyles. In addition to housing spin bikes, Stairmasters, and rubber-coated free weights, the gym teems with high-tech perks including XM Satellite Radio and a computer for checking email. Equipped with touchscreens and USB storage, Life Fitness treadmills let guests track their progress in real time, and LCD TVs help gym-goers draw inspiration from the outside world as they attempt to imitate the agile sprints of cheetahs and the herculean lifts of television's hottest fruitcake bakers. Taught by certified trainers and other seasoned staff, fitness classes range from sultry belly-dance lessons and calming yoga sessions to Zumba, a class that imparts aerobic hip-swivels to Latin-inspired music, helping students dance away calories and intimidate gangs of nefarious hula hoopers. Hot showers and chilly juice-bar treats also invite members to linger longer as they unwind and refuel after intense workouts (price of drinks not included in today's Groupon).