Martial Arts in Manhattan

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For more than 20 years, Igor Dyachenko has trained with top coaches around the world and won numerous awards in international competitions. As a former world champion, certified instructor, and founder of D-Dojo Karate, he calls upon those years of experience to fuse classical Japanese karate techniques with modern science, including knowledge culled from biophysics, biomechanics, and reruns of The Bionic Woman. The dojo is a member of the World Karate Federation (WKF) and an official branch of the Shotokan Karate-do International Federation (SKIF), headed by Hirokazu Kanazawa. Dyachenko trained with Kanazawa, a 10th-degree black belt who studied with the creator of Shotokan karate.

Dyachenko and his team strive to train students quickly with basic karate techniques known as kihon, kata, and kumite exercises. Children practice exercises through running, jumping, and playing, in order to help develop physical strength, agility, and mental toughness. Dyachenko also used his karate skills and sense of humor to help commemorate the 20th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's "Tear Down This Wall" speech on The Colbert Report.

2 W 47th St
New York,
NY
US

At the age of 14, Contra Mestre Andre was introduced to the sport of capoeira—the ancient Brazilian martial-art form—in his homeland of Brazil. After traveling to the states, Andre began showcasing capoeira's explosive kicks and effortless backflips for Sony, Red Bull, and Fashion Institute of Technology events. Andre also gained experience as an Equinox trainer, obtained a black belt in jujitsu, and was a mixed-martial-arts fighter in the 2008 Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Now, Andre’s career has come full circle as he shares his love for capoeira in Nago Academy’s spacious studio. He and his team of supportive trainers help students meet diverse fitness goals by offering five different types of classes, including cardio kickboxing and fitness. Zumba sessions fuse upbeat tunes with Latin dance moves for a sweat-inducing cardio workout, whereas a Zone Fitness class kicks choreography up a notch by adding kettlebells with resistance training. During capoeira sessions, two people in the center of a circle pantomime the movements of one-on-one combat by exchanging rhythmic kicks, full-powered spins, and up-to-date insurance information.

12 E 32nd St
New York,
NY
US

Since its founding 15 years ago, Synergy Fitness has advocated for wholesome lifestyle changes through rounded programs and guidance. Rather than setting their members adrift in a sea of befuddling equipment, their nationally certified lifestyle coaches equip them with the planning tools to forge healthy habits both during and beyond workouts. Their advice can cover exercise, nutrition, and endurance, emphasizing the importance of variety in any health regimen. They keep abreast of the abreast of the fitness world's most recent developments with mandatory classes in their areas of specialization—which include diet, yoga, and MMA.

On the gym floor, machines from Hammer Strength and Life Fitness whir along with limbs, and individual television screens on some machines threaten patrons with footage of their grade-school choir solos if they don't keep jogging. Group fitness classes at certain locations take advantage of indoor cycles and boot-camp drills to condition physiques, and MMA programs tutor muay thai, kickboxing, and jujitsu.

131 E 31st St
New York,
NY
US

After Israel’s Defense Forces developed krav maga—Hebrew for “contact combat”—on Middle East battlegrounds, the technique spread swiftly. Krav maga has gained popularity internationally at organizations including the NYPD and the FBI. The Krav Maga Federation—established by krav maga’s founder, Imi Lichtenfeld—strives to catalyze the martial art’s spread via schools that reach from New York to Rio de Janeiro.

The street-fighting style emphasizes efficient, practical techniques for targeting attackers’ most vulnerable areas and is ideal for combat situations where no rules apply, such as the wars with lobsters in your dreams. As they learn, patrons gain improved awareness of their surroundings, self-confidence, and physical fitness among the colorful mats and punching bags at Krav Maga Federation.

164 W 25th St
New York,
NY
US

World Martial Arts Center isn’t just a gym where individuals can improve their muscle tone or fine-tune their roundhouse kick—it’s a refuge designed to help clients build both inner and outer strength. These lofty aims motivate the center’s instructors, who help students achieve their goals. During hapkido classes, they teach seven techniques—strikes, blocks, holds, throws, weapons, internal techniques, and healing—that combine to create one fluid and versatile mode of self-defense. Alternatively, trainers also lead groups through a series of punches and kicks during kickboxing classes, which use combat moves to create a high-octane, total-body workout. Equipped with 25 years of hapkido and kickboxing training and instruction, Master David Herbert teaches beginner classes, available at both locations.

Inside the dojang, or school, Eastern-style tapestries and plants set guests at ease as they work toward physical or metaphysical improvement. To that end, World Martial Arts Center complements its training regimens with health and nutrition advice. In addition, both the Brooklyn and Manhattan locations boast locker rooms for men and women, where guests can shower after a vigorous training session or lock up their Bruce Lee bobble heads while they work out.

69 W 14th St
New York,
NY
US

Founded by champion kickboxer Josef Stritmator, Eastside Training provides personalized instruction via small boot-camp and martial-arts classes. Stretched across 1,200 square feet on the Upper East Side, the fitness arena stocks rows of kettle bells, TRX suspension equipment, and heavy bags. Enthusiastic and highly trained instructors lead daily sessions, helping students to shed unwanted pounds, tone torsos, and bench-press rowdy roommates. During a kids’ conditioning class, youngsters practice martial-arts disciplines such as karate and tae kwon do to build the strength, character, and concentration needed to beat one’s own reflection in a staring contest.

960 Madison Ave, 5th Fl
New York,
NY
US