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.
At Modern Martial Arts NYC, a team of instructors leads classes in kickboxing and krav maga, helping students of all ages and skill levels increase strength and burn calories. The intensive sessions teach students the formal aspects of each style and utilize strength training with cardio intervals to sculpt muscles and melt away inches. With an emphasis on individualized attention, classes focus on fitness, kickboxing techniques, and self-defense to help pupils fight off the cheeseburgers that try to invade their mouths.
Under the sage instruction of the Higashi family, Kokushi Budo Institute has produced Olympians and judo national champions throughout its 50-plus years of history. Shintaro Higashi—a two-time national judo champion himself—takes charge of judo instruction, teaching participants the art's signature grappling and throwing techniques. Nobuyoshi Higashi—a retired SUNY professor and the author of many martial-arts books—uses his own research to teach a style of jujitsu he designed, which combines techniques of his own invention with traditional moves venerated through more than 400 years of history.
Led by founder Master Malick Coulibaly dit Fall, Harlem Tae Kwon Do’s talented instructors teach both children and adults the art of tae kwon do. Despite the challenges of establishing a tae kwon do business in Harlem, Master Fall never gave up, searching relentlessly until a 4,400-square-foot space opened up in the center of the neighborhood. The persistence of Master Fall's search speaks to his character as leader as well as the spirit of his instruction, which emphasizes discipline, self-confidence, and concentration. Offering more than 25 classes each week, Harlem Tae Kwon Do instructs students of all ages and ability levels in traditional sessions, which focus on self-defense and form, as well as in Olympic classes that center on sparring techniques and the proper way to match gold medals with khaki.
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.