The more than a dozen brick-and-mortar locations that make up Ultimate Champions Taekwondo Association share not only a style of combat, but a teaching philosophy as well. Tracing the lineage of their combative art back to Grandmaster Sang K. Oh, the instructors adhere to his teachings, exemplified by the quote, "The person who can defeat others with flashy techniques but is without love toward his fellow man will in the end defeat himself." Students use the physical empowerment of mastering jumps, kicks, and weapons to arm themselves with discipline, confidence, concentration, self-respect, and courtesy for others.
Outside of the classroom, the organization reaches out to the tri-state community with ample demonstrations of some of their most exciting techniques. Practitioners soar skyward in flying kicks or fill the air with the whirring blows of nunchakus, bos, and kamas. Fists slam through boards, balloons, and bricks to demonstrate the striking power of tae kwon do and the structural flaws in the Three Little Pigs' panic room.
PGA Master Pro Walter Ostroske—whose extensive resume of golf instruction includes penning the instructional tome Break 100 in 21 Days: A How-To Guide for the Weekend Golfer draws from more than 40 years of teaching experience to help golfletes rein in unreliable swings. In each 45-minute lesson, aspiring aces can pick Walter's argyle-plated brain while honing their skill sets that require the most work, such as learning how to smoothly splash balls out of the practice sand bunker, developing their putt-reading skills at the practice green, or discussing their emotional attachment to the mashie niblick at the driving range. With two private lessons, pupils can reinforce initial teachings, helping to further drive home any subtle adjustments made to their swing. Walter's hard-won nuggets of golf wisdom can hasten players' journey to straighter shots, lower scores, and more dispirited co-competitors regardless of age or experience.
A subtle heat spreads throughout Fuel the Soul, distinct from the scorching air at hot-yoga studios that warm the room with thermostats. The muscle-melting energy seeps into muscles, coaxing tension away. This brand of heat comes from a system that emits infrared rays, capable of penetrating deeper into tissues and detoxifying patrons while they move through classic yoga poses. Co-owner Greg Fine explains to Patch.com, "Exercising … in an infrared heated sauna can help you burn calories much faster." The heat emanates from lamps that, according to Greg, are identical to those used by surgeons in neonatal hospital units and fast-food line-cooks in NASA space vessels. Customers can reap the heat's benefits, which include a faster metabolism and easier healing, whether they’re attending yoga classes or simply steeping in the far-infrared sauna.
Another offering as unusual as a cat and dog that only fight about who loves the other more is the Gyrotonic workout, "a unique method that uses movements found in swimming, yoga, and tai chi and helps improve strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination." Greg—who studied under Juliu Horvath, the Romanian dancer and exile who developed the exercise to recover after tearing his Achilles tendon and rupturing a few spinal disks—teaches the technique to students of all fitness levels and ages, whether they’re recovering from injuries or courting greater flexibility.
"Stationary bike" is a misnomer when it comes to the RealRyder cycles at CoreRyder. True, they won't propel you across the gym like a bodybuilder would if you insulted his tan, but they tilt and lean like a real bike on the road. This movement engages the core, strengthening the gut as legs burn off plentiful calories through cardio.
Jem Yoga's seven experienced instructors strengthen mind, body, and soul via a wide-ranging array of classes, offering instruction to all skill levels. Jem Yoga specializes in Hatha yoga, a holistic practice that connects poses, postures, and meditative practices. Classes range from Level I beginner classes to open and intensive yoga classes and a yoga-Pilates hybrid, with each drop of sweat releasing stress, restoring serenity, and perfuming the air with peace. Whether dexterous as rubber bands or unbending as 1950s gender roles, muscles can achieve maximum stretch with minimum pain thanks to the availability of free yoga mats, blocks, and straps, and neither previous experience nor lotus tattoos are necessary to join in the bendy fun.