A lifelong acolyte of martial arts, native New Yorker and master instructor Joe Maurantonio discovered Bujinkan in the early ‘80s and trained under America’s top practitioners. An official member of the American Shidoshi Kai organization of Bujinkan teachers and the international Bujinkan Dojo, Maurantonio learned from international masters, including school founder soke Masaaki Hatsumi.
Comprising nine schools of martial arts, the Bujinkan tradition traces its roots to the styles used by ninja and samurai in feudal Japan. Classes eschew competition and artificial rules for exercises that recreate realistic combat situations. Students study attacks and defenses in slow exercises, perfecting rolls and disabling moves with a focus on personal growth, effective self-defense, and preparation for battles with armed closet monsters.
A contestant on the Golf Channel’s reality show “Big Break Greenbrier”, Anthony Casalino continues to chase his dream of playing among golf’s elite. The pin-hunting protégé began playing golf at the age of 9, kicking off a career that would lead him to play golf at Iona College, pursue a career as a PGA Apprentice beginning in 2005, and compete in the National Golf Association Winter Tour in 2007, where he snagged a career best second-place finish in the Southern Dunes Winter Event. Having thrived on the course despite a slightly unorthodox swing and a refusal to blackmail Ben Crenshaw for putting advice, Anthony understands that there is not just one universal way to hit a golf ball successfully. During lessons, Anthony helps pupils develop a swing that feels comfortable for them and produces the desired on-course results.
Westchester Fight Club accommodates those looking to lose weight, compete professionally, or unleash inner loathing for stuffed canvas bags. The gym contains both a caged MMA octagon and matted areas fit for covering the fundamental techniques of boxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and muay thai kickboxing.
Classes encourage trainees to wrestle with peers and grappling dummies or build muscle tone by throwing punches and kicks at heavy bags and target mitts. Though most MMA sessions are coed, the studio does offer ladies-only time for cardio kickboxing and conditioning sessions. Kids’ MMA classes also give tots the chance to defend themselves against bullies and point-of-purchase advertising.
Rising Stars Performing Arts Company founder and artistic director Laura A. Rizzo knows firsthand the benefits of a fine-arts education. Wielding a master’s degree in educational theater and dance from New York University as well as experience on and off Broadway, she has helmed more than 130 children’s shows in which she's helped youngsters develop social skills, increase their community awareness, and spice up dinner conversation with iambic pentameter. Rizzo and her staff of instructors from diverse performance backgrounds lead students toward their artistic goals, whether they dream of dancing competitively or joining the cast of a Broadway musical.
The organizers at Hidden Gems Solutions aim to match experienced archery instructors with students aged 6 and older to spread enthusiasm for the sport in a convivial group setting. Both righties and lefties can grab provided equipment and practice indoors at St. Francis College, so they need not wait for sunny days or pluck the limited amount of wild arrows growing in city parks. For each participant of Family and Friends Days on Sundays, the staff sends a portion of proceeds to help fund archery clubs in the New York City public-school system.
At ARES 500 locations across the country, students punch, kick, dodge, and repeat, all while enduring full-body workouts designed to shred fat and sculpt muscles. ARES takes a scientific approach to its classes, which aren’t as much about fighting as they are about balancing the correct exercises with the correct intensity level. That method holds true during both kids and adult martial arts classes and kickboxing classes. During the kickboxing classes, students experience a full-body, calorie-and-fat-torching workout by ambushing heavy bags and pads until their limbs burn or the bags disintegrate into smoke clouds shaped like white flags.
A veritable mountain greets climbers inside The Rock Club, challenging them to scale its 40' high face without speaking a single word. After pulling their eyes away from the main wall, guests discover the gym's other rocky offerings, including 80 climbing stations, more than 200 individual routes, and muscle-testing bouldering cliffs. Experienced staff members with a passion for climbing roam the gym, eager to help veteran climbers reach new heights, introduce new climbers to the sport during beginners' classes, or describe the scent found at the top of the Himalayan Mountains.