It's been more than 50 years since Staten Island Judo Jujitsu Dojo started teaching martial arts. Armed with these five decades of experience and a staff of black belts with extensive backgrounds in mixed martial arts, judo, and grappling competitions, the dojo is well-equipped to train students in the arts of self-defense and discipline.
Students can enroll in classes to train for competitions, but the basic classroom atmosphere is strictly noncompetitive and supportive, regardless of participants' age, level of experience, or crime-fighting alter ego.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
Dolphin Fitness Clubs' forest of humming and clanking exercise equipment is overseen by knowledgeable staff who are eager to dole out instruction on playing nicely with the machines and to pass along workout tips. Professional cardio- and strength-training equipment, from top manufacturers such as Cybex, Streamline, and Hammer, abounds as the certified trainers lead clients through customized workouts that are supplemented by nutritional counseling. The trainers also conduct group fitness classes—such as Zumba—in their expansive studios. Hordes of flat-screens line the gym walls, regaling fitness-seekers with distractions in the form of TV shows and movies such as Babe, a pig in the city who overcame all odds to run his first marathon.
With more than 120 classes and a plethora of programs offered each week, the YMCA bolsters bodies with invigorating and enjoyable fitness regimens throughout Manhattan. Aspiring circus strongpersons have their pick from brawn-building courses such as kettlebell for a full flexibility workout, spinning for 45 minutes of fat-burning cardio, and capoeira for winning dance-fights against hard-bargaining local street vendors.
Island Martial Arts' team of black-belted instructors pours passion and years of training into fitness and self-defense classes, each marbled with strands of tae kwon do. Adult-oriented sessions mix the Korean fighting technique with elements of kickboxing, boosting muscle memories with various takedowns, throws, chokes, and joint locks. Kids aged 3–13 get parceled up into age-specific groups to study tae kwon do, ground fighting, and grappling skills. Peewee ninja classes (3–5 years old) focus on stretching tykes' attention spans and laying a foundation of maturity on which to build in later classes. In the same way Spartan warriors would train for brutal pillow fights, all students train with target pads, focus mitts, standup Wavemaster heavy bags, and padded weapons. Female instructors also lead women-only fitness sessions, and the studio regularly holds workshops hosted by guest instructors and martial-arts masters.