Maspeth Kickboxing crafts results-oriented workouts that push athletes to their limit so they can achieve their fitness goals. Workouts blend cardio vascular, strength, endurance, and flexibility training so clients can lose weight, get toned, and get stronger. In addition, Maspeth Kickboxing offers kids tae kwon do classes aimed at teaching youngsters the basics, while focusing on respect, discipline, and listening skills.
Sensei Anthony Diaz and the staff at Ridgewood Martial Arts have been teaching kids, teens, and adults how to defend themselves since 1997, the year danger was invented. Although their specialty is shotokan kickboxing, they also offer boxing and general martial-arts lessons. Each lesson is a workout in itself, but for an exclusively fitness-minded session the team also schedules calorie-scorching circuit-training classes.
Heavy bags the size of tree trunks hang from the ceiling of Urban Jungle’s indoor workout room. Along with the pull-up bars that stretch across the space like steely vines, they do the gym’s name justice and make for an effective—if sometimes grueling—workout. Brick walls and a spray-painted logo also contribute to the gym’s urban aesthetic, though students hardly have time to reflect on the decor as they advance through a series of pushups, dips, and pull-ups. The team of trainers designs each fitness program with functional muscle movements in mind, and each of their three-week boot-camp challenges draws on up to 1,000 of those dynamic motions to make every aspect of urban life easier, from sprinting after cabs to lifting them over traffic jams.
Trainers also prepare bodies for self-defense with martial-arts classes that extract the practical fitness elements from weapon- or hand-based fighting disciplines. Three different methods of the Atienza Family System—a Filipino martial art—teach students how to deal with multiple attackers, and cardio-kickboxing classes draw on the principles of muay thai kickboxing to strike fear into calories.
The martial art of taekwondo, a highlight of the Olympics since the year 2000, isn't just about flashy roundhouse kicks. Known by some as "the way of the foot and the hand," it combines combat and self-defense strategies with potent physical and disciplinary exercises that develop the strength necessary to kick through bricks, and the stamina needed to carefully piece them back together again. Fancy footwork is the forte of Blackbelt Taekwondo Center's head instructor, who in addition to his martial arts mastery has also taught dance since 1987. In classes geared for ages 4 and up, he instills students with confidence and energy to climb the belt ladder from white to black as they perfect taekwondo's physical buffet of rapid attacks.
Though the staff at Super Kickers focuses on teaching children the basics of soccer, their efforts don't end with sports instruction. In addition to leading youth in soccer-focused activities in the seasonal indoor and outdoor sessions of their youth soccer program, they also conduct an after-school club that merges physical activity with music and arts. And as an after-school program alternative, the staff also helms a series of Flex Pass programs spanning music and crafts. Children might make art using paints, marshmallows, and shaving cream, learn to sight-read and play the piano, join in yoga-centric imagination games, or practice keeping rhythm and melody with singing, tambourines, and egg shakers. Additionally, during summer and holiday camps, coaches and teachers lead children in indoor or outdoor soccer games, as well as other seasonal activities such as music and dance, yoga, crafts, martial arts, and bounce house time.
K2 Boxing Club's professional and IBF-rated trainers condition their students for healthy lifestyles and help them develop skills for bouts in the squared circle. They help hone fitness or sparring skills during one-on-one training sessions and group fitness classes, including their boot-camp sessions that merge interval and strength training. During fight-based fitness, guests can either jog while arguing with each other about Plato or participate in MMA classes that dive into the grappling strategies used by UFC fighters. The onsite boxing ring hosts sparring matches, during which any student can improve his or her skills against a real opponent rather than shadow boxers or borrowed art-museum sculptures. But it's not just about the physical skills students learn—the club's friendly family atmosphere aims to shoo away the intimidation factor from classes.