Over the course of a millennium and a half, the tradition of Shaolin Kung Fu has sojourned from the foot of Shaoshi Mountain to modern-day New York. The mindful martial art?equal parts meditation and physical training?crossed the ocean with Shi Guolin, a 34th-generation master of the art. He left his position as head coach at a Shaolin school in China to come to the States in 1992. Since opening his first school in New York, he founded four more branches in locations ranging from Port Washington to Flushing.
At each of these outposts, students can learn Shaolin kung-fu?a discipline that grew out of buddhism; traditional kung fu, which focuses more on physical stamina and strength; and Qigong, a form of wellness-building similar to yoga, developed in Shaolin monasteries. Even people who have never stepped foot in a dojo or formed an opinion about who would win in a fight between Bruce Lee and Kung Fu Panda can feel at home here. Trainers start at the beginning, and ease students in by practicing basic forms. They slowly introduce more techniques, weapon forms, and meditations into the training, all while transforming neophytes into steel-cut martial artists.
Since its founding 15 years ago, Synergy Fitness has advocated for wholesome lifestyle changes through rounded programs and guidance. Rather than setting their members adrift in a sea of befuddling equipment, their nationally certified lifestyle coaches equip them with the planning tools to forge healthy habits both during and beyond workouts. Their advice can cover exercise, nutrition, and endurance, emphasizing the importance of variety in any health regimen. They keep abreast of the abreast of the fitness world's most recent developments with mandatory classes in their areas of specialization—which include diet, yoga, and MMA.
On the gym floor, machines from Hammer Strength and Life Fitness whir along with limbs, and individual television screens on some machines threaten patrons with footage of their grade-school choir solos if they don't keep jogging. Group fitness classes at certain locations take advantage of indoor cycles and boot-camp drills to condition physiques, and MMA programs tutor muay thai, kickboxing, and jujitsu.
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