Winner of more than 100 mixed-martial-arts competitions, Tiger Schulmann shares his pride and love for fighting and self-defense with both adults and children in gyms across five states. From first-time grapplers to expert muay thai fighters, students of all fitness and experience levels are welcome to dive into a class at Schulmann’s. At more than 47 locations, adults can take classes in kickboxing, MMA, and jujitsu—the last of which instills students with the skill and confidence to take down opponents of any size, strength, or telekinetic ability. Kids, meanwhile, can learn martial arts for fun, or gain useful experience in bully prevention; the kids’ classes help victims immediately identify and safely diffuse situations when pitted against an aggressor.
In a 6,000-square-foot studio painted with gray alleys, championship-caliber coaches infuse fledgling fencers with the dexterity, integrity, and fleet feet necessary to confidently wield sabers, épées, and foils. Several of the educators brandish their experience in world-class fencing, as coach, competitor, or mascot, while training students in tournament-style play. Private rounds with instructors help pupils work their way up to competitive duels during members-only open bouts seven days a week. Classes foster self-discipline and good sportsmanship as well as physical skills including balance, coordination, and long-distance needle threading.
During the Big Apple Beatdown, an all-day roller-derby tournament hosted by the New York Shock Exchange, spectators arrive to the rink with chairs under their arms to watch six notable MRDA teams battle for the National Champion title. Bouts begin at 10 a.m. with the Dallas Deception taking on the Magic City Misfits in a storm of skates, helmets, and trampled 10-gallon hats. Other teams battling for supremacy include the St. Louis GateKeepers, Puget Sound Derby Outcasts, and Pioneer Valley Dirty Dozen. A special women’s game will also be held featuring the Long Island Roller Rebels taking on the Jersey Shore Roller Girls. The championship bout commences at 7:30 p.m., and the day ends with a presentation of medals at 9:15 p.m., where one team is deemed the victor. Matches occur on two separate tracks, allowing smooth transitions between bouts and enough time for padded pros to finish a game of Connect the Bruises.
Like most good ideas, Gymboree Play and Music didn't begin in a business meeting?it began out of necessity. In 1976, Joan Barnes, a California mom, found herself frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time. Knowing that other parents were undoubtedly feeling the same frustration, she took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. She consulted experts to design a curriculum of activities to foster the development of children?s cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play. She hired a nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers. And her staff began conducting entertaining classes covering subjects ranging from music to sports to impart valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. As their children learned and socialized, parents also found benefit in meeting and befriending other moms and dads in their local area. More than 30 years later, her vision has proved to be a success: more than 712 child-centered franchises now spread over 42 countries, bringing confidence and creativity to thousands of youngsters in several continents and to one in the center of the earth.
More than 100 tricky routes dot the 30-foot climbing walls and 25-foot rappel tower inside Island Rock. The facility's 9,000 square feet of indoor climbing surfaces are all constructed to look and feel like real rocks, so climbers can close their eyes and picture themselves scaling K2 or the Venus de Milo. Knowledgeable staffers oversee attempts at the lead wall and bouldering cave and steer patrons toward a training room equipped with Cybex and cardio equipment. After a long day of climbing, guests can refresh in the locker rooms' showers and saunas.
Covering all the bases of body-bolstering workout regimens, Titans Fitness Clubs offers a full schedule of calorie-torching group classes and an arsenal of modern exercise equipment. A month-long membership grants fitness seekers unlimited access to Titans’ free-weight- and cardio-machine-dotted terrain as well as to any of its daily classes. Sessions on offer include Latin-flavored, dance-inspired Zumba classes and vigorous Sunday-morning kickboxing, which, like PTA meetings and group job interviews, requires members to bring their own boxing gloves. All classes last between 45 minutes and an hour. A one-hour session with one of Titans’ experienced personal trainers, meanwhile, helps aspiring torso toners set and accomplish personalized fitness goals. Titans Fitness Clubs maintains a welcoming, homey atmosphere, with perks such as free child-care, a full-service locker room, and an on-staff compliment giver.