The instructors at Kenpo Karate Institute strive to pass down the wisdom they were given by their mentor, the late Grandmaster S. George Pesare. In 1960, they began teaching karate classes to adults, many of their students becoming world class competitors. Today, kids take classes as well, learning the focus and discipline that can't be taught in thumb-wrestling classes. The staff also teaches specialty classes from time to time, such as women's combat and MMA fighting.
New York Sports Clubs, part of Town Sports International's network of fitness loci, opens up a number of equipment-stocked facilities across New York to exercisers. Strength-training gear, such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls, molds muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Sessions on cardio machines, ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles, inspire burnt calories to pack up and move to cooler climates. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draws from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, ensuring that no member has to jazzercise without a spotter. Each location rewards exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features such as babysitting, saunas, and steam rooms.
In 1990, Christina Rondeau fell in love. With martial arts, that is. After earning her black belt and competing in amateur karate and martial arts tournaments all over the United States and Europe, Rondeau decided to go pro. She travelled the globe as a member and coach on the USA WAKO kickboxing team, and went on to win the women's lightweight title. Rondeau continued to feed her athletic hunger with a switch to pro boxing and appeared in numerous print media and television shows, including The Maury Povich Show.
Having achieved fame and glory, Rondeau took on a new fight: she wanted to help women and children defend themselves while gaining indomitable confidence. She has authored books, created instructional DVDs, and opened Rondeau?s Kickboxing. The 24/7 gym garnered Rhode Island Monthly?s readers? pick for Best Fitness Center in 2010, due in no small part to its empowering blend of fitness and martial-arts-based classes. Rondeau also promotes safety in her community by participating in events geared towards ending violence toward women and girls and teaching local schoolchildren how to defend themselves or pass a math quiz without using weapons. She also coordinated a box-a-thon to help line the shelves of a Rhode Island food bank.
Practitioners of kenpo, jujitsu, muay thai, and other forms, the instructors at Sullivan's USA Karate are standard-bearers for many martial-arts traditions. But it isn't just self-defense and physical training?the New England schools teach students to practice patience, to use their minds before their muscles, and to develop the sense of discipline needed to avenge their teachers' fender-benders.
All of the instructors at USA Karate hold black belts, including owner Shihan John Pinault and founder Hanshi Larry Sullivan, a 10th-degree black belt and grand master. Pupils are safe in the hands of these experts, who lead kids and adults through skill-appropriate classes, including beginner, intermediate, and advanced martial-arts sessions. They also lead fitness-focused kickboxing and muay thai classes, which get hearts pumping amid fast-paced tunes.
Karate is about more than smashing through wooden blocks and having a wardrobe full of colorful belts. It's about respect, honor, and discipline—all leadership values that the instructors at Super Kicks Karate emphasize in their classes. Here, students start studying the ancient martial art when they're as young as 3, though plenty of adults join classes to enhance their arsenal of self-defense techniques. As they learn how to kick, block, and punch according to the tenets of American freestyle karate, students also pick up skills to help them succeed in other areas of life.