A sun rising over a crashing wave. This is the logo for Sunrise Taekwondo and Fitness Kickboxing—a logo that symbolizes the start of a new day; a logo that celebrates Taekwondo Master and owner Christopher Smith’s first style of taekwondo training, known simply as Blue Wave. From within the calm confines of his taekwondo training and fitness center, Smith and his team educate students on the basics of self-defense. Beyond pure movement, each cardio-fueled session carries an overall emphasis on respect, discipline, and working together in a supportive, team-like environment.
We teach an authentic and traditional martial art called Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu aka Ninjutsu. What our dojo teaches is called Budo how to use distancing, angling and timing to defend yourself and your loved ones. This martial art consists of striking, grappling, multiple attackers, weapons training and rolling.
Grandmaster Taek Sung Cho has accrued more than 40 years of martial-arts experience and a host of titles on his resumé, including coach for the International Junior Taekwondo Championships and the U.S. Junior Olympic Taekwondo Team. However, he derives the most reward from his role as teacher, a position he has coveted since establishing Master Cho's Talium in 1991. Working with expert instructors, he imparts the value of community and inner balance through the lens of tae kwon do technique.
Master Cho's lessons amplify confidence as well as coordination in young children, teens, and adults. Students can practice with others in their age group or alongside their families, depending on whether their school bus or their house transforms into a giant fighting robot. Kardio Kickboxing workouts toast calories with rapid jabs, and the staff emphasize the social aspect of self-defense training by hosting summer camps and birthday parties.
CKO’s trainers boil their philosophy down to three words: Be, Do, Have. Those trainers all found their passion for pounding the stuffing out of heavy bags at the gym itself before rising through its ranks to teach there. The approach they fell in love with favors fitness training over combat, and pits students against the weightiest bags around to simulate a boxing match with a rhino.
The dedicated instructors at Afro Brazilian Cultural Center of New Jersey see capoeira as more than a blend of dance and martial arts—they see it as a way of life. They train children and adults of all ages in capoeira's graceful movements through classes, therapy sessions, and afterschool programs, many of the instructors drawing from extensive training in Brazil and an understanding of Brazilian folklore and culture. But their instruction doesn’t end at capoeira—many of the Cultural Center's coaches specialize in disciplines including yoga, Zumba, salsa, and West African dance. Though many of the instructors were born and raised in New Jersey, others hail from places such as Guinea and Senegal and infuse their culture into their teaching style. The instructors hold classes at least once a week and more frequently for students preparing to dance-battle chaperones for control of the prom.
Aikido is the "loving protection of all beings," in the words of Morihei Ueshiba, who created the martial-arts style. Although it sometimes incorporates wooden weapons, at its heart, aikido seeks to act as a replacement for violence. Greg O'Connor, founder and chief instructor at Aikido Centers of New Jersey, brings Ueshiba's tenets to his students, who have included children and seniors, as well as members of the New Jersey State Police, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US Secret Service. O'Connor and more than 40 other instructors teach students self-defense tactics that redirect attacks, as well as more advanced methods that include wooden sword and staff training and aikido's dramatic falls and rolls.