American Kempo Karate Academy founder Mark DiNino is an eighth-degree black belt—and a father. In fact, three of his own children train at the academy, meaning the South Shore native shares many of the same hopes and concerns as other parents of AKKA students. But he also understands the benefits children can reap from the academy's program, which since 1995 has improved fitness and increased self-confidence, discipline, and concentration. Of course, kids aren't the only one's who can benefit from a boost in self-esteem, which is why AKKA also offers an adult program, where grownups can achieve similar gains and release stress brought on by their job or lack of homework.
Continuing the mission started in London more than 160 years ago, YMCA Smithfield provides quality, accessible fitness and wellness programs to families. Members enjoy full access to the center's fitness opportunities, whether they're burning calories in the gym, gliding through laps in the pool, or joining fellow members in classes ranging from kickboxing to Pilates. YMCA Smithfield also houses the organization's signature children's programming, helping kids get ready for school with pre-K enrichment or prepping them for a semester abroad in Atlantis with swim lessons. Before- and afterschool programs also give kids a safe spot to play while parents are at work.
Throughout the past three decades martial artist Bob Salisbury has dabbled in an array of martial arts styles—shaolin kempo karate and taekwondo, to name a few—but his specialty is kosho ryu kempo. At his studio, RI Fitness & Martial Arts, he and his staff teach this and other martial arts styles to students of all ages. Their adult classes focus on improving self-defense techniques, whereas youth classes focus on boosting self-esteem. Meanwhile, cardio kickboxing, boot camp, and kettlebell training classes can also help students pack a stronger punch and or whittle their way into a size smaller black belt.
For a gym, Red Island CrossFit has a curious lack of weights and other recognizable equipment. That's because it specializes in CrossFit, an intense daily workout that relies on functional bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups, pushups, and plyometrics. Exercisers looking to bulk up even more can sign up for the facility's Strongman training, which uses tires and atlas stones in lieu of dumbbells, while its Olympic lifting program can help national-anthem enthusiasts find a constructive outlet for their pastime.
Jimmy Bombard helps students develop consistent, sound swing mechanics through lessons at Wentworth Hills Country Club and Crystal Lake Golf Club. He's been a PGA professional for more than two decades—a span that's equipped him with a firm mastery of the game of golf. Jimmy's instruction instills a foundation of sustainable techniques, from teeing off with the driver to sinking putts with the putter and driving off in the golf cart with an opponent's golf bag.