"We give kids the confidence to protect themselves." These eight words sum up the motto for MartialArtsProgramsforkids.com as well as the mission of their curriculum. At a wealth of locations along the East Coast, youngsters learn confidence, discipline, and respect as they boost skills in a variety of disciplines, including jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts. The skills learned in these lessons can also help them defend themselves in the face of bullies and family cats that won't share the remote control.
Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
With an assemblage of knowledgeable teachers and frequently scheduled classes, Academy of Ballroom Dancing fosters a confident gracefulness in dancers of all skill levels. Two 30-minute lessons allow students private pow-wows with instructors, gaining personalized tips and confirming whether or not tango dancers really do eat roses. To expand dance repertoires, students twirl through eight group classes from Academy of Ballroom Dancing's Latin-focused or classical-ballroom programs. Once well versed in physical linguistics, students can put their knowledge to the test at three dance parties, navigating the exciting world of social dance etiquette by finding the appropriate socks for a sock hop, or politely convincing a wallflower to swing.
The certified coaches at CrossFit OTG can fine-tune their repertoire of movements to condition many different types of bodies, which is why they are easily able to train former collegiate athletes and CEOs in the same space. The team?which includes a former police officer, an elementary-school physical-education teacher, and founder Nick DiMatteo?encourages members to reach outside preconceived definitions of fitness during intense, group workouts. They pile an ever-varied mix of resistance and cardio drills into group classes and sport-specific routines, drawing from established functional exercises that mirror real-life actions. During private sessions, they broaden the scope of the program to cover nutrition and motivational strategies, such as having a pro wrestler guard your alarm clock?s snooze button. Their ability to scale the intensity to any experience level fosters an accessible and diverse workout environment.
Instead of associating youth with a wrinkle-free face, the instructors at Age Too Perfection associate it with being active. Throughout the week, they lead fitness classes such as Pilates and Zumba with beginners in mind. For a more in-depth workout, they also schedule Piloxing classes, which combine Pilates exercises and boxing movements such as punching and raising title belts over your head. They even bring little ones into the mix with mommy-and-me classes.