Reservations/Appointments: Required for first session only
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1–1.5 hours
Pro Tip: Dress comfortably in sneakers, comfortable pants or jeans, and layers on top. Please do not wear heels.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
American Academy of Self Defense's staff teaches centuries of martial-arts wisdom from various cultures into a curriculum of karate, jujitsu, kung fu, and kickboxing classes. The logo displays numerology to represent the ranks of the martial arts taught at the school; 10 stars and 10 stripes symbolize the 10 degrees of black belt all the way up to grandmaster.
But instructors don't stick to a single style in their quest for martial perfection, and their classes accommodate students of all ages. They teach a variety of skills, including the striking art kempo karate, the advanced grappling art of judo, and basic self-defense skills for men and women, working to instill strength, confidence, and self-esteem in their students. The school's senseis promise one-on-one attention and full participation in every class, leaving no one sidelined and wishing they could join in—as frequently happens in organized sports and never happens in royal family polo matches.
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.
When it comes to martial arts, Krav Defense founder and head instructor Anthony Santopadre has done it all. He began studying karate and judo 25 years ago, then earned his first and second black belts in the art of jujitsu. After 10 years of training, Santopadre decided to expand his horizons and belt collection yet again, studying for and receiving his third black belt in kung fu.
It was during his kung fu education that Santopadre discovered krav maga. The instinctive movements, practical techniques, and realistic training scenarios appealed to Santopadre, so he immersed himself in the discipline and became a certified level-three instructor through the Krav Maga Security Federation in Israel. He shares his ability to disable assailants and wrestle nuts away from squirrels in a variety of classes, including fitness-focused cardio sessions and ground-fighting classes that focus on takedowns and submissions. The techniques of krav maga are tools for self-defense that can be effectively carried out by men, women, and children.
Under the tutelage of Shihan Allie Alberigo, students of all ages learn the arts of ninjutsu and classical jujitsu, revamped for contemporary warriors. With four decades of martial-arts training under his belt, Allie Alberigo teaches his students about hand-to-hand combat and the use of weapons; he has also expanded classes to include disciplines such as judo, yoga, and kickboxing. The Little Warrior program builds punching ability in children as young as 3, and the Third Eye Insight program includes martial arts, yoga, and meditation classes for students who are blind or visually impaired. During these classes, sighted students can also spar and learn while wearing blindfolds. The facility includes two training floors and an archery range, which gives students ample room to flex without destroying nearby equipment.
Though Shaolin Self Defense Center teaches students how to punch, kick, and defend against opponents, the lesson its instructors find most important is to maintain self-esteem, discipline, and respect. Drawing upon a rich tradition that spans more than 1,500 years, instructors introduce students to Shaolin kung fu's signature blend of targeted strikes and debilitating grapples. However, classes are about more than just physical form. Instructors also encourage emotional and mental balance, leaving students with a quiet confidence that lasts long after lessons conclude.