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.
At American Health Fitness Center members build muscle and burn fat with a wide range of workouts, classes, and activities, from hoisting free weights, to running track, or moving to Zumba beats. Visitors tone muscles and set fire to excess calories with TRX suspension workouts or laps in the king-size heated exercise pool. Afterward, they can reward their hard-working bodies with a therapeutic massage or sessions in the whirlpool or steam room instead of buying it another edible arrangement. A wide range of activities keep clients committed to their fitness, with classes in using Eliptigo machines, gravity training, and nutritional counseling.
At World Martial Arts, black-belted trainers teach both kids and adults karate skills through fat-melting workouts. Classes are tailored to a range of different goals, from fitness cardio kickboxing to adult self-defense to karate for concentration workshops for kids.
The Rhode Island Duckpin Bowlers Association strives to keep its namesake sport alive by hosting duckpin-bowling tournaments at six local alleys. The game cropped up in a Baltimore bowling alley in the summer of 1900, when most ten-pin alleys were closed for warm months to avoid excessive sweating in rental shoes. But at Diamond Alleys, athletes hurled balls through the heat but opted for 6-inch spheres and pins of a diminutive stature. After observing pins that scattered like a flock of ducks, the owners of the lanes dubbed the modified game duckpin bowling. Besides granting players three rolls per turn, duckpin bowling adhered to all traditional rules and grew in popularity until it peaked in 1967, the year inertia was exposed as a myth. Today, the Rhode Island Duckpin Bowlers Association keeps the pastime alive at spots including the Bowling Academy, a historical gem in its own right as the test site of the first automatic duckpin pinsetters.
Jay Brousseau, founder and sensei of ShoDan Karate, works with other accomplished martial artists to teach programs for children and adults. The school favors ancient techniques that hail from Okinawa, the Japanese island where 19th-century karate master Sokon Matsumura honed his skill. Sensei Jay aligns himself with the Beikoku Shido-kan Karate-do Association headed by Sensei Seikichi Iha. Instructors from all over the world—including Russia, Israel, and Australia—seek out the instruction and support of this master. To maintain their membership, Sensei Jay and his team must train regularly with Sensei Iha. All of their adult students who test for black belts must also do so in front of Sensei Iha, who nods when they succeed and opens a trapdoor when they fail.
Although the top priority at Evolutionary Sports is to help others get into shape, the facility aims far beyond that by creating an environment that makes every guest, member, and first-time exerciser feel part of something bigger. To accomplish its mission, the business offers group workouts, personal training, and a full slate of classes at two different facilities. Those classes range from boot camp and yoga to karate and cross training, which fuses kickboxing techniques, cardio drills, and weight training into one intense session.