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 women-only, 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.
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.
Pro Fitness enables body betterment through a variety of aerobic group classes, weight machines, and nutritional know-how. Feel free to sculpt with calisthenics, cardio equipment and free-weight repetitions, cheered on only by Pat Benatar-filled iPods, or tap the muscular support of more than 27 class options a week. Mat-based meetings, such as yoga and Pilates, impart a balanced workout, and heart-hammering courses in cardio kickboxing and spinning and a boot-camp course prepare the careers of famous bodybuilders. All new members will embark on their exercise journeys equipped with the results of a preliminary health and fitness assessment, and the 30-day online nutrition program helps complement shape-ups with a balanced diet.
Planet Fitness' massive, brightly colored edifice teems with aerobic, strength-training, tanning, and massage options, tailored to suit burgeoning buffs of all ages and abilities. A two-month Black Card membership (a $39.98 value) with enrollment fee included (a $99 value) offers exercisers a wide range of Planet's benefits, including access to an extensive fleet of cardio equipment, strength-training equipment, and free weights, which move unhindered by large machines or political censorship. Tan-seekers can bask in the unlimited artificial sunshine of the gym's tanning booths, and an army of shiatsu massage chairs stands at the ready, twiddling soothing robot thumbs and waiting to coax tension from tired tendons.
Inside Serenity Yoga’s calming confines, attentive instructors guide students toward physical fitness and inner peace with the help of ancient poses and mind-focusing exercises. Yogis of all skill levels congregate in group classes, where they work to build community and self-awareness with each stretch, bend, and game of Duck, Duck, Goose. Classes range from gentle, chair-based routines to athletic Vinyasa sessions, where students transition from one pose to the next with balance-challenging movement and concentration-honing breath work. To help new pupils build a strong foundation for future yogic endeavors, teachers spout technique tips and encouraging words. In addition to yoga classes, the studio also hosts soul-stirring events, including meditation workshops, tarot-card readings, and metaphysical fondue parties.