One of New York’s first all-girl, flat-track roller-derby leagues, Suburbia Roller Derby fells female athletes for sport during fast-moving bouts. Adrenaline-pumping roller-derby games run as two-minute races, or jams, between two opposing teams and one swiftly roller-skating rabbit. Skating in laps, each team’s point-scoring jammer tries to bust through three oncoming blockers tailed by a pivot player to maintain the jam’s pace and yaw. The aggressive game bashes blockers and hammers jammers in close proximity to spectators, forcing onlookers to confront their fears of helmets and kneepads.
The field at TM Baseball & Softball Academy extends both inside and outside letting players play during warm weather, cold weather, or nonexistent indoor snowstorms. During daily training sessions, the TM Baseball & Softball Academy coaching staff helps high school and college-level players–as well as children as young as 3 years old–hone their hitting, defense, and fielding abilities. They also infuse sessions with strength, conditioning, and agility exercises so that players can field line drives and beat mascots during 7th inning dizzy-bat races.
For more than 20 years, Igor Dyachenko has trained with top coaches around the world and won numerous awards in international competitions. As a former world champion, certified instructor, and founder of D-Dojo Karate, he calls upon those years of experience to fuse classical Japanese karate techniques with modern science, including knowledge culled from biophysics, biomechanics, and reruns of The Bionic Woman. The dojo is a member of the World Karate Federation (WKF) and an official branch of the Shotokan Karate-do International Federation (SKIF), headed by Hirokazu Kanazawa. Dyachenko trained with Kanazawa, a 10th-degree black belt who studied with the creator of Shotokan karate.
Dyachenko and his team strive to train students quickly with basic karate techniques known as kihon, kata, and kumite exercises. Children practice exercises through running, jumping, and playing, in order to help develop physical strength, agility, and mental toughness. Dyachenko also used his karate skills and sense of humor to help commemorate the 20th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's "Tear Down This Wall" speech on The Colbert Report.
John González, founder of New Amsterdam Fencing Academy, brings his skills as a nationally ranked athlete to the piste, where he works with enthusiastic instructors to demonstrate European fencing techniques. He and the coaching corps teach foil, épée, and saber disciplines during classes that take advantage of the group's collective energy. They lead students through progressive learning approaches—group footwork and conditioning, individual lessons, and bouting sessions— in hopes of preparing students for traditional competitions and unconventional kebab parties.