As the weather turns cold and leaves crackle underfoot, folks start to think of indoor sports and fitness. As it turns out, Jersey City has a lot to offer if you are in the market for any of the various fighting techniques that involve kicking, punching, striking, and throwing. From Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kickboxing to special-needs-kids karate, a range of options are available.
Take Family Fitness Mixed Martial Arts, at 419 Central Ave. in the Heights. Its Kids Jersey City Karate School is an exciting, high-energy program that helps build strength, stamina, confidence, and discipline. The Muay Thai Kickboxing program burns body fat and gets participants into fighting shape while reducing stress, enhancing focus and concentration, boosting eye/body coordination, and increasing strength, stamina and flexibility. The mixed martial arts program offers no-contact and full-contact classes, combining karate, kickboxing, American boxing, ground defense, and jiu-jitsu. “Our martial arts practice goes beyond karate’s kicks and punches,” says Master Instructor and Director Vinh Dang. “The practice affects a student’s life. To be sure this happens, our martial arts instructors are in regular contact with parents to be sure that students’ academics, chores, and manners are in check. Only then, will we promote them to the next belt level.”
In Greenville at 1683 Kennedy Blvd. is Universal Warrior Arts (UWA). Grand Master Hanshi Austin Wright, a karate and jiu-jitsu champion, runs the school, which offers karate, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, kung fu, and fitness programs.
“Our academies offer a multi-discipline martial arts practice that has been in our family for three generations,” Wright says. “We have mastered traditional Asian martial arts. Through our extensive experience in the military and air force, we have taken the practice to the next level and created our own customized American martial arts system. We regularly compete and win in tournaments across the United States and all over the world.” UWA offers specially trained special-needs instructors to help children focus their energies and hone their skills.
The Way of the Winds at 180 Ninth St. in the Community Educational & Recreation Center, founded by Ronald Duncan, offers a comprehensive system of self-defense concepts that focuses on Jujutsu/Taijutsu, Japanese terms for “body skill” or “body art,” which employs essential defensive body movements.
Duncan’s son, Gregory, who has more than 40 years of martial arts experience and has been honored with many Martial Arts Hall of Fame awards, is the chief instructor. Gregory, like his father, excels in Jujutsu, Taijutsu, and Ninjutsu as well as the weapons art of Kobujutsu. Both have garnered national acclaim in that art.
“We continue to develop innovative concepts and approaches in the martial arts,” says Gregory, “while at the same time respecting the deep traditions that sustain the Way of the Winds system.” Classes are available for adults and for kids starting at age 3.
“Our martial arts put the individual in a mindset that the more they do, the more they can do,” says Gregory. “This philosophy translates into a power to do more in everyday life.”—JCM
D.K. Park Taekwondo
32 Journal Square
Family Fitness Mixed Martial Arts
419 Central Ave.
Jang Star Tae Kwando School Inc.
299 Central Ave.
233 Ninth St.
JKA Shotokan Alliance
124 Storms Ave.
Jersey City Tae Kwan Do and Kickboxing Academy
150 Newark Ave.
Don Nagle’s Isshinryu Karate
371 Central Ave.
Philippine Integrated Martial Arts
779 Bergen Ave.
Universal Warrior Arts
1683 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Way of the Winds System of Martial Arts
180 Ninth St.