New Year, New YOU: Kickboxing Your Way To A Healthier Lifestyle

by Tiger Schulmann's Vails Gate

At the stroke of midnight on January 1st, millions of people are suddenly accountable for the neverending list of resolutions they promised themselves during the holidays a week earlier. Most of them are weight loss ambitions, most likely made while consuming large amounts of cookies and eggnog during the holiday work party. “I’ll start after the holidays are over.” Sound familiar? Most weight loss programs and fitness facilities relish in this time of year, as it’s peak season for them and a wonderful opportunity to prey on guilt-ridden, vulnerable individuals who have overindulged the sugary fare. Suddenly, January 1st is upon us, and the mounting pressure to take responsibility for losing weight and eating right becomes even more stressful before you even start!

I admit, I was skeptical at first. I figured I would get a good workout, meet some new friends and move on just the same.

Year after year, I have tried countless fitness programs and done my best to stay motivated to workout. From CKO kickboxing to Insanity to even ballroom dancing, I have tried it all. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed each experience when I was actively involved for a few short months. But each of them only offered a single component of what it takes to achieve fitness goals, and the rest was up to me. I lasted about two months doing Insanity. The workout was awesome and the nutrition guide was helpful, but trying to self motivate to do the same DVD workout every cycle became redundant. Even ballroom dancing became a bore without a change in partners after a while. Then I found Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts (TSMMA).


 I admit, I was skeptical at first. I figured I would get a good workout, meet some new friends and move on just the same. It has been two years, and not only am I consistently training at least 4 days a week, but I am in the best shape of my life! I never felt that I was “fat” because I was always active for the most part. I participated in a variety of sports and I was always considered to be athletic. Losing a large amount of weight never seemed necessary, because to me an athlete at 150 pounds seemed sort of normal. But toning up was definitely something I always knew I could improve on myself physically, because I never felt “beach body” ready when summer came, and I always focused on hiding certain parts of my body because I felt out of proportion. Since beginning kickboxing with TSMMA, I dropped 3 pants sizes (which many people cannot believe), I feel more confident and I am constantly creating new challenges for myself and pushing to do more. I have excellent instructors that not only provide a great workout, but teach me how to be productive and responsible for my health outside of training. The motivation to continue is supported by the changing kickboxing curriculum each week, continuous nutritional support, availability of each instructor to plan, discuss and work toward achieving fitness goals, and the unbelievable support system through training with a variety of peers without judgment or pressure.

Lauren lost almost 20 lbs after training with TSMMA
Lauren lost almost 20 lbs after training with TSMMA

As a 33 year old single mom, TSMMA also provided me with the affordability and flexibility to finish graduate school with a schedule I could manage. Does that mean it was easy to fit everything in? Absolutely not. So, what’s your excuse? My overall fitness became more of a priority when I joined in January 2013, and I stopped making excuses myself as to why I should put my health on the back burner. In addition, the TSMMA program offers more than just a great kickboxing workout. Each week, I am learning new techniques in self defense from a high ranking mixed martial arts instructor. I have become more disciplined with my everyday routines due to the structured format of each class. There are no opportunities for distractions during kickboxing class, and I am fully engaged in what I am doing when I train.

 Everything I have gained through TSMMA has been invaluable in ensuring my safety, health and happiness as a mother, a woman and as a person.

Sensei Jose Montes is the owner/head instructor of TSMMA in Vails Gate, NY where I have consistently maintained my training. Although I never like to admit when I am wrong, I have to say that my initial assumptions were absolutely unfounded after meeting him and training with him for the first few weeks. He is unlike any other fitness instructor or mentor I have ever met. His faith in the TSMMA program, the school and his students is by far the cornerstone of his success as a martial arts instructor. I am so pleased with my results and I am thankful to have found a place where I not only enjoy being, but acquire new insight and personal achievement every time I am there. Sensei Montes is also assisted by instructor Shane Burgos, a professional mixed martial arts fighter with aspirations to one day fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) venue. Burgos was mentored by Sensei Montes and has become not only one of the top students, but a valuable asset in the Vails Gate school. Like Sensei Montes, Burgos continues to pass on his knowledge and vibrant, fast-paced energy into teaching during each kickboxing class. He has been a continuous motivation in pushing me to strive towards being a better athlete.

Everything I have gained through TSMMA has been invaluable in ensuring my safety, health and happiness as a mother, a woman and as a person. I would highly recommend TSMMA for anyone struggling to stay motivated with other fitness routines. The first kickboxing class is always free, so there is nothing to lose except a little extra sweat! It’s a great way to start off the New Year and the reward is priceless.


By Lauren Rose