Q&A with TSMMA Manhattan’s Sofia Gegaj

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Sophia Gegaj

I had an opportunity to sit down with Joshu Sofia Gegaj of TSMMA Manhattan ahead of her upcoming June 1st Warriors Cup bout in North Bergen, NJ. She was kind enough to answer some questions about her return to the ring.

Hi Sofia, thanks for talking with me today. How about we start with some basics.

Sure! Let’s go.

Where did you grow up?

Here. I was born in Queens and raised in the Bronx.

A NYC Native? Nice. So how’d you get into this sport?

I started training a little over 11 years ago. Every martial artist I ever met was always confident, tough and wise, and I wanted to be surrounded by that. I wanted to become like that. I also thought it would be fun and a good workout.

Who was your first instructor?

Sensei Lopez.

When did you know you wanted to be a fighter?

I never wanted to be a fighter. Or rather, I never thought I could be, so I didn’t entertain the idea. It wasn’t until an advanced class with Shihan Ron Schulmann, when I was a brown belt, that the thought crossed my mind. He pulled me over after class one day, told me I had a lot of talent and that he wanted me to do the NY Golden Gloves. I only remember feeling my heart in my throat, and I didn’t hear anything else he said after that. That’s how it all started.

That’s an awesome story. So, how many fights have you had?
About 20 so far.

That’s some great experience. Looking back, what did you take away from those bouts?
A couple of things really. I learned that my biggest enemy was myself. I would put too much unnecessary pressure on myself which, in turn, hurt my confidence for a while. I also learned to trust my coaches, train hard and realize how good I was. Now I can move forward. The greater thing I learned is that the more you face your fears and challenges, the tougher, the more confident, and ultimately the happier you are.

Great lessons. So, how long has it been since your last fight?
It’s been about a year and a half.

Why the long break?

I think I stopped because of too many personal obligations I had to take care of. However, I also think I had too many personal issues in my head to deal with first. And anyone who has stayed away from anything for a while knows how difficult it is to start again. I actually thought I wouldn’t fight anymore.

Really? What made you decided to come back now?

I decided to start up again when I realized I wasn’t satisfied with what I had accomplished so far. I hadn’t finished what I started. My potential had not been reached, and I didn’t want to have any regrets. So here I am.

That’s brilliant. And inspiring. So, I’ve heard a few times that you have some of the best hands in TSMMA, how did you become so good?

I don’t know about the best hands thing. I just do what my coaches tell me and it usually works.

Wow. Talented and modest. That’s a great combo. So going into this fight, what do you want your opponent to know?

She should know it will not be a good night for her. However, afterward, I’ll shake her hand and wish her well. I don’t hate my opponents, and I never want to seriously hurt them either. I respect anyone who has the nerve to step into the ring. But, the plan is to win by any means and that is what will happen.

And what do you know about her?

I don’t know much about my opponent except she likes to clinch a lot and her striking is not as good as mine.

That’s good intel. So what is your strategy?

My plan is to beat her up.

Thanks a lot for answering my questions Sofia. I can’t wait to see you go to work on Saturday.

My pleasure. I’m really looking forward to this fight. I want everyone to understand that when a fighter goes into the ring, they never go alone. They take a piece of everyone in there with them. That support means a lot, and I really appreciate it.


Dax Alexander is a mixed martial arts practitioner, personal trainer and writer for NewYorkNYMMA.com. Follow Dax on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DaxMMA

Brooklyn Student Loses 31lbs and Finds New Motivation with Tiger Schulmann’s

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By: Eric Diaz – TSMMA Midwood

Before I made the decision to join Tiger Schulmann’s Midwood branch, I was just another one of those people with a gym membership that used it for months at a time, lying to themselves that the few days they’re going are enough to get in shape.

Before I made the decision to join Tiger Schulmann’s Midwood branch, I was just another one of those people with a gym membership that used it for months at a time, lying to themselves that the few days they’re going are enough to get in shape. Yea, it worked for a bit and I even dropped in weight but it got boring and repetitive and I lost my motivation. Every day was a different excuse as to why I wasn’t going to go workout, I used them all from “I’m just too tired” to “my friend isn’t going today so I won’t either” then my brother (who had already trained in Tiger Schulmann’s) came to me and told me that they opened up a new school and he was going to start training again and that I should really consider it. So I went with him to his first class back and honestly at first I was extremely intimidated and didn’t take part in the class, I did however observe the class and the teaching methods of Sensei Nolan and his attentiveness toward each student, not neglecting anyone and motivating the entire class to “give it their all” this was enough for me to make my decision to sign up for a trial class.


I did however observe the class and the teaching methods of Sensei Nolan and his attentiveness toward each student, not neglecting anyone and motivating the entire class to “give it their all” this was enough for me to make my decision to sign up for a trial class.

I walked into Tiger Schulmann’s Midwood again December 14, 2012 for my trial class weighing 198lbs, nervous yet again but once the class started that feeling was replaced with one of pure excitement and hunger to learn which was enough to ensure that I was making the right choice in joining and training under Sensei Nolan. When I officially started, I was only training 3 days a week which quickly went to 4 and now I’m training 5 days a week. I have become completely obsessed with learning as much as I can about every aspect of training I can and with the encouraging and motivating attitude of Sensei Nolan and everyone else I train with. I am 31lbs lighter than I was when I first started, I’m more focused and confident in my own abilities and I’m a much happier person.

I would encourage anyone feeling lost and unmotivated like I was to give Tiger Schulmann’s a shot and see that anything is possible when you have the right motivation.

With all that being said, I am extremely thankful and happy with my decision to join and I look forward to the many years of training I have ahead. I would encourage anyone feeling lost and unmotivated like I was to give Tiger Schulmann’s a shot and see that anything is possible when you have the right motivation.


Mixed Martial Arts Proves Life Saver For Feasterville Instructor

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One Choice Can Make the Difference

By: Sensei Thad Campbell – TSMMA Feasterville

It was the winter of 2005 when I got the phone call from Barry Alexander. His son had stopped training at Tiger Schulmann’s a few years ago and he would like to bring him back. Barry told me his son was 16 years old and was interested in kickboxing. I tried to pry a little more but couldn’t get much more out of him.

What I knew was in the two years I had owned the Feasterville Tiger Schulmann’s I hadn’t had much success with old students coming back. Through no fault of their own they were used to a style of teaching that was a bit different personality wise than mine. Not only had the curriculum being taught in class changed dramatically, but they then had to adapt to a very different leader. This often led to people’s return to the school being short lived.

I didn’t prejudge though and was excited when Craig came in to take class and worked tirelessly during the hour session. His desire to do kickboxing shone through during class and I couldn’t wait after a couple minutes to sit down with his father and let him know what a great student Craig would make. It wasn’t so much his ability, although he was doing well at the kicks and punches, it was his effort that so clearly stood out!

After class I sat down with Craig and confirmed his desire to train.

“You’re not allowed to quit this again,” I told him.

“No problem, I won’t quit!”

Then I kicked him out of the room and began talking to dad. He told me Craig was getting into trouble after school. This came as a bit of a surprise to me after seeing his hard work in class, and as I knew he was attending Conwell Egan, a prominent Catholic School in the area. Catholic School’s are not known for patience when it comes to misbehaving.

Again I tried to pry a little bit and Barry did his best Politician talk. He gave me a general idea of Craig’s behavior without getting pinned down on the details!

I was so excited to train his son I didn’t get too caught up with digging deeper!

It turned out to be a fortuitous choice.

Spark That Lights The Flame

When Barry mentioned that his son was getting in to trouble after school it seemed like an easy solution. Give him something to do after school. I had just the thing. Come and spend six hours with me six days a week. He would help me out for four hours of kids and childrens classes before his own two hours of class.

Thus began the journey of Craig Alexander to Joshu Alexander, to soon to be professional MMA fighter.

Joshu With Father/Son Students After MMA Victory!

He showed up the next day at 10 minutes before four o’clock and hasn’t been in trouble since. In the first few days of helping me out I heard barely a word from the soft spoken 16 year old. Literally for the first year he helped me out the loudest noise I heard from him was when he would make a Kiai during his classes. To say he was a teen of few words would have been wrong. He was a teen of NO words!

It didn’t stop his incredible progress in his training though. He had reached the rank of Brown Belt as an 11 year old under his old Sensei and although I made him start again at White Belt, I didn’t give him stripes, but rather gave him a set of goals at each rank in order for him to receive his old rank back.

He made it back to Brown Belt in less than a year and in doing so he set an example for every other student in the school that literally helped my adult classes explode. When Craig came back in 2005 my adult classes would often have between 8 and fifteen people. By the time 2006 rolled around it was common to have 25 to 30. Craig’s passion for training and his effort in class helped make class more fun for everyone around him and he became a spark that attracted many new students to class.

Hard Work Earns Promotion

About six months after he began joining me every day I began seeing Craig start to take a more active role during the classes he helped with. He would start to pull a child aside on his own to help them perfect a technique, instead of waiting for my direction.

I then began to spend extra time teaching him how to become an instructor. We would talk about different scenarios that unfolded in class and how to deal with them. At the same time I would have him demonstrate different parts of class as if he were leading the younger students and critique his performance so he could improve.

That’s exactly what he did. His improvement was so quick that I began to pay him a small salary every week and he began to test with one of the organizations Master Instructors in order to get certified as an instructor in Tiger Schulmann’s.

He also earned the right to train at Tiger Schulmann’s Headquarters with the very best students from around the organization!

Skill and Confidence Grow Together

It wasn’t long before Craig began to get the itch to compete. He excelled at the Challenge of Champions as a Black Belt. Competing against the likes of Joshu’s Jimmie Rivera and Nick Pace, fighters who would go on to fight professionally in the two largest MMA organizations in the world, Bellator and the UFC. Those two had been training steadily for years. While Craig didn’t beat the two of them, he let everyone know that he wanted to compete at their level.

Joshu Alexander Demonstrates Move With UFC Fighter Nick Pace!

This didn’t escape the notice of Shihan James Simpson who had just begun to gather a group of Pennsylvania students at his Allentown school every Sunday to begin a local fight team.

In the late summer of 2006 Irv Althouse held his very first Hamburg Fight Night. I’ll never forget seeing Joshu’s excitement at being allowed to compete, nor will I forget my nerves as I headed up the Northeast Extension. In fact I was so nervous I missed the exit and travelled an extra hour to get to the next exit and back.

Fortunately things started a few minutes late and I was there to help coach as he won the first of his many fights in competition!

Amateur MMA

After successfully kickboxing and boxing for Shihan Simpson’s Pennsylvania segment of the TSMMA fight team, Craig got a unique opportunity. The dawn of amateur MMA was here and he was one of the very first fighters from the team to get a chance to compete.

His victory at Jack’s Gym would be the first of six consecutive MMA victories and would lead him to get a prominent spot in the organizations fight team. It led to many trips to New York City and Atlantic City to compete.

He was earning victories rapidly in kickboxing, eventually compiling a 6-1 record to go along with his sterling record in MMA. The one area he was struggling in was boxing where he competed four times earning only one victory.

What was clear was he would not run away from the challenge as he continued to work hard at each area of his Martial Arts training every day!

Becoming a Leader Instead of a Follower

At the same time he was developing his skills in competition he was also growing as an assistant in the school. So much so that he earned the title of “Joshu”. Literally meaning “assistant” in Japanese, Craig completed 200 hours of student teaching, helping out at my school, before passing a comprehensive written test (something that frequently eluded him in high school) and eventually a comprehensive physical exam to ensure he could instruct class at the high level demanded from Tiger Schulmann himself.

Joshu Teaching Armbar to New White Belts!

Joshu Alexander passed his certification to teach Beginner and Intermediate/Advanced Kickboxing with Shihan Dennis Goshow before passing the incredibly difficult Grappling test with Sensei Paul Querido.

It was 2007 and now Joshu was my right hand man. I could rely on him to motivate and instruct my students whether they were five or fifty and he could ably teach a class with 30 to 40 people in it.

Joshu Alexander Learned to Talk and Teaches From His Own Experience!

His strength as my assistant was apparent as we quickly built up the school to have more than 300 students. This was a remarkable accomplishment for him given we had just over a 100 students when he first joined the school!

Hitting The Roadblock

It wasn’t until 2008 and 2009 that we really got to see what Joshu was really made of. His first chance to win a title belt came at Asylum Fight League 9. It was December of 2008 and he took on a much older Mervin Rodriguez. Giving up five years and still only 20 years old, Alexander lost a tough decision to Rodriguez who immediately turned pro.

This left the title belt vacant and because he fought so well even in defeat and still sported a 6-1 record, Alexander earned another shot in February 2009. Again he would face an older opponent and again he would lose a tough decision. This time to Nate Hasara.

Looking to bounce right back Craig would take on Randy Dunn in June, only to get a nasty cut on his forehead in the first few seconds of the fight. This led to a stoppage and the only No Contest on his record.

It would mean four more long months before a chance to get back in the win column. This time it would be his first amateur fight in Pennsylvania and it would be another let down. Still relatively new to Pennsylvania where Mixed Martial Arts had just been regulated, the fight featured three two minute rounds. The short length of rounds proved to be a boon to his opponent.

Unfortunately for Alexander he was taking on a former successful High School wrestler in Allen Cozze. Cozze was no match for Craig standing and couldn’t do anything to advance his position on the ground. What he did do was get a takedown in all three rounds and hold Alexander down for long enough to earn the win.

It was a tough stretch for the 20 year old, but it didn’t stop him from continuing to work hard at his first love, Martial Arts! Instead he viewed it as a chance to show his students the “non-quitting spirit” he talked about every day.

Opportunity Knocks

It was shortly after the Cozze fight when an unbelievable opportunity presented itself to the then 20 year old. My first school, Tiger Schulmann’s in Cherry Hill was in need of a new leader. Their Sensei had moved to another school and Tiger Schulmann was looking for someone to take over.

I mentioned this to Craig and he immediately jumped at the opportunity. Only 21 years old, he would be one of the youngest head instructors in all of Tiger Schulmann’s.

Tiger Schulmann was more than confident in Craig’s ability to teach Martial Arts. It was the other aspects of running a school that worried him. And so he set up a test. Craig would have to go through the various procedures required of a school’s head instructor, but he would have the added pressure of doing them in front of the other 70 head instructors in the organization.

As with every other challenge he had confronted in his training, Craig prepared with intensity and when the day came to test, he passed with flying colors. Becoming the head instructor in Cherry Hill in early 2010.

Something Left To Prove

After successfully leading the students in Cherry Hill for more than a year and a half Craig came back to me with a question. It would be impossible to continue being the head instructor of the Cherry Hill school and pursue a professional MMA career.

He had begun to realize that he missed fighting immensely. He wanted to know if he could come back and work with me and start competing again. This was music to my ears as I had missed working with Craig as well as watching him fight.

We had a perfect replacement in place in Joshu Shane Baker who had worked with Alexander for the whole time he was in Cherry Hill. And thus began Joshu Alexander’s second stint as my right hand man in Feasterville.

While immediately integrating himself back into the fabric of the school, he also began to compete. It was apparent that the two years away hadn’t led to any rust. First with kickboxing where he earned a tko victory and then with a first round knockout in MMA it was very apparent the now 23 year old Alexander had honed his standup skills to match his grappling acumen.

This was proven as he took home first place in the NAGA World Championships Expert Division in late 2012.

He earned two more MMA victories and a return to boxing proved victorious as well and finally it was time for Alexander to take his third crack at a championship fight.

Third Time Charm as Alexander Wins Title Via Rear Naked Choke!

All the hard work and dedication paid off as Craig came back to win a third round submission victory after losing the first two rounds of the fight! The win was a fitting culmination to a journey highlighted by his perseverance.

He went on to defend his title with a second round knockout of a previously undefeated fighter in his next fight to run his record to 7-0 since returning to competition including one kickboxing knockout and two in MMA to go along with two Submission victories.

Alexander KO’s Travis List In 2nd Round!

His most recent victory marked his last as an amateur as his success has earned him the right to turn professional!

Finally the Truth Comes Out

It took nearly eight years and thousands of hours spent teaching and training together, but recently Craig finally opened up more about his earlier troubles. As a teenager growing up in Croydon his parents were often both working at night, his dad managing a store and his mom working at the local hospital.

This left Craig unsupervised and it didn’t take long for him to find the neighborhood kids up to no good. What started out as drinking beer in the woods quickly evolved to marijuana. As a youngster with no money at his disposable, Craig and his friends quickly began to get involved in petty theft as a way of purchasing more pot.

It was a recent meeting with a close friend from his teens that really opened up Alexander’s eyes. He related the story to me one day after I half-jokingly asked him how thankful he was that he walked in to my school all those years ago. The answer was far from a joke.

His friend recently was released from a three year stint in prison after being caught selling marijuana. His imprisonment didn’t lead to reform however, as now Craig’s friend had moved on to selling more serious drugs. Not only was he selling Methamphetamine, but he was partaking of it as well.

It was an eye opener to see his child hood friend now strung out on heavy drugs.

“Sensei, he couldn’t have had more than three teeth in his mouth,” he told me one day. “That would have been me!”

That isn’t him. Instead Joshu Alexander is the beloved instructor of hundreds of TSMMA Feasterville students. Those same students who love every class he teaches also turn out to support him in his fighting career and are all looking forward to many years of his instruction as well as seeing him embark on his professional MMA career!



TSMMA,Where Self-Defense and Self-Discipline Lay the Foundation for your Child’s Confidence!

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BY: TSMMA Middle Village

Self-confidence is the backbone one has in oneself and one’s abilities. It is the confidence of the essence: “I can do this”. Self-confidence is the one thing that is much more substantial than many other capabilities and traits. If you do not have self-confidence, what you commit to will be very difficult to become beneficial.

It’s not just that the people who are going to do well in life play sports, but that sports help people do better in life”


Does your child need a helping hand in their self-confidence? Is your son or daughter timid and need some help coming out of their shell? Consider getting them involved in a physical activity such as our Children’s Program here at Tiger Schulmann’s. Although it is great to have your child in sports, what happens when they are not the All-Star? They spend time on the sidelines. Here at Tiger Schulmann’s there are no sidelines. Every child is treated and trained equally. Every child is the star and will grow together. Statistics show that participation in Tiger Schulmann’s builds confidence and promotes development of a healthy lifestyle. “It’s not just that the people who are going to do well in life play sports, but that sports help people do better in life,”said Dr. Betsey Stevenson, economist at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Children with self-confidence will endure through challenges, show enthusiasm, and maintain a positive attitude. With confidence, a child knows they can meet any challenges ahead. Seeing their skills and goals improve at home and during class they gain a sense of accomplishment. Your child feels more in control of their situations, and their feelings of helplessness disappear. Children who fail to participate in extra extracurricular activities do not allow their skills to develop, further lowering their confidence. Our Program provides children with the knowledge of a street-wise self-defense. Children learn to defend themselves in any given situation, whether they are standing or end up on the ground.

Building a child’s confidence is all about personal empowerment, giving them the chance to succeed, and acknowledging that success. The group dynamics that our Instructor Sensei DuBose offers children; is a positive approach. Our strong moral code helps promote the skills that will last a lifetime for your child.They know how to build an excellent relationship with others by offering plenty of praise and encouragement. Sensei DuBose will bring out the best in every child.

Our students learn how build their confidence through self-discipline and by teaching them proper self -defense. Knowing how to properly defend yourself, you’ll find that you truly won’t need to. Same thing goes for children. They exert confidence and carry themselves in a way that it discourages others from picking on them and making them susceptible to negative peer pressure in the future. Having strong, positive role models from the instructors to the higher-ranking students helps reinforce the values parents are working to teach at home.

“When children achieve something… they get a sense of themselves as able and capable…”

Children who know their strong points,comprehend their weaknesses and feel good about themselves seem to manifest when handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures.When children achieve something, whether it’s a good report card or riding a bike, they get a sense of themselves as able and capable making their self-confidence shine right through them.

 Here at TSMMA we offer you a FREE introductory kickboxing class for your child. Which includes : An orientation, a trial class and a pair of training gloves. It is as simple as enrolling on this website here today.

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity for your child to gain the confidence they need here at Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts. Take this small step now that will give you the answers to all your worries. We would love to be able to change their lives as we have hundreds of others. Don’t hesitate. Let us help you today.

“…To date I Have Lost 34 Pounds, Dropped Three Dress Sizes, and Have Increased My Strength and Flexibility!”

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BY: Sarah Donnangelo TSMMA Ramsey 

“…to date I have lost 34 pounds, dropped three dress sizes, and have increased my strength and flexibility.”

I have dealt with the impact of chronic illnesses on my life since I was five years old, namely difficult to control diabetes from the time I started school to severe arthritis resulting in bilateral knee replacements and two elbow surgeries before the age of 43. These issues have also contributed to my longstanding battle in managing a healthy weight. But almost a year ago, I made a decision that has changed my life. After going to a routine doctor’s appointment and stepping on the scale, I finally took that first step. I left my doctor’s office frustrated with myself and drove directly to Ramsey TSMMA. For months, I had been thinking about taking one of the introductory classes that I had seen advertised, but I always seemed to have an excuse not to go in and check it out. Well, that was the day. I spoke honestly with Sensei Rapoport about my physical limitations, as I wanted to know whether it was reasonable for me to consider kickboxing as a way of helping me reach my personal goals of weight reduction and stress management. He reassured me that everyone works on his or her own level and modifications could easily be made to accommodate special needs

So I jumped in with two feet and have not looked back.

“Even on days that are challenging and my last thought is to go kickboxing, I am always happier at the end of our class.”

I may not have the natural skill of others, but I do have determination and perseverance that has helped me throughout my life. I now attend kickboxing classes four times each week and can do things that I never could have imagined, including punches, kicks, crunches, and, most recently, push-ups. Even on days that are challenging and my last thought is to go kickboxing, I always feel better physically and emotionally at the end of the class hour. I have learned that it is very important to make myself a priority, and kickboxing is a significant part of how I am going about accomplishing this. I still have a long way to go in terms of reaching my ultimate weight loss goal, but, to date, I have lost 34 pounds, dropped three dress sizes, and I have increased my strength and flexibility. Even more important is that with each new doctor’s appointment the medical professionals who have known me for years are amazed by the improvements in my blood work as well as my general health. Their words of wisdom:

“Keep up the great work and continue doing whatever you are doing.”

I still face the everyday challenges that life throws my way; however, my determination coupled with the support of my family and constant encouragement of staff and students at Ramsey TSMMA have brought me a long way. Believe me, if I can do this, ANYONE can do this. It has changed my life and my future!


Sarah Donnangelo

Give New Life To Your Old Body At Tiger Schulmann’s

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By: TSMMA Middle Village

Many people want to get in shape and better their health but have a difficult time maintaining a regimen that works for them. Following our exclusive 10 round beginner kickboxing class will help you start a workout program that works for you and will enable you to continue. You read all the fitness magazines and watch all sorts of workout videos but the answers never seem to be clear for you. Every morning you look in the mirror and wish you could reshape your body to the way you imagine it to be. What if the solution was right before your eyes and you didn’t realize it.

 Believe it or not the main reason you find “getting into shape” so complicated is the lack of discipline you have for yourself and finding a great exciting workout that is enjoyable. When you think of discipline you assume its for children. Adults need discipline as well. Discipline is essential for you to get into the body that you desire. For example: When you make a new years resolution, you make it because you want a change for yourself or just something new to be apart of your life.

 Lets say getting into shape is your new years resolution; you’re psyched in the very beginning and slowly you give up half way through or never finish your resolution. Why? Is it because you didn’t want to? Or is it simply because the discipline isn’t there? Well your drive was definitely there because you made the attempt to start. Yet, your discipline was not. Here at Tiger Schulmann’s we teach you the proper discipline through time and practice. When you decide to train here with us , try to really stick to your training routine and don’t get sidetracked by all your current problems. Relieve your mind from all the drama at work and stress at home.

“When you find your mind wandering off snap out of it. Don’t lose focus on your main objective, which is to train hard.”

If you want to get in the best of shape then work out with us at least 3-4 times a week. This will keep your muscles toned and the body fat low. Exercising consistently and eating correctly will help your body’s immune system strengthen along with your muscles and bones. This will help your circulatory system greatly and strengthen your heart.


Don’t forget to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night.This will give your body a chance to rejuvenate itself and get stronger. If you don’t get the proper rest it can be very detrimental to getting into shape which is your ultimate goal.

“…dramatic change in your body’s level of energy and shape… making an actual change in your life…


Following our nutrition plan that we provide here at Tiger Schulmann’s you will see a dramatic change in your body’s level of energy and shape. Discipline is essential when you want to get into shape. It is easy to go and say you are going to work out everyday, but once the pain and aches start to kick in it is very easy to quit and “continue later.” Make sure you are 100% dedicated to making an actual change in your life, which is getting in shape and being more healthy. So when you decide to make the move then you will be sure to make a change in your life. You can do it here with our team at Tiger Schulmann’s MMA

Diabetic and Smoker NO MORE… Mother Wins Life Back Thru Tiger Schulmann’s

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By:TSMMA Ramsey

“I was a morbidly obese, diabetic, single mom who smoked 1 to 2 packs a day”

Mixed Martial Arts? Not me. SO not me. I don’t have that in me. That was my thinking four years ago when my son’s Sensei mentioned that I should consider joining Ramsey Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts along with my son. I thought to myself, I don’t have the time, I can’t do that, and any other excuse I could think of.

 I was a morbidly obese, diabetic, single mom who smoked 1 to 2 packs a day. After numerous attempts, Sensei Shawn Rapoport got me to join one of the 90 day challenges. During the 2nd week, he convinced me to quit smoking for 90 days and give him my pack of cigarettes for safe keeping. “I will give you back your cigarettes at the end of the challenge…if you want me to.” After smoking half the pack that night and a few more the following morning, I gave him the nearly empty pack. I am proud to say I have not had another cigarette since.

“I won my life back”

 That first 90 day challenge I lost 20 lbs and felt great. I was a high white belt in no time, doing 6 Beginner Kickboxing classes a week. After the challenge, unfortunately, I slipped on ice and pulled something in my hip and leg. I could barely walk, let alone attend classes. I was going to physical therapy, miserable again and put the weight back on plus more.

“I lost 16 1/2 lbs, dropped 4 sizes…”

 After the injury Sensei convinced me to sign up for another 90 day challenge and get back into training. I was not convinced I could do it again and frustrated that I was back up in weight, but he was persistent. It reminded me of the “Non Quitting spirit” lesson Sensei has instilled in us during classes. I lost 16 1/2 lbs, dropped 4 sizes and was one of the winners of the challenge. I won 3 months of free training. But actually I won more than that. I won my life back. My Sensei helped me to believe in myself, find my inner strength, develop self discipline and realize even if we take a couple of steps backward, it doesn’t mean we stop moving forward. I am a stronger person both physically and mentally.

“I am no longer a diabetic as of 8 months ago. I am no longer a smoker as of 4 years ago. I no longer view it as the chore of diet and exercise but more of a lifestyle…”

I just earned my Low Blue belt – whoohoo! My Sensei also told me I was ready to start taking Intermediate Kickboxing classes along with Beginner Kickboxing classes. I am no longer a diabetic as of 8 months ago. I am no longer a smoker as of 4 years ago. I no longer view it as the chore of diet and exercise but more of a lifestyle change that requires effort everyday. Luckily I met a group of very strong women who also train at Ramsey Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts. They inspire me and support me. I am far from a size 6 but what once was “NEVER, NOT ME” is now “HECK YEAH, I CAN DO THAT”.

Thank you Sensei Rapoport for not giving up on me and helping me take my life back.

 Eleanor Espiritu

“…What Keeps Me Coming Back to Class Everyday is That it Never Gets Boring”

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BY: TSMMA Ramsey

“I had tried all forms of diets and gym memberships while on my quest for physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle.”

 Like most women in their thirties, I had tried all forms of diets and gym memberships while on my quest for physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle. I searched and desired to find the perfect combination that would help me reach this seemingly unobtainable weight loss goal. In my mind, being “skinny” was the result I was trying to obtain and as I got older, this goal was becoming harder and harder to achieve. I needed to make a change. I noticed signs for Tiger Schulmann’s kickboxing, and I thought to myself, “How could I go wrong?”

“Kickboxing was by far the most intense workout I had ever experienced and it felt great!

 When I entered Tiger Schulmann’s in Ramsey I was greeted by Sensei Rapoport. He was eager to assist me and make me feel comfortable. I attended two classes and was hooked! Kickboxing was by far the most intense workout I had ever experienced and it felt great! It amazed me how much could be accomplished in a sixty minute class – I was experiencing cardio, muscle building and stretching all in one hour! After these trial classes, I decided this was going to be the way I would be able to reach my fitness goals.

Sensei Rapoport runs an organized school and has the best interest of his students in mind when it comes to instruction and motivation. Through clear instructions and demonstrations of each round, he makes his students feel comfortable and ensures their success in each of his classes. One of the many important lessons I have learned in my three years at Tiger Schulmann’s is to set personal goals. Then, by working hard and having self-discipline, I will achieve my goals. This lesson transcends the mat and rings true to every aspect of life.

“What keeps me coming back to class everyday is that it never gets boring.”

 Being an educator myself, not only do I love to teach but I love to learn. What keeps me coming back to class everyday is that it never gets boring. Every class is designed to reinforce the student’s techniques and teach them new ones. Techniques taught in classes not only train the body but the mind as well. It also serves as an important life skill if you ever needed to defend yourself.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m on the road to reaching all of my goals and will continue to succeed with the self-discipline I have acquired.”

 If you asked me three years ago my goals when it came to working out and living a healthy lifestyle, I would have told you my goal was to be thin. Now, the answer you will get is to be strong, physically fit, know how to defend myself, and to live a long healthy life. As far as I’m concerned, I’m on the road to reaching all of my goals and will continue to succeed with the self-discipline I have acquired. I attribute my success and new perspective to my training under Sensei Rapoport and am truly grateful.

-Tara Cassidy

How is Kickboxing Better Than the Gym!

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How is Kickboxing Better Than the Gym


By: TSMMA Abington

Don’t spend another week fighting with your scale waiting for results to happen at the gym

Have you ever made plans the night before to go to the gym in the morning, and then woke up and decided that it didn’t sound as good in the morning as it did last night? You decide to push the work out off until after get done work, but the stress of your day make you want to change your mind again. You decide you’ll just wait and try again tomorrow.


Don’t put it off for another day, kickboxing can give you the same results i’ve helped so many other achieve

Procrastination is a quality we all process as humans, but it’s not an attractive one. One day’s procrastination turns into 2…..2 days quickly turn to a week….before you know it you find yourself saying ” I really need to get into shape” yet again!

Most people fall out of the routine of going to the gym before they even really get started

This vicious cycle is one that you aren’t alone in being a part of. Most of us are taught that going to the gym, or running are the only options for getting into shape. Most of us find ourselves going to the gym and feeling out of place, uncomfortable and not sure what we even know what to do to workout.

Before long, you’ve given up before you’ve even started. You chalk it up to the fact that you just aren’t cut out to be in shape, and you’ll just wait until next New Year’s to try again.

If this sounds like you then it’s time someone lets you in on the a secret…there is a workout that blows the gyms socks off in both enjoyment and results!! Welcome to Abington Tiger Schulmann’s Kickboxing.


in class you’ll have motivating instruction and meet other student’s just like you that will become some of your closest friends inside and outside of class

Our instructor’s are friendly, knowledgeable and motivating! We know what it takes to produce results….we help hundreds of people frustrated with their personal fitness get into the best shape of their lives every year! You’ll learn authentic kickboxing in a safe and effective way. The workout’s are done at your own pace, and will give you everything you need to get into the shape you want to be in. From Cardio to strength training…from stretching to nutrition…Our program will transform your body into what you want it to be!!

money wast

most people throw away thousands of dollars every year hoping to find something that will work for them to get into the shape they want

Don’t throw away another dime on a gym membership, or buying more exercise equipment for your home, in fact once you start with us you can throw away your gym membership and sell off your treadmill, because you’ll never need it again!

Come join the hundreds of other’s that have realized that you don’t need to suffer through a workout or be miserable doing it! Fill out the online form to the right side of this page and we will contact you to set up your first class! Look forward to seeing you soon!

Written by Sensei James Garzillo – Head Instructor Abington Tsmma