Bergen County Mom is Empowered from Kickboxing
By achieving new levels of self-esteem and confidence at Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts in Paramus, Gina’s sons led her to try Kickboxing. She says her life hasn’t been the same since. Here’s her story:
Earlier this year my 9-year old son Christian decided he wanted to try karate that he’d been hearing quite a bit about from his father. Since Christian had no interest in other sports and was not physically active as he should be, his father signed him up for a trial class at Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts (TSMMA) in Paramus. I have to admit, I was hesitant as I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the idea of him grappling and kickboxing against other children, but I wanted him to become physically fit and take an interest in a sport. Christian loved TSMMA from his first class and the excitement quickly spread to my older son Nicholas, 11, who, similarly to Christian, hadn’t shown an interested in sports and physical activities as much as we’d wanted. Immediately, both Nicholas and Christian were hooked and I was able to see that TSMMA offered so much more than physical fitness and mixed martial arts training. It has helped to boost their confidence tremendously and taught them respect of others as well as self-discipline and self-respect. I found them not only feeling better about themselves physically but applying the lessons they’ve learned there to everyday life.
During this time and for several years, I had been struggling with weight issues, self-discipline, making time for physical fitness, and overall self-confidence. I sat watching my sons in class, thinking about how I’d never made the time for my own physical well-being. Like many parents, it is a struggle to make time to handle my children’s schedules along with my own demanding work schedule. I had taken part in other weight loss programs and I exercised when I could fit it in, but I wasn’t doing anything to push past plateaus. It had grown more and more frustrating. I’ve tried all different cardio classes like spinning and ‘cardio-box impact’ but even when I was attending classes 4 times a week, I was getting nowhere in my weight loss. I wasn’t changing my physical appearance – no matter how well I ate. One day at the end of the kids’ class, their instructor, Joshu Mike Murray announced that he’d be having a Mother’s Day class for all the moms in the school. I figured since I’m here all the time with my children anyway, I should try it—and I loved it! I took advantage of the one-month gift Joshu had given to all the moms, but before the month was even up, I enrolled myself.
Above: Tiger Schulmann’s MMA students and their moms (some of them students themselves) line up to warm up before the Mother’s Day class. Below: Moms join their kids for some bag training. Later, kids came off the mat to make Mother’s Day cards while Moms finished their workout.
Since I’ve started training, I’ve been able to push past the plateaus that once held me back. I’ve lost 40 pounds! But, what was even more tremendous was that I’ve gone from a size 16 to a size 10 in 4 ½ months! I’d never been a size 10 even when I was 10! I’m amazed! No amount of spinning, jogging, or other cardio classes had ever helped me to accomplish this. MMA definitely is working for me! Most importantly, this program has made both of my sons more physically fit, they’ve lost and maintained weight, and best of all, are more confident than ever. As much hesitation as I felt the first time Christian took a class, I soon saw how safe & effective the TSMMA classes are both physically and mentally! Nicholas, Christian, and I absolutely love our family at Tiger Schulmann’s Paramus and look forward to advancing every day!
By Gina Giordano, TSMMA Paramus Mom and Student