TSMMA Vails Gate

Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Group Shot

Mixed Martial Arts Competition Builds Confidence

By Current News, TSMMA Vails Gate No Comments

The Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts (TSMMA) Challenge of Champions tournament is always just around the corner. Over a thousand competitors register for the bi-annual event to test their limits and go the distance against other individuals within their same age, weight and skill level. Although the tournament is a venue where contenders look to earn the high achievement of a first place win, it has become much more than that for many of its participants who are “Challenging the Champion Within.

Many participants are attempting their first match, while veteran TSMMA students such as RYAN BURGOS of Vails Gate, NY has not only competed in the Challenge of Champions for several years, but also holds many notable wins in competitions through the North American Grappling Association (NAGA) and Grappler’s Quest. The 13 year old, 5 foot tall phenom has been studying mixed martial arts for almost 8 years and earned his black belt at the age of 10. Ryan is the youngest and the first of three brothers to join TSMMA. His oldest brother, “Hurricane” Shane Burgos is a TSMMA professional fighter and instructor, as well as a prospect for future UFC venues. Jake Burgos is also a black belt mixed martial artist with several prominent tournament wins in both grappling and kickboxing, and is a prospective future fighter for the TSMMA fight team.

Left to right: Ryan, Shane and Jake Burgos photo credit: Julie Lance

Left to right: Ryan, Shane and Jake Burgos
photo credit : Julie Lance

Like elite athletes that are constantly aiming for excellence, Ryan prides himself on being able to set goals for himself and aim for success. Even at such a young age, his mindset to improve his skill and learn from his mistakes are part of the reason he excels in mixed martial arts. “I like competing because I want to know who I need to beat to be the best. I test myself every time I step in the ring, and I learn to be better than the last time.” He recalls several memories that have helped him become a more successful athlete, but remembers a time when his skills were put to the test against a competitor that challenged the judge’s decision to grant him the win. “I had to go against another boy a second time because his coach felt the call was unfair. So it was decided that we would compete again with no time limit as a submission only match.” Ryan was able to achieve the win once more and felt that the opportunity to present his skills in a high pressure situation with a large audience was one of the greatest ways to test his will and determination. Ryan’s success on the mat as a mixed martial artist has also transferred into a very lucrative wrestling trade at the middle school level. His drive and motivation during the 2014 wrestling season earned him “Most Valuable Player” with an undefeated record of 12-0.

I know what I am capable of and I am confident because of it.

Although the medals, trophies and recognition for being such a high level competitor are grand perks of the trade, Ryan simply enjoys the sport for what it has provided him and his family. Many parents often seek out martial arts schools to address issues with low self-esteem, bullying and poor social or academic performance. Since Ryan began his training so early, he believes that is the reason he never needed to worry about those issues. His outgoing, headstrong personality is a result of the discipline and focus he learned at a young age. “Some people think what I do is cool, and others doubt my abilities, but I know what I am capable of and I am confident because of it.” Ryan also finds that having two older brothers that are equally capable and successful mixed martial artists gives him something to strive toward. He looks forward to training with his brothers and continues to learn how to improve his skills against two larger, stronger individuals that may not necessarily take it easy on him. When asked what inspires him to compete, Ryan does not hesitate to give credit to his family for the support and opportunities he has had.


There is no doubt that Ryan has a bright future ahead of him. He has been a symbol of leadership and continues to exceed the expectations of his TSMMA instructors and peers. As an aggressive and skilled competitor, Ryan continues to dominate as a mixed martial artist in many tournaments and has been featured on several TSMMA advertisements and commercials. “You have to go out there and just do it or you’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Ryan finds these words of inspiration to be a catalyst for achieving greatness each time he steps on the mat, and spectators are very anxious to see what he brings into the next competition.

By Lauren Rose


Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Man Punching Pose

Kickboxing Helps Overcome The Pain Of Addiction

By TSMMA Vails Gate No Comments

At some point in your life, you have experienced pain. Whether it be physical or emotional, pain is something that no one escapes. It can be caused by physical injury or emotional stressors. It may be temporary or chronic in nature. It can be sharp, achy or dull. It can be so excruciating that our bodies and minds collapse from distress and exhaustion. Some individuals live with pain everyday that is so great, the rest of the world seems to fade away until we are completely cognizant of how much we hurt. In many cases, most onlookers would never even recognize that someone they know feels that way. Pain that is not visibly observed is usually the most dangerous. Many people manage this type of pain in different ways, looking for methods to cope, ease or cease its continuance.

Tiger Schulmann’s mixed martial arts (TSMMA) has been a place of refuge for many individuals looking to rebuild their lives from traumatic and stressful events that have impacted their health and happiness. Although most students join the kickboxing classes to lose weight and relieve stress, many enter the doors plagued by the pain of depression, addiction and rape. The martial arts component of the TSMMA program is the keystone to its success. A kickboxing class is never simply about coming in to defend yourself or get in shape, but to establish structure and discipline that will eventually carry over into your life. There are several students (which remain anonymous) who have gained such attributes and continue to build on a foundation that was once desolate and damaged.

“Some individuals live with pain everyday that is so great, the rest of the world seems to fade away until we are completely cognizant of how much we hurt.”

Romelio Vargas is one such student who feels it is important to share his story of how he overcame his painful journey with addiction and maintained his sobriety with kickboxing. At the age of 65, Romelio is the oldest active student training at the TSMMA Vails Gate location. His quiet and professional demeanor on the mat would never indicate that addiction had impacted his life. Like many young men drafted in the Vietnam War, Romelio was proud to serve his country and was sent to various parts of the world. During a time when marijuana and alcohol were both prevalent and acceptable means for social engagement and coping during wartime, Romelio managed to avoid the temptation of drugs and alcohol while overseas. However once he returned home, he was exposed to a new life that would test his resilience to change and his resistance to temptation.

He began spending his paychecks on alcohol and ultimately progressed to marijuana and cocaine. Although the threats of addiction continued to rise, Romelio managed to mask his internal struggles with a somewhat stable lifestyle through marriage, the birth of his son and becoming a homeowner. In addition to dealing with the common pressures of everyday life, Romelio’s addiction began to catch up and increase the weight of his stressors causing personal pain and suffering that took over his life. He began selling drugs to support the cost of his addiction, and ultimately being arrested for DWI is what liberated him from the everyday pain of being an addict.

Romelio has been training with TSMMA for over ten years

Romelio has been training with TSMMA for over ten years

Beginning a rehabilitative program was standard and necessary for Romelio to overcome his addiction. “I thank God for teaching me a lesson and I also thanked the officer who pulled me over.” Romelio has been sober for 27 years and prides himself on the fact that his daughter has never seen the effects of his addiction and that his marriage has lasted 37 years.

 “TSMMA is my sanctuary. I can leave my troubles outside. This is ‘ME’ time.”

Although Romelio’s addiction and sobriety predate his start with TSMMA in 2004, his decision to join was fueled by the need to supplement the support he receives from his sponsor and alcoholics anonymous meetings. “TSMMA has helped me continue to replace bad habits with good ones and improve my self-discipline with kickboxing classes.” Romelio feels that although there are many other outlets, TSMMA has been the most successful in helping him get through bad days. “It is my sanctuary. I can leave my troubles outside. This is “ME” time.”

Romelio enjoys "me" time everytime he steps on the mat

Romelio enjoys “me” time everytime he steps on the mat

Many of the students who have joined TSMMA to overcome their struggles have managed to maintain their self-discipline and heal their bodies through kickboxing. But TSMMA offers much more than just the kickboxing workout for your body. It has become a necessary outlet for many individuals struggling with all types of pain, ranging from mental and emotional afflictions to addiction or traumatic events.  It is an outlet for the mind to organize, expand and heal in times of turmoil. Although kickboxing is no substitute for rehabilitative and therapeutic treatment, the TSMMA program has been a key supplement for individuals seeking a path to physical wellness, an intimate group of supportive peers, a motivational boost for the mind, and a healthy challenge. TSMMA prides themselves in providing a comfortable and secure environment for every student that passes through their doors. It is a safe space meant to impart trust and hope in those seeking assistance to overcome their fear, insecurities, anxieties and vulnerabilities. It is the expectation that our program assists students in coping and helps them succeed in managing whatever ails them.

If you are looking for a way to change your life and empower yourself to be the person you were meant to be, sign up for a FREE trial class at a TSMMA location near you.

By Lauren Rose


Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Woman Collage

Women Achieve Empowerment Through Self-Defense

By TSMMA Vails Gate No Comments

The recent growth of women’s mixed martial arts has not only helped the sport itself become a popular staple in the world of athletics, but more importantly it has become an extremely necessary foundation for the growth of women in society toward becoming more independent, confident and powerful. Mixed martial arts as a sport seems violent, intimidating and impossible to do for many women who turn on Fox Sports Live and simply watch a fight. But for those who step through the doors of a Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts school, the underlying motivations behind this phenomena becomes a very apparent and realistic approach to staying healthy and safe. Before it was a popular sport, mixed martial arts was a method for learning self-defense. The basis for any techniques that TSMMA students learn is ultimately to counter an attack against the body and mind.

  • Every 107 seconds, an American woman is sexually assaulted

  • An estimated one in 5 women will experience a sexual assault

  • 44% of victims are under age 18

  • 80% are under age 30

  • Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim


It is unfortunate that women continue to be potential targets for sexual predators. Statistics show that 1 out of 5 women will be the victims of an attempted or completed assault sometime in their life. This same statistic was 1 out of 10 in 1993. The natural question would be is the world getting worse or are more women finding the courage to report the crime?  The answer is a little bit of both.

The good news is that although methods of self-defense have been offered to women for many years, society has seen a booming increase in the amount of women who have found mixed martial arts as an appealing and necessary tool to incorporate in their lives. Perhaps we can pay tribute to the societal campaigns that promote the notion of “fit is the new skinny” as well as pioneers of the sport of women’s mixed martial arts such as Ronda Rousey, Meisha Tate, Cat Zingano and Gina Carano.

Sarah Griffin has been training at TSMMA Vails Gate, NY for 3 years. Like the majority of other women all ages and skill levels, she trains several times a week to maintain her physical strength and conditioning. In addition to kickboxing, Sarah is one of the few women involved in grappling and advanced kickboxing at the school and has taken her training to another level through competition. Sarah has since consistently trained almost every day, and takes two classes each night. She has participated in three Challenge of Champions tournaments hosted by TSMMA on a biannual basis and has placed in the grappling event.

…learning self-defense will continue to expand and solidify your personal arsenal and teach women that awareness, prevention and empowerment are the first steps toward maintaining health and safety.

Her initial reasons for joining were among the most popular that many women decide to try kickboxing- to stay in shape. But as Sarah’s skills continued to progress, her fitness achievements also became her personal self-defense weapons. As part of management in a retail setting, Sarah sometimes works late nights and finds herself in situations where the potential for danger is a risk. Closing up the store, walking through a dark parking lot at night, and even entering her home late in the evening are all potential areas where the risk for violence exists. Although many women worry about these situations, none really believe anything could ever happen to them as self-defense is an afterthought. Although Sarah has been fortunate enough to never encounter any major threats, she is always aware of her surroundings and finds at least a little more peace knowing that she is able to defend herself in the event she is ever a potential victim.

The mindset that “it can never happen to me” is a common, but misguided idea that women should seriously take into consideration. Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts in Vails Gate, NY is dedicated to teaching effective techniques to be used as part of a woman’s personal arsenal of protection against violence. The continued practice of learning self-defense will continue to expand and solidify that arsenal and teach women that awareness, prevention and empowerment are the first steps toward maintaining health and safety. Acquiring those skills are weapons that no assailant can ever take away from you.

Sarah has become more confident and empowered through learning self-defense

Sarah has become more confident and empowered through learning self-defense

TSMMA Vails Gate, NY will be hosting a FREE WomanSafe seminar to the public on March 13th at 7:15 pm to acknowledge current sexual assault statistics and learn practical self-defense techniques in a two part series. The program was designed to teach women how to achieve empowerment through knowledge, awareness and confidence.  Although one seminar is no substitute for ongoing training, it is the sincere intent that the seminar opens the door to a life free of fear and full of self-confidence. Call (845) 784-4064 to reserve your spot.


By Lauren Rose


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

By TSMMA Vails Gate No Comments

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



Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Boys Fighting

Mixed Martial Arts Aids Transition Into Adulthood

By TSMMA Vails Gate No Comments

Many parents often search for martial arts programs with the prospect of teaching young children improved discipline and focus, self defense against bullying, and improved physical fitness. Much of the Tiger Schulmann’s mixed martial arts (TSMMA) curriculum encompasses the basic tools for molding children into self-disciplined, confident and healthy individuals into adulthood.

Kristina Brody and Jason Samuel have been training under the instruction of Sensei Montes for over 7 years and have transitioned through the kids martial arts classes into the adult kickboxing class. The experience they have had in the kids classes has provided them with the basic tools required to maintain discipline, learn self defense techniques and gain confidence. All of these qualities are standard expectations of the TSMMA program, but each of them has gained so much more with continued training.

Jason Samuel demonstrates a round kick during the kids class

Jason Samuel demonstrates a round kick during the kids class

Sensei Montes credits both young adults with advancing their responsibilities on the mat by assisting in the kids classes to enhance the training of young children as they once were. After a long afternoon of two to three kids classes in a row, both Kristina and Jason stay to train in the adult class directly after. Their dedication and leadership skills are admirable traits that Sensei Montes hopes many of his younger students will emulate someday also.

Jason Samuel is a thirteen year old middle school student who has recently transitioned into the  kickboxing class. Although his age, size and responsibilities may be overshadowed by many adult students with careers and families, Jason outranks many of them and is able to effectively train with many peers twice his age. His father, Terry has expressed how impressed he is with Jason’s recent spurt of strength and his overwhelming sense of self-confidence. “We had a flat tire, and with guidance Jason was able to manage the situation and loosened and lifted the tire on his own!”

Jason assists younger students with mitt training

Jason assists younger students with mitt training


Terry and his wife, Marilyn feel that his transition into the adult classes has been a positive change that adds not only the challenge of more physically demanding training, but being able to manage the difference between his role as a child in a structured, intensely guided class into an environment that expects more self-discipline. Enrolled in 2008, Terry and Marilyn wanted to improve Jason’s strength, confidence and teach him independence. Their other two children also currently train under Sensei Montes, as both parents have been extremely happy with the results of the TSMMA program. Described as quiet and naive, Terry and Marilyn felt that martial arts would help Jason become more outgoing and self-reliant. His evolution through the years has been observed by many parents and students who have watched him grow into an assertive, confident and responsible young man.

The importance of a more experienced martial arts student is not only learning more advanced skills, but how to pass on their knowledge and demonstrate patience and understanding to their peers.

Fifteen year old Kristina Brody has been training since 2007 and trains up to 4 times a week. Her father, Ken enrolled Kristina and her three siblings into TSMMA after trying martial arts instruction through Tae Kwon Do. The Tae Kwon Do format did not appeal to Ken, as his intent was to find a more structured environment through formal karate training to help his kids improve their self confidence. “We decided that karate might be better for them, and looked at several local schools.  Except for Tiger Schulmann’s mixed martial arts, they all had the stereotypical “gym” look to them, so we decided to give it a try.” Ken felt that his children benefited from the methods used to teach the kids new techniques. An active parent in Scouts, the familiarity of Sensei Montes’ instruction reminded him of the “EDGE method” – Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, Enable- an approach often used by the Boy Scouts of America. Kristina is also a member of the local Girl Scouts FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC).

Kristina Brody works out on the heavybag during the adult kickboxing class

Kristina Brody works out on the heavybag during the adult kickboxing class

In addition to martial arts techniques, students are also taught the responsibility of guiding one another as they progress to a higher level. “I like how students are often paired off in what others might consider an ‘unfair advantage.'”  Ken feels that the importance of a more experienced student is not only learning more advanced skills, but how to pass on their knowledge and demonstrate patience and understanding to their peers. Kristina continues to receive that same martial arts instruction from Sensei Montes and her adult peers, but continues to give back when assisting in the kids classes as well.

Kristina coaches younger students during the kids grappling class

Kristina coaches younger students during the kids grappling class

Kristina was the first to move up into the adult class and feels that the challenge has helped improve her skills. “I like that the adult classes are more intense and that I am able to keep up with a lot of the adults now. I learn more every time I come here and I like that I can pass on my knowledge to the younger students during kids classes.” Jason is a newer face in the adult classes, but has quickly accommodated to faster pace and high energy each night. “It’s been a great change for me. I feel stronger and faster. I like that have my own time to train after I help out in the kids classes.” Kristina and Jason have both continued to mature and grow not only as martial artists, but as young adults who give back to a younger generation of kids that will someday follow in their footsteps.


By Lauren Rose

Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Children Training

Karate Boosts Confidence and Prevents Bullying

By TSMMA Vails Gate No Comments

In the children’s classes at Tiger Schulmann’s mixed martial arts (TSMMA) in Vails Gate, NY, Sensei Jose Montes has encountered his fair share of kids that test his patience. But his firm, gentle demeanor he has won the trust and respect of parents and students alike as they put their faith in his skill as a martial artist, as an instructor and as a mentor for their kids. He is an uplifting force that supplements the structure of a karate class each week with inspiring dialogue and his availability to his students. The blended curriculum of grappling, kickboxing and karate, which serves as the discipline aspect of training, are an essential part of the TSMMA program. In addition, Sensei Montes developed his own teaching style that is no doubt based on his own structured karate background.

Angela Morales encountered Sensei Montes at a Home Depot one afternoon (Yes, he shops at Home Depot like a regular person, kids). She noticed his TSMMA t-shirt and inquired since she had been looking to get her children involved in a karate program for some time. Meeting Sensei appeared to be a sign pointing her family to where they needed to be. Upon trialing class, Joshu Shane Burgos was yet another kind, accepting instructor that influenced her decision to join.

“I didn’t want my children to hurt anymore or feel inferior.”


Angela’s two oldest children, Isabella (age 8) and Jose (age 7) were both victims of bullying. Isabella was self conscious about her weight, and felt insecure despite her sweet personality, radiant smile and long, thick beautiful hair. Jose was described as the “suffer in silence” type,  and revealed the plight of a bad day hours after coming home from school. “If someone pushed or made fun of him, Jose would never tell an adult. He was so shy. People would say ‘Hi Jose!’ and without a reply, he would shrink down and hide.” Angela opted to try TSMMA, hoping that the unique mix of martial arts and structure of karate would improve the confidence her children were lacking. As a parent, Angela knew that she needed to take steps in teaching them how to stand up for themselves. “I didn’t want my children to hurt anymore or feel inferior.”


Isabella, Jose and Gabriella find the discipline of karate and techniques of kickboxing has boosted their confidence

Gabriella (age 4) also trains at the Vails Gate school. Angela felt that having her three children attend together would strengthen their bond, and reinforce confidence and discipline through the karate aspect of training. Isabella, Jose and Gabriella have been attending for almost 6 months. They are excited to be a part of the TSMMA family and look forward to the upbeat, motivating classes taught each week. Angela cites improvements in their academics and behaviors at home. “My children listen the first time they are told to do something (for the most part). All three can tell you what discipline is and what self discipline is. Their grades are better, they do their homework independently, and Jose even participates in class at school, is making friends and says ‘hi’ to his peers in public now!” Gabriella just started preschool this appears to be keeping up with her older siblings, who have improved their physical well being in addition to their academic progress and mental focus. Angela recognizes the importance of how martial arts and karate build off of one another. “The kids work hard at mastering their skills and are expected to focus so when they are asked to demonstrate a technique.” The interactive components of class have also appealed to the talkative nature of both Isabella and Gabriella. When Gabriella raises her hand to contribute, she may not always know what to say, but her instructors simply smile and assure her that next time she will have the answer. The first time Jose demonstrated his focused karate skills, Angela knew that this was a defining moment for her son and their family. “It was amazing. It may not seem like anything to some people but to me at that moment, I knew this was life changing.”


All three Morales kids sit at attention listening to the directions from their instructor

The quality of instruction at the Vails Gate school benefits many of the children who train with Sensei Montes and Joshu Burgos. Angela considers both men to be positive role models who genuinely care about each individual that walks through their doors. “They take their time to show each student what is right, model the moves, and have them try it independently. They speak with the kids and help them understand that it is not the color of the belt that matters, but who the person is on the inside. They teach children to be good people.” Isabella recalls feeling at ease the moment she met Sensei and Joshu and enjoys their humor. “It’s funny when Sensei moves his ears and eyebrows and makes funny faces sometimes.” Aside from the amusing antics, she acknowledges that she gets better each week and continues to steadily improve her skills. “I like coming because I am always better the second day.”

 Four year old Gabriella also enjoys the humor Sensei and Joshu provide

to make the disciplined, karate aspect of class exciting.


Jose also enjoys class and already has fond memories of what he has achieved. “I love getting stripes and doing round kicks. My favorite memory is getting my first stripe!” He has continued to participate and demonstrate his skills without fear of judgment. Four year old Gabriella also enjoys the humor Sensei and Joshu provide to make the disciplined, karate aspect of class exciting.  She recalls specific techniques and effectively learns how to use them, even at such a young age. “My favorite are when we do jabs and crosses. I really love it. It’s the best thing.” Gabriella also likes that her instructors know how to make the structure of karate fun with activities like “the focus game.” The kids are expected to stand on one foot, eyes focused without deviation as their instructor attempts to distract them. “They do funny things like this (she claps her hands and waves them outward as if to break concentration of an opponent) and they make silly faces.”

All in the family

All in the family


Although Angela’s kids have not been training very long, she has put her trust in TSMMA and believes in the program’s ability to teach confidence, discipline and self-defense. “TSMMA focuses on what children need. They build them up and show them that the world is theirs. Anything is possible, the sky is the limit. Everyone is so kind and welcoming; it really is a family oriented environment. You don’t get laughed at when you are learning, you are praised for all of the little achievements along the way, and that alone makes them feel special. Just after a few weeks of TSMMA, we knew this was going to be a lifelong commitment for our family.”

By Lauren Rose


Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Take Control Quote

The Gift Of Weight Loss This Holiday Season

By TSMMA Vails Gate No Comments

Now that Halloween has come and gone, you may think you are in the clear as far as avoiding all of that candy. Then before you know it, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s are upon us, and weight loss seems almost unfathomable. You tell yourself it’s no use and fail to avoid all that stuffing, eggnog and those awesome tree-shaped sugar cookies that Aunt Mary always makes. You figure, that’s what a “new year” is for, and ultimately you make the decision to live without the structure of healthy choices and put off your weight loss plan until that time comes. The question is, how many resolutions have you made so far? I would imagine that if each weight loss promises you’ve made every year equaled 5 pounds, you’d have disappeared by now! The truth is, people make the New Year promise because they need an excuse. Not enough time to work out because prep for the holidays keeps you busy, there’s too many opportunities to eat all those goodies so might as well start later, and money is tight because hosting a holiday party and purchasing gifts is consuming most of your hard earned cash. Whatever reasons you continue to support, you will always end up with the exact same result each year. But when you make the choice to prioritize your health above everything else, you will yield consistent weight loss through healthy diet and exercise.  


Start your “new year” today and work toward achieving the weight loss you desire!


It’s never too early to begin a weight loss program, and starting before the holidays is a great way to condition yourself to remain disciplined when you need to be, as well as accept those occasional cheat days when they cross your path. At Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts (TSMMA), you will find an instructor trained to motivate and teach you safe, high energy martial arts techniques that are guaranteed to help you shed pounds. Several students have proven that weight loss is attainable through the fast paced, fun kickboxing classes at any of the TSMMA schools. A one hour kickboxing class can burn up to 800 calories! With consistent training and nutritional guidance from a TSMMA instructor, many individuals have achieved their weight loss goals in a matter of weeks. Instructors are committed to helping  you create and attain personal weight loss goals from the moment you walk through the doors of TSMMA, and will continue to provide encouragement and support until the day it’s time to make new goals. In addition to kickboxing classes, many schools often participate in team building 30, 60 and 90 day weight loss challenges as well for added camaraderie and competitiveness.


TSMMA Vails Gate students perform pushups during the strength training part of kickboxing class.


There are always plenty of things to do between now and the holidays. Sometimes we can get so involved with work, family and personal obligations that we forget to take care of ourselves and lose sight of our weight loss objectives. Treat yourself this season to a FREE trial kickboxing class at a TSMMA near you. Make time for “YOU” and rejuvenate your body and mind through an intense cardio workout that will teach you how to maintain discipline through proper nutrition and exercise, and relieve the stress and chaos of the holiday season.  

By Lauren Rose


Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Men Punching Pose

Minding Your Movement: Martial Arts Teaches Kids Control Over ADHD

By TSMMA Vails Gate No Comments

In the classroom at school, a group of students sit at their desks listening to the instructions for the next task of the day. Perhaps two or three are drumming their fingers, and several others may appear to stare into space as the teacher is speaking. But despite their disinterest in the lesson at this moment, they still manage to obtain the information necessary to complete the assignment. In the center of the room, a child is seated with one leg under his body as the other swings at the side of his chair in constant motion. He fiddles with every item on his desk, dropping his pencil on the floor numerous times. He audibly displays his struggle to keep focus with repeated grunts and heavy breaths, and his body movements are noticeably distracting to his peers. The disruptions draw negative attention to his location, as he anxiously waits for the activity level in the room to pick up to drown out the involuntary sounds he’s been making.

ALEX SALADINI, JR. stands much taller than most other fourth graders and often deceives most adults who would see him as much older than 10 years old. In addition to the pressures of meeting behavioral expectations based on his appearance as an older child, Alex struggles with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and exhibits the same fidgety body language that impacts his everyday activities. Diagnosed about 3 years earlier, Alex’s parents noticed his increasingly frequent frustrations with focus during daily activities. It began to translate into other aspects of his life, especially within the framework of school and athletics. He started to display emotional and social anxieties that impacted his academics and had a difficult time making friends.

“As soon as we entered the school we were greeted by the head instructor, and after a short talk I felt a very positive vibe.”

Prior to Alex’s diagnosis his father, Alex Sr. enrolled him in a small martial arts school in Stony Point, NY where the family resides. He still had trouble with focus, attention and discipline, and the brief stint at the small martial arts school did not last. Alex’s father decided to give Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts (TSMMA) a try when a definitive medical finding was established a few years later. Although the TSMMA Vails Gate school was not as easily accessible to the Rockland County family, Alex Sr. had read over the profile of the Vails Gate instructor and was impressed with his credentials. “As soon as we entered the school we were greeted by the head instructor, and after a short talk I felt a very positive vibe.”

Sensei Jose Montes has been a martial arts instructor for over 20 years. His stellar reputation within the TSMMA organization has become an appealing incentive for attracting entire families to train at his school. He has transformed the lives of several students in both the adult and kids martial arts classes, and few would ever know that any of his students may have personal struggles that they continue to work through. Sensei has trained many children facing challenges of ADHD, autism, and developmental delays in the martial arts. But his attention to detail and firm, charismatic influence on each child has taught them the skills to maintain self-discipline on and off the mat.

Mixed martial arts has helped Alex manage his ADHD through improved confidence and discipline.

Mixed martial arts has helped Alex manage his ADHD through improved confidence and discipline.

Joshu Shane Burgos also teaches at TSMMA Vails Gate and offers a different, yet appealing method of teaching martial arts as well. The students look up to the young instructor’s accomplishments as a professional mixed martial arts fighter, and respect his expectations of them during each class. His vibrant, fast paced demeanor keep the kids active and engaged for the duration of training.

Alex Sr. has credited his son’s improved behaviors toward the patient, understanding nature of both Vails Gate instructors and has continued his patronage to the school for the past few years. “Sensei Montes and Joshu Burgos have been an extremely positive and powerful influence over Alex (Jr.), and he has made amazing strides, both physically and emotionally since meeting them.” Alex Jr. attends classes at least twice a week, and participates in both the kickboxing and grappling instruction back to back. He has improved his ability to stand at attention, follow multi step directions and maintain his focus on the lessons each week. His father cites several improvements in confidence, focus, physical ability, patience and overall respect that would be otherwise impacted by his son’s ADHD.  Although the family travels quite a distance to train at Vails Gate, Alex Sr. feels that the quality of instruction his son has received would be difficult to match anywhere else. “With so many other schools in the Rockland area, people often wonder why I make the drive to TSMMA Vails Gate all the way from Stony Point, NY. My response is simple. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Alex Sr. is extremely happy with the progress his son has made through martial arts

Alex Sr. is extremely happy with the progress his son has made through martial arts

Since the start of training with TSMMA Vails Gate,  the option of other well established TSMMA schools near the Rockland area have since become available, such as TSMMA Nanuet and Ramsey. But Alex Sr. feels that the special relationship with the Vails Gate instructors is a valuable asset toward maintaining his son’s success. Alex Sr. recognizes that some children need a certain personality or method of teaching by making a connection, and the Vails Gate instructors have been able to tap into that. “Sensei Montes and Joshu Burgos are the type of individuals that you point to when your kids are looking for positive role models. You need a special gift to do what they do for the kids.”

By Lauren Rose




Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Boy Fighters Six Years Later Collage

Mixed Martial Arts Benefits Individuals With Asperger’s

By TSMMA Vails Gate No Comments

My twins have been students at Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts for six years.  They have done very well under the guidance and care of Sensei Montes and his staff.  When I see two strong young men standing at attention, following instructions, and executing their moves with power and discipline, my pride is only eclipsed by my gratitude.  These boys were labeled as young children and with the label came a long list of low expectations.

 We always knew our sons had some issues.  They had problems with their motor skills and were very sensitive to outside stimuli.  There were speech delays and their communication was usually scripted.  After several years of tests and observation they were given the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. This came with a lot of papers, lists, and reading suggestions that were designed to help us know what to expect as we raised them.  It was a little bit overwhelming!

“I couldn’t believe that the world had such

little faith in my very bright little boys.”

 As I read through the pages I couldn’t believe that the world had such little faith in my very bright little boys.  I will spare you most of the details and focus on what these pages said about “typical physical limitations.” To begin, it was suggested that sports would be almost out of the question.  We were told that the boys would have low muscle tone and very little core muscle strength.  Poor posture and clumsy coordination would also be a hindrance, and if they perceived an activity as difficult they would probably quit and not stick with it.

Additionally, our children would probably have very low stamina and they would not be able to carry out any type of sustained physical activity.  We should expect that they would tire easily and become frustrated.  They would also be easily distracted, lose their focus, and have a tough time following instructions with more than two or three commands. The list went on.  They would not be able to balance properly, they would have poor “motor planning,” (that is a fancy term for completing an exercise that requires a series of movements to complete) they would not do well at activities that required them to cross their arm or leg across the middle of their bodies, or imitating an instructor.


The twins have been training with Sensei Montes at Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts for 6 years.

I will admit that the boys did show a tendency toward all of these things.  They could walk before they could sit up by themselves.  They did tire easily and slouch.  They were short on patience when they didn’t understand a concept.  Despite all of this, they desired more for themselves and I was not about to hold them back because some “experts” wrote a bunch of intimidating lists.  Rather than using the resources we were given as a guide to their limitations, I thought it would be better to consider these things difficulties to consider as we worked to overcome them. 

Because the kids loved to be outdoors, we got a trampoline and a big playground set with swings, slides, and ropes to climb.  I had them swimming as soon as possible, and before long they had built up some core strength and their gross motor skills were improving. 

When they were about eight years old they saw commercials on television for Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts.  They asked me (every day) if they could join.  I could have looked at the lists and dismissed Mixed Martial Arts as a possibility for them.  After all, it would require strength, stamina, focus, and the ability to follow multi-step instructions.  Instead, I told them that they would have to work hard and pay very close attention to their instructors.  This did not deter them – in fact, I think that my faith in their ability gave them an extra boost of confidence.  We called the school and made an appointment to come in for a class at the local school.


Both boys have enjoyed coming to Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts and are fully committed to training.

We knew Mixed Martial Arts was a good choice for us on the very first day.   The boys were given some one on one time to learn a few of the basic moves they would be doing in kickboxing class.  When they got out on the mat, they were so nervous, and they did not start out as Mixed Martial Arts superstars by any means!  They did have trouble with combinations, they did get tired, and they did sometimes lose their focus when Sensei Montes would address the class – but Sensei did what all excellent teachers do.  He encouraged them to find their potential and to achieve it.  He taught them that all good things come from hard work, a true desire for excellence, and a non-quitting spirit.  He and some of the advanced students like Joshu Shane Burgos were wonderful role models.  The boys saw that even the advanced students and teachers trained hard and kept improving, too.   As time went on my sons became stronger, their combinations were smoother, and they were far more focused. 

“The same boys who began training as ripe targets for bullies

now stand straight and tall with confidence from Mixed Martial Arts.”


It has been six years since the boys began their training at Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts.  The shy, uncoordinated little boys who could barely stand up straight now have high red belts and will probably have low brown belts soon.  They are fourteen years old and hold their own in the advanced adult kickboxing classes.  They stay after class to work on sparring, grappling, and strength training with their instructors and peers. 


Mixed Martial Arts has been a healthy outlet that allows the twins to participate in both kickboxing and grappling classes.

The same boys who began training as ripe targets for bullies now stand straight and tall with confidence from Mixed Martial Arts.  Their soft middles have been replaced by six-pack abs, and they can do amazing push ups, squats, and ab workouts.

All children on the autism spectrum have different paths and different outcomes, but I can say with confidence that for my children – Sensei Montes has been an excellent mentor and their experience at Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts has been life changing.

 By Catherine S

Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts | Challenge of Champions Banner

Challenging the Champion Within

By TSMMA Vails Gate No Comments

Twice a year, students at Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts convene for a one day tournament to test their skills in both grappling (close-range defense) and kickboxing. Many students train several days a week for months leading up to the competition and strive to be the best at the Challenge of Champions. The athletes competing in either the grappling or kickboxing events only hope that each match is a testament to all of the hard work and sacrifice they have put into every class at their respective schools.

Challenge of Champions






The days leading up to the Challenge of Champions competition can be nerve-racking. For many, it is their first grappling or kickboxing tournament. For others, they are Challenge of Champions veterans who are defending their titles against the skills of many worthy grappling or kickboxing opponents. In either instance, the reality is that all of the training in grappling and kickboxing classes was not simply just to stay in shape, improve self discipline or learn self defense, but to test the limits and find resolve in the face of fear and uncertainty by taking your training to that next step.

The enormous space at the Challenge of Champions encompasses three large sections of twenty-four rings that will host grappling and kickboxing events simultaneously. Crowds of onlookers wait anxiously to cheer on loved ones and peers. It can be daunting at first sight, especially when you see just how many people will be watching the grappling and kickboxing events and how many Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts instructors reside in the ring to which you are assigned. You want to represent your school and be victorious, which makes it that much more intimidating when you happen to see professional fighters such as Jimmie Rivera, Louis Gaudinot and Munah Holland judging your abilities. When your name is called onto the mat for the grappling or kickboxing event, a sense of sharpened focus and muffled quietness surrounds you. Your heart races and the adrenaline seems to be the one thing that is keeping your knees from collapsing beneath you. Standing tall in the center ring, a vibrant energy motivates your body and mind against an opponent that you believe doesn’t feel an ounce of the fear and doubt that you do.


Kids grappling event at the Challenge of Champions


A hand is raised after each grappling or kickboxing match, and those feelings fade away and become either the jubilation of triumph or the disappointment of defeat. In either instance, each competitor looks back on the experience with a sense of achievement. Although a large amount of competitors participate in the grappling and kickboxing events at the Challenge of Champions, they are few in comparison to the number of students within the Tiger Schulmman’s Mixed Martial Arts organization.

Ultimately, the day one decides to compete at Challenge of Champions is the day you set a goal for yourself. Our goals are ways of advancing our self- discipline and testing our limits to a place where we seek total perfection. We strive to be champions and seek acknowledgement for the attempts we’ve made at rising above and beyond the expectations of simply maintaining attendance in grappling or kickboxing class. But what is perfection? We make the effort to become better people everyday. We work toward a goal and do our best to get as close as possible to achieve flawless results. But is perfection actually possible to attain? Most people would agree that it is not. It simply does not exist. However, sometimes we get awful close.

The Challenge of Champions experience has taught many competitors that both triumph and defeat can teach us how to master a number of qualities that are essential for any mixed martial artist to possess. It is a pathway to developing humility, respect, and purpose. It is a way to enhance one’s ambitions by appreciating the errors made in competition, so we may learn from our mistakes and return again to a grappling or kickboxing event more focused and driven. And although we know perfection may be unattainable, when we acknowledge our flaws and our bravery to step in the ring, it is then that we realize we’ve already achieved something close enough. And that is why win or lose, all of the Challenge of Champion competitors leave there as champions.


TSMMA Vails Gate students competed at Challenge of Champions 36


Sensei Jose Montes and Joshu Shane Burgos are the instructors at the TSMMA Vails Gate school have led several students to competition at the Challenge of Champions each year. Their expertise in both grappling and kickboxing have been essential in developing students skills, and their uplifting confidence in the students abilities have been key motivators in producing several wins and return to the ring each year.

By Lauren Rose


If you possess a competitive spirit and the desire to challenge yourself through training and competition, then please visit the Vails Gate school for a FREE TRIAL CLASS and see what grappling, kickboxing, and our Challenge of Champions tournaments are all about. Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial arts can help you reach your full potential and bring out the champion in you!

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