Tiger Schulmann’s

From the Passive Participant to the First Place Most Fit Female in the 90-Day Challenge

Last Updated on May 30, 2022.

Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts Manhasset student Sandra Tylipakis shares her story of how martial arts helped her grow in every aspect of her life and become a better mother


Never did I foresee myself taking up a sport like martial arts.

You could say that I was more like your everyday- Zumba-kinda-gal. But after sitting on the sidelines for over nine years watching my kids train and compete, I ultimately decided to join.

That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. As a result, I have grown mentally, physically, and believe it or not, I have grown to be a better mother. 



Anything is possible at any age or any phase in your life

In my 20s, I got my career and got married; in my 30s, I became a mother and had two kids, and in my late 40s, I joined Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts Manhasset family.

It was my sister who first introduced us to martial arts. My kids loved the idea of learning martial arts, and by default, I became their official driver for their extracurricular activities. I would spend my time waiting for them to finish, sitting, and watching them train with Sensei Heurtelou and Sempai Heurtelou.

It was not long after I realized that Tiger Schulmann’s integrated the same morals and values we practiced at home: family, respect, self-discipline, responsibility, kindness, confidence, and hard work.

This was when I knew I’d found the best place for them not just to learn martial arts but to grow into better people through that experience.

And in the blink of an eye, 9 years have passed. 

My daughter was off to college when I ultimately decided to join with the excuse of filling in for her.

The good thing was finding time to train was a no-brainer because instead of watching my son train, I now trained with him.

I felt myself getting stronger and feeling passionate about the sport I had always observed but never participated in myself. I loved it!

How could I preach self-discipline and not show self-discipline myself.

I am your typical 49-year-old working woman who juggles being a wife and mother. 

During the day, I am a speech and language therapist working in an elementary school in East New York. The rest of the day, I am dutifully invested in my kids’ lives, making sure their academic work is complete and driving them around to their extracurricular activities. 

Just trying to do my best. 

So imagine how I felt when my son urged me to do the 90 Day Challenge soon after I started training martial arts. 

I immediately declined! 

I can’t do it; I have too much work to do, the 90-Day Challenge asks for discipline and commitment, and I’m 48 and a newbie… I won’t stand a chance.

I can’t train hard for 90 days, I can’t change my whole diet and lifestyle…

However, the whole idea of the 90-Day Challenge made me think of the countless times I raised my kids upon the principle of self-discipline. 

How could I preach self-discipline and not show self-discipline myself?

At that moment, I made a decision

I looked at my son and said, “Ok, I’ll do it.”

I’ll do it to show them that everything is possible at any age or any stage of their life. 

I’ll do it for them.

And I did it. I finished my first 90-Day Challenge. 

Now, I’m doing it for me 

I like the whole idea of the 90-Day Challenge: get stronger, create a healthier lifestyle, bust through self-limiting beliefs and just feel better about yourself. 

This is precisely what I got through my first 90-Day Challenge. 

I have grown in many different aspects of my life: mentally, physically, and being a better mom. I enjoy spending some quality time training with my kids and creating memories. 

Now, 90 days later, I do this 90-Day Challenge for me because I absolutely love being 49 and feeling this good.