The key to a successful martial arts gym is being able to decipher between two groups of people, the fighters and the common people. Now the strong majority of people who inquire or sign up at a martial arts gym (nowadays usually boxing or mixed martial arts gym) are not looking to compete in any form, and instead are looking to get in great shape. One would think only a fighter would want to go to a martial arts gym, but the reality is quite opposite. Fighters looking to compete make up such a small percent of the martial arts population, especially in this day and age when cardio kickboxing is a popular new fad. When searching for a martial arts gym there are usually two extremes, the gyms with too little intensity and then there are the gyms with too much intensity.
A gym with too little intensity would be something like a regular weight gym (Retro fitness, Planet Fitness, NYSC) where classes are offered to teach martial arts among other things. These classes may be a decent workout, but martial arts are a lifestyle not limited to a one hour workout. Though these people think they are learning kickboxing in reality they are being put through a mindless workout involving punching and kicking in order to burn calories. On the other hand, some martial arts schools welcome newcomers in order to provide so called “fresh meat” to their more experienced veterans. Neither of these gyms are necessarily wrong, but a truly successful martial arts gym should be meant to teach all experience levels and cater to all goals.
At Tiger Schulmann’s Elmwood Park there is a range of students from beginner all the way to experienced fighters. The special thing about this school however is that the school is geared towards self defense for the average man or woman, and if one wishes to become a fighter or compete at a high level those resources can also be provided. Tiger Schulmann’s appeals to the strong majority, but when there are those couple of people once and a while looking to try fighting in a ring or cage there is no better school with a better group of amateur and professional fighters. In a sense, Tiger Schulmann’s beats all other gyms by playing both sides of the intensity spectrum talked about earlier, and also hitting every goal in between the two extremes of self defense and professional fighting.