Last Updated on February 13, 2014.
Laurel Hollow Mom Follows Son Into Kickboxing
Marilena DiScala doesn’t fight in a cage. That’s not what her martial arts training is all about. However, that fact doesn’t mean she is any less passionate about it than someone who does.
DiScala is at Tiger Schulmann’s MMA in Syosset nearly every day now. If you had told her in January 2006 that she’d not only be the manager of the school, but a respected Black Belt and instructor she would have laughed at you.
It started out simply as a way to find her three year old son an activity to help his confidence. She noticed early he had a tendency to back down from confrontation and she didn’t want to let that become a bigger issue.
After researching different martial arts she found TSMMA Syosset and there Cubs program for three year-olds. DiScala spent the next year watching young Christopher make tremendous strides while constantly being urged by Sensei Nick Gravina to try out his adult Kickboxing program.
Syosset Kickboxing Proves Life Changer For Mother of Two
DiScala finally succumbed to the constant push and took her first class at TSMMA Syosset in January of 2007.
“Well. . . much to my surprise, I took my first class and got hooked! It was great,” says DiScala It was so different than anything I had ever done, and I’ve done many different exercises in my day!”
DiScala was wary of trying a kickboxing class. She was in a car accident in High School and suffered severe back, neck and wrist injuries. She had been warned that any strenuous activity might be an issue, but Tiger Schulmann’s Kickboxing proved to have the exact opposite effect.
“Not only was I able to train with all my ailments, but by training and focusing on my core, it actually strengthened the muscles around my neck and back which alleviated a lot of the pain I was in on a daily basis.”
Kickboxing Influences All Aspects of Laurel Hollow Family
DiScala noticed a few things happen during her first year of training. First was the definition she saw in places she never knew she had muscles. She dropped all her other exercise routines, enjoying not having to worry about what she was going to do next, class took care of that for her.
She did keep playing tennis for fun, but soon she noticed significant improvement there as well.
“My stamina had increased, my serve got stronger, so did my ground strokes. I was able to chase down balls I would’ve never gone for before. The tennis Pro nicknamed me Grasshopper because I was all over the court and nothing got by me.”
DiScala has reached level 4.0 of the USTA rating system. That’s the level of many instructors and you might find a level 5.0 playing professionally at lower level tournaments.
The last thing DiScala noticed was at home in Laurel Hollow. The family was training in MMA together and she relished the closeness of the experience she was sharing with her two sons. Nicholas soon joined Christopher on the mat in Cubs class while DiScala added Grappling to her Kickboxing regimen. All three would celebrate their progress whether it be a new stripe or belt. Mom took to leaving her belt on the kitchen table whenever she got a new stripe or promotion so the two young boys would see it first thing in the morning.
“To see that they were as excited as I was to achieve it made me so proud and happy. It motivated me to want to train hard and make them proud, as they did for me.”
Laurel Hollow Mom Turns Grappling Competitor
DiScala made a big decision when she achieved her yellow belt, joining the Challenge of Champions. Given her history of neck and back issues it was a tough choice, but one she doesn’t regret. She would win her first match despite getting caught in a head lock that hurt her neck and despite the pain of the old injury she continued in the tournament. She would win her next three matches and take home first place.
She says that was the turning point in her training.
“I approached Sensei Gravina and told him I had three goals I wanted his help in achieving. My first goal was to get my Black Belt. Second was to become a Joshu (certified Tiger Schulmann’s instructor) and third was to run his Cubs program.”
DiScala says Sensei Gravina took the wheel and never looked back. She was able to pass her instructor certification tests before even testing for her Black Belt and will never forget May 17th of 2009. She says the feeling of being surrounded by her husband and kids along with her mom and dad can never be replaced. Her father showed his pride in knowing his daughter could take of herself and her kids in seeing her earn the right to be their instructor as well as their mom!
Laurel Hollow Woman Sets New Goals
Now DiScala’s goals center around assisting others. She helps Sensei Gravina pass on his knowledge to two hundred other students in TSMMA Syosset’s Kickboxing, Grappling and Cubs programs. She relishes the challenge of helping a parent whose child needs discipline or an adult looking to lose weight and takes pride as each achieves their own goals, the same way Sensei Gravina has helped DiScala achieve hers.
“None of this could have been done without the discipline and determination Sensei Gravina instilled in me. My gratitude is beyond words for what he has done for me and my family. I look forward to continuing this journey at TSMMA Syosset with him and continue to learn and do for others what he has done for me!”
See for yourself how TSMMA can help you achieve goals you never even thought of while accomplishing the ones you have! Call today or register online and receive a FREE introductory class. You just may get hooked the same way she did!