At Maplewood’s Blue Life Karate, women can combine martial arts fitness training with boot camp fitness for a complete workout.
That’s the message Blue Life founder Shihan Durand Howard wants to get across to people looking to shape up this summer.
“To me, martial arts is not about fitness,” he said. “It's about self-defense training. I never thought of it as fitness. We train for the fight, the side attribute of that is that you get into pretty decent shape.”
This led him to explore what martial arts and karate have to offer to women in terms of fitness and conditioning, without the self-defense side of things. “I put together this program where these women aren’t doing any kicks or punches and are getting stronger and getting into shape,” he said.
“Not to put down other boot camps, but a lot of those women aren’t losing [fat], they’re losing muscle because of all the cardio,” he said.
Howard’s program mixes martial arts exercises with weight training, resistance training and cardio. He said his students have gone from lifting 15-pound weights to 50-pound weights in a matter of a few months. “There are a few girls in it and they’re really enjoying getting really strong,” he said.
The studio is now accepting registrations for the martial arts conditioning program. The registration is open.
Howard says that many of his students have become successful athletes or entered careers in the military already in fighting shape. He said people trained in martial arts “breeze through” basic training and boot camp, mostly due to their already superb conditioning.
A three-time karate world champion, Howard is a member of the U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame, the World Karate Union Hall of Fame and the Action Arts Magazine Hall of Fame. He’s been teaching for 19 years and has developed a unique style and curriculum that, he said, is fun, engaging, motivational and effective.
Howard has promoted 128 black belts, including multi-time karate world champion Hakim Walker.
For more information check out: Blue Life Karate & Fitness.