I signed up for Kempo fresh out of graduate school because I was both unfulfilled in my 9-5 and I missed the physical challenges and benefits of playing basketball and football. I had no intention of making friends or ever teaching a lesson.

The truth is that you just don’t know where your journey is going to take you.

As a yellow belt I was asked by my instructor, “Do you think you’ll become a black belt?” I hadn’t even thought much past the goal of making it through my next practice. I think that’s how it should be.

I can speak with a unique authority on the topic of adults taking up the martial arts because I started as an adult in my mid-twenties and it changed my life!

The exciting thing is that it is right at your fingertips. All we have to do is overcome the simple boundaries that our minds convince us are insurmountable—fear, hesitation, finances, time, complacency…how will I look in that uniform??? Get over it and take the first step! I was there. I did it!

Some part of you wants to fill a void or improve your quality of life, and has a suspicion that the arts could provide the benefits you’re looking for. That part of you is struggling against some time-honored and highly successful mental impediments that you are so well acquainted with, it was probably a waist of space to point them out here.

So what do we do at Urban Kempo anyways? We teach actual street self defense, meaning that Kempo shouldn’t be confused with a sport like MMA.

Joint locks, chokes, knife and club defenses, punches, kicks, elbows, knees, sweeps, leg hocks, trips you name it. We’ll introduce you to your body in ways you never thought possible. Your sternum, for example, is there to protect your lungs and heart for the most part. In the arts, however, it’s also a useful surface on which to break arms over.

While it sounds crazy, it’s actually a lot of fun. And while practicing amongst a group of light hearted peers, you’ll often forget that you’re developing these skills because you’re simply having, fun.

After an intense workout where we sweat and learn together, we all go home to our lives as lawyers, teachers, contractors, bartenders, wives and husbands, CEO’s, students, moms and dads. It is literally for everyone.

Implicit in “self-defense” is total body fitness. The HIIT type of fitness, because of its conduciveness with the explosive movements that best serve you on the street.

In our groups you will burn just as many or more calories, paying attention to all muscle groups, as you will in any other workout in the boutique fitness circuit. We invite you to sport your fitbit and keep tabs on that for yourself.

Fitness is a journey that requires exploration and commitment. The reality is that if you are afraid to explore, take a small risk and commit to something new, you’ll remain where you are, forever. Please don’t be that person! You’re better than that.

Burpees, pushups, ab-work, jumping jacks and basically every calisthenic you can think of, we’ll combine with bagwork, martial arts forms and sparring to deliver a top-notch total body workout. We offer a cardio intensive activity that emphasizes body weight exercises in efforts to elongate and tone muscle, as opposed to developing bulk.

If you’re strictly interested in a fun way to sweat and develop muscle tone, our drop-in rate is $30/class, but you can try the first one for $15. Drop-ins are welcome to wear workout clothes as usual.

For those of you interested in progressing through our black belt curriculum, you would enroll as an official student, in which case you would wear a uniform and a belt. Unlimited group classes, and one semi-private lesson per week would be included in your monthly tuition.

You’ll begin by learning the basic stances, blocks and strikes, soon assembling them into introductory techniques that could be of benefit to all levels on the street. As you become more comfortable and fluid with the principles and movements, both your curriculum and body will progress into more intermediate and eventually advanced levels.

Please come sweat with us, hit some bags, develop a thorough feel for self-defense basics, and maybe even discover a new passion!