- New York Aikikai
142 W. 18th St., second fl., 212-242-6246
Michael Abrams, a teacher and seventh-degree aikido black belt, has iron biceps and could easily pass for 50 (he’s 66). He credits his physical and mental agility to his three-decade-plus study of aikido. Unlike karate, which focuses on striking and punching, “we’re mostly throwing people,” says Abrams, and working on mental control. Beginners work one-on-one with an instructor until they’re comfortable being hurled through the air by a partner. Each class begins with a warm-up and breathing exercises (you’re able to defend yourself better when you’ve learned to stave off panic). This is a discipline, not an exercise fad—but for those who need to hear it in gym-speak, you get a great core workout.
Best Fountain-of-Youth Regimen
From the 2006 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).