Grand Master Dominick Giacobbe has been teaching Tang Soo Do, an old style of Korean karate, in Gloucester Township since 1974.
Teddy Munz, a personal trainer and owner of Keep It Simple Fitness Solutions, has been working with local residents to loose weight, gain muscle and stay healthy for the past four years.
Last summer, Munz began offering personal training sessions and one fitness class at Giacobbe’s facility, ProFitness on Blackwood Clementon Road. The class grew and, Munz says, it ended up being the perfect marriage for both fitness professionals.
Every night, the gym is filled with a couple hundred people. ProFitness offers nearly 30 fitness classes a week including kickboxing, circuit training, yoga, Zumba and Munz’s speciality—kettlebell workouts.
Kettlebells are designed to offer both a cardio workout and weight training.
The classes, according to Munz, are intense, but the community atmosphere of the gym keeps everyone coming back.
“Our trainers all have the same philosophy: You have to work hard to get results,” Munz said. “While our classes are challenging, all instructors are encouraging.”
Jackie Redrow began working with Munz about nine months ago and in that time has lost 75 pounds.
“I never get bored with the classes here and I always walk out drenched in sweat, so I feel like I was doing something,” said Redrow, who tries to take a classes five days a week.
For the circuit class, experienced students are typically matched up with new students to encourage newbies and to provide an example. And more often than not, Giacobbe hops in a fitness class to motivate students.
“I love helping people and watching them accomplish their goals. Whether it is to get a black belt or to get in shape,” said Giacobbe, who has trained more than 8,000 black belts.
Giacobbe, a ninth-degree black belt, is no stranger to combining karate training with fitness training. In the 1980s, Giacobbe was the conditioning coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. He also worked to training professional boxers like Sugar Ray Leonard and Evander Holyfield.
After working with athletes, Giacobbe began to add more fitness equipment to his karate studio and designed circuit training that complimented martial arts training and increased agility, strength, and flexibility for athletes.
Giacobbe says karate helps increase strength and flexibility. But it also helps increase confidence, concentration and discipline.
ProFitness caters to the whole family, offering children’s and adult karate classes. Children can begin karate at age 4; adult classes are for ages 12 and up.
Classes are timed so children can take karate, while their parents check out boot camp or a circuit class. Candice Sadowski signed up her son for karate three years ago and ended up taking karate herself. Sadowski is now a black belt.
“Karate has changed my life. I am now a stronger person inside and out,” said Sadowski.
ProFitness is open seven days a week. Class schedule varies. New members can sign up for unlimited fitness classes for two months for $59. Drop-in classes are $5. Karate classes for children are held Monday through Friday at 6 p.m. Adult classes are held at 7 p.m.
For a full schedule, visit the ProFitness and Tang Soo Do Academy website.