Are you looking for a new way to bring strength, empowerment, and a whole new level of calm into your life this year? Thrive Yoga and Fitness is offering a new Women’s Kickboxing program that will do just that.
This class is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. It combines practical self-defense, an intense workout, and a relaxing yoga experience all in one. It’s not a traditional karate class, a fitness kickboxing class, an MMA gym, nor even a modern Jiu-jitsu / judo class. It’s not even a typical “women’s self-defense” class, which can often be filled with dubious and untested techniques “for the street.” And it is certainly not just a yoga class.
During these classes, you’ll experience unique benefits that can only come from this one-of-a-kind blend of practices, including:
- The tempo and fun of a fitness kickboxing class
- The practical, evidence-based approach of mixed martial arts
- The softness, breath, and tranquility of a yoga class
- The modern punching strikes and bag-smashing of a boxing gym
- The devastating kicks, knees, and elbows of traditional martial arts with a modernized curation
- The clinch-work drills of Muay-Thai and dirty boxing
- The takedowns of Judo and Wrestling
- The grappling of Brazilian Jiu-Jistu
The workout aspect of this class is pretty intense, too. There is no upper limit to how much work you can put into striking at mits or bags. Wherever you’re at, you can always strive to strike harder, faster, and more accurately and work towards a longer and stronger pace than you have before. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about wearing silly ninja pajamas while you work out. Yoga pants are just fine — even encouraged!
Meet the Instructors
Erin Colleen Geraghty and Matt “Judo” Murphy are both uniquely qualified to lead this type of class. Before becoming the owner and operator of Bradenton’s biggest yoga studio, Erin was a mat-rat at a tough karate dojo in a rough part of town in her home state of PA. She trained five days a week for 2-3 hours a night for about eight years before getting her black belt in Shotokan Karate.
Since then, she’s also spent time in a few American Kickboxing gyms and more recently in BJJ dojos; and she’s even been a personal trainer and a mat-rat of a very different variety at Bradenton’s own Fit Crew and similar fitness gyms. She’s also had a long-standing her Roller Derby career – which her partner Matt often jokes is basically a combat sport on wheels.
According to Erin, the thing that really opened up a new understanding of her martial arts upbringing was the yoga journey she took later in life. This is where she learned how to incorporate flows, smooth movement, and the thoughtful aspects of a fight strategy alongside the hardness of the more linear attack-style she learned in her youth. Most of all, she learned that a relaxed fighter is a dangerous fighter and a mindful fighter is even more so.
Erin’s partner Matt Murphy trained in wrestling, Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo from his teenage years through his thirties. He also took his own detours into the study of Western and Eastern philosophy as well as visual art, writing, and the musical life of indie-band adventurism. These skills and lessons taught him to think both creatively and critically about everything he’d learned about fighting up until that point and thereafter. Like Erin’s journey into yoga, Matt’s detours into art making and philosophy taught him to think of martial arts in less purely athletic terms and see it as a creative and analytical medium.
Bringing Martial Arts to Those Who Need it Most
When designing their program, Erin and Matt both recognized that the people who often have the most to gain from a program like this are also the least likely to visit a traditional martial arts dojo. They wanted to create a non-intimidating atmosphere that would attract “regular” people, as well as women who has possibly had bad experiences, for example, with aggressive men.
When asked about their approach, Matt said: “The yoga studio makes for a much less intimidating experience from the moment you step in the door. No egos, no attitude; our group bonds together pretty quickly and supports one another to learn how to kick grown men across the room, like Erin does.”
Kickboxing classes are currently held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm, and Saturdays at 8 am. Early morning kickboxing bootcamps will also be held at 6:00 am for the early risers on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The classes are held in the Sun Studio at Thrive Yoga & Fitness, located at 8819 Cortez Rd. W. Bradenton, FL 34210, not far from Anna Maria Island. If you’re interested in trying it out, you can drop in for $14 a class or sign up for their awesome unlimited deal for $90 a month. The first 10 people to sign up for unlimited get a free yoga class for themselves and a friend.
They also offer children’s classes one hour before the Monday and Wednesday evening adult classes. This is a great opportunity for parents to drop the kiddos off while they do yoga at the Moon Studio next-door.