For years, drivers and pedestrians, headed north or southbound on Woodhaven Boulevard, could catch a glimpse of martial arts students kicking pads and hitting bags through the large front windows of the Tiger Schulmann’s school at 7325 Woodhaven Blvd.
Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts schools teach boxing, Muay Thai, wrestling, and Jiu-jitsu to students of all ages in multiple locations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Sudents have been known to move forward in martial arts training, compete in competitions and create professional fighters in the UFC.
Now, not even the iconic Tiger Schulman’s logo — the face of a fierce tiger with piercing yellow eyes — sits above the school’s doors.
With the school’s lease on the property coming to an end, and a tough decision needing to be made, there was only one option that made the most sense for Christopher Iavarone, Tiger Schulmann’s head instructor and Sensei for over 15 years at the Glendale site: find a bigger and modern space for the school.
“The decision to stay always was an option, but there was nowhere to grow,” said Iavarone. “That place didn’t have a basement, it couldn’t go left or right, so whatever we had was what it was.”
When the opportunity to join The Shops at Atlas Park, located at 8000 Cooper Ave. in Glendale, presented itself, that’s when Iavarone knew it was time to embrace a bigger and better location for the school. He also shared how the new spot was actually the first potential location of choice for the school, dating back to its origins in 2009.
The decision to move to The Shops at Atlas Park wasn’t easy, considering the amount of years parents and students taught at their old location, but it something Iavarone said was years in the making.
“So I started looking around the neighborhood and Atlas Park came up,” Iavarone said. “It created an opportunity for this space, which was a unique space.”
The new location is located directly adjacent to the Home Goods inside the shopping plaza and is only steps away from the rear parking lot of the mall. Nearby is also a Goldfish Swimming School, a Five Below, Foot Locker and the Regal Cinemas movie theater.
One feature of the school that carried over from the original location is the open front-facing windows allowing passersby to peer into the school. Iavarone said the move didn’t come without its doubt, considering the benefits of the original site, but looking at the bigger goal helped to solidify his decision.
“You know, I kind of was a little nervous because it was not front center like Woodhaven Boulevard, six lanes of traffic, and I kind of, you know, lost sleep over thinking, is it the right decision,” Iavarone said. “But ultimately the right decision was for the students. That was always the main focus. I need a place where they can have more room to train.”
Nearly doubling in size from a roughly 1,000-square-foot training space to a 2,000-square-foot space for the floor mats alone, the school is optimized to take on the task of training even more students and keeping parents happy while they wait.
A whole new modern interior with the iconic Tiger Schulmann’s punching bags, gear and logo plastered on padded walls embellishes the martial arts school. The modern-industrial look is steps ahead of what was seen at the old location, Iavarone explained.
The career instructor with Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts School started learning and training when he was 10 years old at a Long Island location. Ever since his first encounter with martial arts, he’s incorporated its values into his lifestyle and shares what he’s learned with his students daily.
At 45 years old, Iavarone continues to teach students alongside four essential instructors, and even trains some instructors.
With the soft opening of the school on Monday, Nov. 6, Iavarone hopes to do a grand opening ceremony sometime next month or at the beginning of next year.