MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – Residents who train at Westchester Mixed Martial Arts Fitness in Mount Kisco got a free crash course in Koga, a fusion of kickboxing and yoga, at the facility’s grand re-opening Monday.
Before a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mount Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich and state Assemblyman David Buchwald, a few regulars tried the patented fitness model bright and early.
“You feel all your muscles working,” Nicole Lamberti, of Armonk, said.
The workout involves holding positions, as you would in yoga, while performing crunches, kicks and other movements. But, no one workout is the same and it can be tailored to someone just starting out or a fifth-degree black belt, according to its creator, John Koga.
“We’re putting two far extremes together in one workout, making it fun, upbeat and results driven,” said Koga, who also trains professional athletes. “This launch here today is very special to me because we finally found a home for Koga fitness in Westchester.”
Westchester MMA Fitness was started by Brandon Durham, of Yorktown Heights, as a Kung Fu facility in 1996. Chad Weiss, of Mount Kisco, joined him in 1998 and they are now co-owners. They expanded to their current location on 333 North Bedford Road in 2011. However, they never had a proper grand opening, Durham said.
“We thought the best thing to do to re-launch would be to bring John Koga back up and kick it off,” he said, in between cracking jokes with his clients, who seemed more like old friends.
Monday, Koga led three free classes that either incorporated his workout into the regular routine, or offered 100-percent Koga fitness.
MMA Fitness’ trainers are the only in Westchester licensed to teach Koga fitness. They can train others to become licensed, Weiss said. He added that Koga fitness is already making its way into schools on Long Island because gym teachers are getting trained.
“We’re so excited about bring this to Westchester. Nobody else has this program except for us,” Durham said.
Koga is practiced in 11 countries and is touted as one of television personality Dr. Oz’s favorite workouts.
“Westchester has a great fitness-minded community up here as well as, as far as I’m concerned, the best facility up in Westchester, MMA Fitness,” Koga said.