By Lindsay Andarakis
Buyer beware, these classes aren’t for the faint of heart; Sensei Mark Tuthill seeks out those who look forward to a challenging work out, guaranteeing that those who haven’t taken his classes will leave sore. He has trained in martial arts for the last 38 years, and has been teaching professionally for 30. Tuthill is a two-time inductee to the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame and is a Black Belt in Karate as well as Jujitsu — and in class, there is no mercy.
Tuthill’s are oriented around martial arts, and geared towards application training, rather than just exercise. They start by warming up the muscles, and combine shadowboxing, medicine ball work, strength training, cardio, heavy bags, ground and pound bags and a lot of jumping rope to create a one of a kind exciting workout. They use a tool called the “burn machine” that simulates punching and is deceptively difficult to master.
He strives to make each class a little different, because he feels that there’s nothing worse than watching the clock during a workout class, and doesn’t want those who attend to get stuck in a routine and know what to expect from him.
“Kickboxing for a lot of people, especially women, is an empowerment. You feel like you know how to fight. Even though you’re not fighting anybody, you’re punching and kicking something and you get a result. You punch something hard and you feel like, ‘wow this could do something.’ If you’re training with me, you’re learning how to do it correctly,” Mr. Tuthill said.
He stresses the importance of taking your time, working on technique first, then increasing speed, and finally power, not making the mistake of trying to be overly powerful first. Being someone with almost 40 years of experience, he openly admits that there’s more he doesn’t know than does, and is always eager to learn more.
“In martial arts, no matter how hard or long you train, there’s always something more you can work on…you don’t get to that point where you plateau. If you don’t keep doing it tomorrow and the next day, you’re going backwards already,” Mr. Tuthill remarked.
His last two to three years at this location have been the best yet, with a strong and dedicated local following, some students remaining with him for 15 to 20 years, for what is a never-ending journey towards empowerment, strength and a lot of sweat.