Tag Archives: Strike Back Martial Arts

Another Webster business lands on its feet

2 Nov

In the middle of this awful pandemic and the negative effect it’s had on businesses, there have been a few success stories.

Notably, LaLa of Webster has doubled in size; The Filling Station created a beautiful new patio dining space; Amy Stringer at The North Bee is expanding her inventory and devoting more time to the shop; and the Village Quilt Shoppe even survived a mini-flood before triumphantly celebrating its first anniversary.

Today I add another business to that list, Strike Back Martial Arts.

Back in July, Dave Nicchitta and Mike Palmer, owners of Strike Back Martial Arts jujitsu dojo on East Main St., officially closed their studio. The financial difficulties presented by the pandemic were too much to overcome.

I was especially saddened by the news because I’d been a longtime volunteer in a few of their classes. But I was also sad because the classes Strike Back offered — for children and young adults with autism and Down syndrome — were unique, and a valuable resource for these communities.  

But I’m pleased to report that Strike Back Martial Arts has started offering those classes again — just not in Webster.

Strike Back Martial Arts has partnered with the Irondequoit Recreation Department to start offering classes this Saturday at the Recreation Center on Pinegrove Ave.

All of the adaptive classes will be returning: Jujitsu Buddies for children with autism, No Gi Jujitsu for teens and tweens on the autism spectrum, and Strike Back Fitness for kids and teens with Down Syndrome. The Junior Jujitsu class will also be held again, for students looking for a more traditional jujitsu program. All classes will be open to the general public.

There are a lot of benefits to partnering with the Irondequoit Recreation Department, which is providing equipment and adminstration support. But more importantly, the Rec will be advertising the classes to a larger audience, which means that more children and their families will be able to take advantage of these outstanding programs.

Junior Jujitsu and Jujitsu Buddies are Saturday mornings beginning Nov. 7. No Gi Jujitsu and Strike Back Fitness take place Tuesday evenings beginning Nov. 10. For more information visit the Strike Back Martial Arts webite, call (585) 627-3869 or email strikebackmartialarts@gmail.com.

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Officers + autism community = awareness

11 Feb

peak

Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy Mike Ottley and his K9 companion Peak.

An adorable and oh, so droopy and cuddly bloodhound puppy recently paid a visit to the Jujitsu Buddies class at Strike Back Martial Arts in the Village of Webster.

Accompanied by his handler, Deputy Mike Ottley of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the four-month old bundle of floppy skin and monstrous paws happily played with a crocheted dragon and endured much petting while Ottley chatted with the students about his role as a deputy.

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Sheriff’s Office SCUBA Commander Lt. Chris Fay helps Colton Sprague into a SCUBA suit at a recent No Gi Jujitsu class. 

It was a fun event for the students in class that day, but it had a serious purpose. It was one of a series of visits by law enforcement officers organized by Strike Back Martial Arts owners Dave Nicchitta and Mike Palmer.

Over the past several weeks, Nicchitta and Palmer have invited local law enforcement officers to visit the studio’s jujitsu classes for special needs children and adults. Officers visited three of the studio’s classes: Strike Back Fitness for kids and teens with Down syndrome, No Gi Jujitsu for teenagers with autism, and most recently, Jujitsu Buddies for younger children with autism.

The goal of the visits has been to give both students — especially those with autism — and officers a chance to ask questions get to know each other a little better.

“Autism is one of the fastest growing disabilities in America,” said Nicchitta, who is himself a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy. “The way it presents itself can be misinterpreted as inappropriate or criminal behavior.”

“Data tells us that one in five teens with autism will be stopped and questioned by police before age 21, and people with disabilities, including autism, are five times more likely to be jailed than those without disabilities.”

Those with autism in particular often have a hard time looking people in the eyes or following multi-step directions. They can also become extremely agitated in the presence of flashing lights, sirens and loud radios, and may not like being touched. In a high-pressure situation, an officer might misinterpret such behaviors as combative or non-compliant.

Nicchitta hopes that through programs like these, and through additional opportunities he’s offering to the Rochester-area law enforcement community, he can help raise awareness.

“When an officer encounters someone who is acting unusually, we hope we can get the officer to just take a moment and think, is there something else going on here?”

The class visits are as beneficial for the students as they are for the officers.

“I wanted to create a non-stressful environment where our students can interact with law enforcement in a positive way,” Nicchitta said. “That way the students can keep that experience in the back of their heads if a situation occurs where they have to interact with officers.”

Strike Back Martial Arts is located at 55 East Main St. in the Village of Webster. The studio offers offers adaptive jujitsu classes designed for children and adults with autism, Down syndrome and other physical and emotional disabilities, as well as non-adaptive jujitsu classes.

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Students in Strike Back Martial Arts’ Jujitsu Buddies class listen — and watch Peak — as Deputy Ottley talks about his job.  

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Strike Back Martial Arts wins again

2 May

award

Congratulations to Strike Back Martial Arts, a jujitsu and self-defense studio in the Village of Webster, which was recently awarded the 2019 Best of Webster Award in the martial arts category. What’s especially cool about this is that this is the second year in a row the dojo has received the award.

The “Best of Webster” program recognizes companies which have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category, and looks to highlight companies that enhance the positive image of small business in local communities.

I’ve had the honor of working with the staff at Strike Back on a volunteer basis for four years, so I know firsthand why this dojo is so special. In addition to offering adult and youth jujitsu and self-defense classes, Strike Back also offers martial arts classes for children and young adults with autism and with Down syndrome.

The Jujitsu Buddies program for children on the autism spectrum is the one I lend a hand with, and I see every week what these classes do for these children.  I’ve seen anxieties melt away and self-confidence bloom. I’ve seen unbridled delight on the face of a child who accomplished a skill for the first time. I’ve seen children start to believe in themselves and learn that if they just try, they will succeed.

That is why Strike Back Martial Arts received — and deserves — this award, now two years in a row.

Strike Back Martial Arts is located at 55 East Main Street in Webster.  For more information, log onto www.strikebackmartialarts.com, find them on Facebook, or call (585) 236-1083.

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A typical Jujitsu Buddies class at Strike Back Martial Arts. Instructors are (L-R) Dave Nicchitta,  me, Pam Wright and Mike Palmer. 

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Strike Back Martial Arts an award winner

11 Nov

award

Strike Back Martial Arts, a jujitsu and self-defense studio in the Village of Webster, was recently awarded the 2018 Best of Webster Award in the martial arts category.

According to the Webster Award Program’s press release, the program identifies companies which they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. It focuses on “quality, not quantity,” and looks to highlight “local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community.”

I’ve never heard about this award before, but I’m not surprised in the least that Strike Back has won it, especially given their commitment to children with special needs.

Strike Back offers adult and youth jujitsu and functional self-defense classes. But what makes them special is that they also offer martial arts classes for children and young adults with autism and with Down syndrome.

I’ve had the honor of working at Strike Back, helping teach the Jujitsu Buddies class (for students on the autism spectrum), for more than three years. It’s a non-intimidating introduction to martial arts, focusing on the particular needs of this population, including coordination, social skills, strength, focus and teamwork, taught by caring and very patient instructors.

In my time there I’ve seen first-hand the great things these classes do for children. I’ve seen anxieties melt away and self-confidence bloom. I’ve seen unbridled delight on the face of a child who accomplished a skill for the first time. I’ve seen children start to believe in themselves and learn that if they just try, they will succeed.

That is why Strike Back Martial Arts received — and deserves — this award.

Strike Back Martial Arts is located at 55 East Main Street in Webster.  For more information, log onto www.strikebackmartialarts.com, find them on Facebook, or call (585) 236-1083.

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A typical Jujitsu Buddies class at Strike Back Martial Arts. Instructors are (L-R) Dave Nicchitta,  me, Pam Wright and Mike Palmer. 

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Strike Back Martial Arts joins national registry

24 Feb

STRIKE+BACK+Logo+Extra+SmallCongratulations to my friends and colleagues at Strike Back Martial Arts, which has recently been accepted as a member of the Adaptive Martial Arts Association (AMAA).

The AMAA is a national organization which describes itself as

a resource for students and instructors to gather and share ideas, curriculum and other adaptive training information while promoting disabled inclusion and helping to break down martial arts training stereotypes associated with the disabled.

Strike Back, owned by Mike Palmer and Dave Nicchitta, is a perfect fit for the organization. In 2015 the jujitsu dojo introduced their Jujitsu Buddies class, designed for children with autism, and just last year began a brand new Strike Back Fitness program specifically designed for children and teens with Down syndrome. Both programs have been very well received and have grown since their introduction.

After they had established those programs, Nicchitta said,

We had been looking to align ourselves with organizations that coupled martial arts and special needs (adaptive) programs. This seemed to be exactly what we were looking for so I reached out to them regarding membership. …We received approval a few weeks later and as a result are listed on their national registry along with other schools across the country.

“We are the only Upstate NY martial arts school on their national registry,” he added.

Strike Back Martial Arts is located at 55 East Main Street in the village. For more information about these and other programs they dojo offers, visit their website or Facebook page.

You can also ask me — I am pleased and proud to say I am part of the Strike Back family, and help teach these exceptional young people.

 

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I love my Saturday morning Jujitsu Buddies

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New Webster-based fitness program designed for children with Down syndrome

7 Apr

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For about two years now, I’ve had the pleasure to work with the terrific folks at Strike Back Martial Arts in the village of Webster, where I help out most weekends with their Jujitsu Buddies classes. Strike Back owners Dave Nicchitta and Mike Palmer created the program three years ago specifically for children on the autism spectrum.

I’ve seen first-hand how these young people can benefit from a structured self-defense program which focuses on improving muscle tone, coordination, self-control and self-confidence, taught in an environment of unconditional support and positive social interaction.

Thanks to the success they’ve seen with Jujitsu Buddies, Dave and Mike have introduced a new program, called Strike-Fit, designed for young children with Down syndrome.

“We have seen the success that kids in our Buddies classes can achieve,” Nicchitta said. “It’s truly amazing to see how far the students have come from when we first met them. These triumphs, however small or big, are one of the reasons why we started this program in the first place and what keeps us going and pushing these kids to do more.”

Strike-Fit is a low-impact fitness program structured and tailored to the needs of young children and teens with Down syndrome. Activities will provide structured exercise while helping improve muscle tone and coordination, all in a safe and accepting environment. Students will be able to socialize with peers and form relationships in a safe and accepting environment, improving their confidence and self-esteem as they try something new.

“After doing our investigation into the programs and resources available to Down syndrome kids and teens, it became apparent that there aren’t many opportunities that exist outside of the ones offered in schools (OT / PT). We hope to change that with our Strike-Fit program.”

 

 

Strike-Fit is designed for teens and children ages 5 to 11. Classes will be held once a week for 45 minutes, and each session runs nine weeks. Cost is $200.

Children and their parents are invited to meet the instructors and find out more about the Strike-Fit at an open house on Saturday April 22, beginning at 11 a.m. at Strike Back Martial Arts.

Strike Back Martial Arts is located at 55 East Main Street, Webster. Call (585) 236-1083 or visit strikebackmartialarts.com.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

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