Category: Featured Business

Feature: Jersey City Kickboxing, at The Brunswick Center

At this gym, students are more than students — they’re family:

Jersey City Kickboxing


Jersey City Kickboxing owner Paul Clark says that at his gym, students are more than students — they’re family.

Kids, teens and adults who take classes at the gym don’t just get healthy and fit or train to compete, they also get to bond with Clark, his staff and each other.

For instance, Assistant Trainer Anna Gizulewski tutors some of her younger students and helps them with their homework and several of the gym members get together a couple times a month to see boxing matches.

“I want to get involved in my students’ lives and care about them,” said Clark. “It’s a relaxed environment here…we have a lot of parents and kids who train together. We also have many at-risk teens who come in after school and it gives us a chance to help them out.”

Clark’s family approach is partially inspired by how he got his own start in muay thai while growing up in Atlanta.

“My dad basically started me when I was four years old, so I’ve been doing it for 31 years now,” he said. “I had to do kickboxing every day, most times twice a day. I’ve competed both nationally and internationally, and trained over the past five years going back and forth to Thailand.”

Clark fell in love with the sport because it allowed him to push himself to new heights.

“I like that it keeps you young and healthy, and gives you a healthy respect for yourself and other people as well as self-confidence that you know you earned because no one did it for you,” he said. “It’s like learning the guitar — you have to put the work in yourself.”

As a coach at his own gym, Clark says he helps his students get those same benefits, as well as accomplish their personal goals.

“There are people who want to lose weight and just study the basics and do exercises to get in shape. I had one couple who lost 100 pounds a piece and over 60 people who lost over 30 pounds in three to six months.

“I also have some younger people in their mid-20s to early-30s who spar and train very hard, but are also working professionals, so they’re not interested in competing but do it to get in shape and get out aggression. And then we also have adults and teens who compete all over the New Jersey-New York area,” he said.

In all his classes, Clark tries to stay faithful to the martial art’s origins.

“…it keeps you young and healthy, and gives you a healthy respect for yourself and other people as well as self-confidence that you know you earned because no one did it for you.”

“It’s like learning the guitar — you have to put the work in yourself.”

“One thing really different about my gym is that I really strive for (teaching) muay thai boxing like they do in Thailand, in regards to the environment and what you learn, we’re different from other martial arts. We don’t wear uniforms and bow to each other; we have a family atmosphere,” he said, adding that they’ve also even gone to Thailand to train at a traditional camp in Bangkok and explore Thai culture.

For Clark, the gym’s family dynamic is much like that of the Brunswick Center and Downtown Jersey City in general.

“It helps to know who your neighbors are. We support each other, watch out for each other’s businesses and watch out for each other’s kids. It’s nice.”


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Feature: Jersey City Ballet, at The Brunswick Center

With a pre-dance program for kids ages 3 to 6, and ballet classes starting at age 7 and adult classes for curious beginners, former dancers returning to the art or professionals honing their skills:

Jersey City Ballet


Since she was a child, Judith Elins, Director of Jersey City Ballet, has been dancing “literally nonstop,” starting out at local dance studios in Irvington and Union, N.J., and eventually making her way to New York City. There, she worked with teachers and instructors who inspired her to pursue a career in dance.

“When I’m dancing, it’s the one time my mind is completely and I just get immersed in the whole process,” said Elins. “I love music and movement. When you’re dancing, that’s all you’re thinking about for that moment, and it’s a great feeling.”

Now, Elins is helping others free their minds and dance nonstop — or rather, learn nonstop.

At Jersey City Ballet, Elins and four other teaching artists work with dancers of all ages to provide them with ongoing dance education.

“This is not a place where you walk in, we say, ‘This is your recital dance,’ and you work on it all year and then come back to work on another dance,” explained Elins. “There’s value in that for sure, but this is a place where people can come in and out, take classes and learn. Whether a child just wants to audition for a college program or be involved in community theater, or wants to become a professional, we give you the tools to get to that level.”

They start ’em young, with a pre-dance program for kids ages 3 to 6, and ballet classes starting at age 7. In the double-digits? No problem. Jersey City Ballet also offers adult classes for curious beginners, former dancers returning to the art form or for professionals looking to improve their skills.

Eventually, Elins hopes for her students and other established dancers to form a ballet company and the Jersey City Ballet Theater, which she envisions bringing JC national recognition for its art scene.

“When I first moved here, I didn’t see many families or a huge artist community but I’ve watched it grow in the past 13 years,” said Elins, who lives in the Hamilton Park neighborhood, just a stone’s throw away from Brunswick Center.

Whether a child just wants to audition for a college program or be involved in community theater, or wants to become a professional, Jersey City Ballet gives you the tools to get to that level.

Dance — or rather: Learn nonstop

“Families are staying and putting down roots here and in the neighborhood there’s a big sense of community, and a lot of great programs in the area,” she said. “We don’t have to travel to Manhattan for quality arts education.”

Being part of a micro-community at the Brunswick Center, she added, makes Jersey City Ballet even stronger.

“I like the energy of being up here with all these different businesses,” said Elins. “I’m very much a collaborator so I love that there are other people to talk to and share ideas with.”


For more information, visit

Feature: IronPlate Studios, at The Brunswick Center

Strength and personal training, weight loss, physique transformation, sports nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and meal planning — all in a private and motivating setting:

IronPlate Studios


As the owner of IronPlate Studios, a fitness and nutrition studio with locations in Jersey City’s Brunswick Center and in Hoboken, Kristin Reisinger says many people assume she’s always been super fit. Growing up, however, Reisinger says she wasn’t happy with her body.

“In my teens and 20s, I was never skinny,” she said. “It wasn’t until I met a pro bodybuilder who turned me on to competing that I learned about training and nutrition’s integral roles in changing the shape of our bodies. 

”It increased my confidence, made me feel empowered and made me feel better overall with everything I did on a daily basis, even in my interpersonal relationships. It leaks into all facets of life.”

She shed the pounds and competed in NPC Figure competitions and was eventually so intrigued by fitness and health that she left her career in the music industry to become a personal trainer and registered dietician. In the 17 years since, Reisinger says she’s helped many others transform their own bodies and lives.

When demand grew too high for her private training sessions, Reisinger opened a studio at the Monroe Center for the Arts in Hoboken. Eventually, she outgrew that, too, hiring three other personal trainers including her right-hand woman Caitlin Harrington. And now, Reisinger has her sights set on JC.

On their first visit to IronPlate Studios, clients get a tour of the fitness center and undergo an assessment so the training staff can make them a personalized training and nutrition plan. One-on-one training sessions are available, as are small group sessions. Nutritional consultations also come a la carte.

This isn’t a place that throws diet drinks or products at the problem, Reisinger says, but a program that helps people make the right life choices for them.

”We talk with each client about their goals and make a plan for them. It’s different for everybody–the frequency that they come in, how much they need to work outside the studio and whether they need nutritional guidance,” said Reisinger.

At IronPlate Studios, we believe that training and nutrition TOGETHER are the key to your health and fitness. If you fuel your body properly and train smart, you can be the best version of YOU there is. And we believe you can do this simply without gimmicks, fad diets and ineffective, unsustainable cleanses.

Eat Clean, Train Hard. There is no magic bullet.

IronPlate specializes in bridal, pre- and post-natal fitness and also helps clients of all ages with various weight or health problems.

“Everyone who comes in usually has some kind of issue whether its knee problems due to weight or they might be on blood pressure medication like one of my clients who was only in his late 30s but weighed about 240,” she said. “He’s probably about 180 now after one-and-a-half years and his doctors are thinking of taking him off the medication.

”We want our clients to do well with weight loss and other things like their confidence and health,” she added. 

”We make an impact–we help people learn to exercise properly and make better choices with their diets. We want them to feel like their best selves. We want to help people learn to take care of themselves in a healthful way.”

“The longtime Jersey City resident says she’s also excited to be part of the fitness community at the Brunswick Center.

” I was looking at another location but when I heard about what was going on here, I signed the lease in two days,” she said. “I love Jersey City and I’m pretty emotionally attached to it. I think what we’re doing here is a great thing.”


For more information, visit

Feature: Hudson Play, at the Brunswick Center


Recreation • Fitness • Health Bar • Events

at Hudson Play

    Finding good places for your kids to play can be tough, as parents and Hudson Play founders Ilana Libman and Jay Batra both know well.

    Batra and Libman, who both have kids between ages 7 and 10, said they couldn’t find good local options besides city parks, which don’t always have safe, challenging kids’ areas.

    “We felt like there wasn’t a whole lot of local options for kids in Jersey City,” said Batra. “We’d always have to travel to playground areas 45 minutes to an hour away.”


    The two also longed for a place of community that encouraged parents to socialize.

    “I lost my wife Lisa Weber-Batra a few years ago when my son was only 4 year old and a lot of parents and families in the Jersey City community helped me get through that phase,” said Batra. “As a way of giving back, I wanted to create a big place that caters to a lot of kids, has a positive impact on communities and brings people together.”

    So the pair created Hudson Play, a 5,000-square-foot gymnasium and play center which houses an open-play ninja warrior course, climbing walls and a ropes course designed to encourage fun active play for kids during the day (and for adults at night).

    “Our main focus is on physical rejuvenation,” said Batra. “We want to get the kids moving and hit all the body parts — the core, legs and upper body. These activities definitely hit all those areas.”

    Families can purchase monthly or yearly memberships or buy two-hour play slots and come in with their kids anytime before 8 p.m.

    Parents, who must remain on the premises with their children, can stay in a Mommy and Me lounge if they have kids under 4 years old. Those with Older kids, on the other hand, can stand nearby as their children enjoy physical activities under the close supervision of Hudson Play staff members.

    “This place is a community hub for new mothers and fathers,” said Libman. “Parents can come in with their babies and get support and socialize with other families while their kids have fun.”

    Batra and Libman also made it a priority to steer clear of the cheap, unhealthy options many kids’ gyms offer such as soda and chips. Instead, their health bar features juices, fruit, smoothies and organic snacks that are low in sodium and sugar. (They’re also prepared to accommodate kids with common food allergies!)

    The two add that being part of the Brunswick Center and working alongside other businesses that place an emphasis on health, wellness and physical fitness is going to be important in forming the community they want to build.

    Lastly, after regular hours, Hudson Play hopes to host live performances, educational talks, sports lessons and more from other local groups. They’re also available for birthday parties and space rentals for private events.


For more information, visit

Downtown Jersey City: right here at the Brunswick Center



Whether you’re looking to improve yourself physically or mentally, you can find the resources you need at the Brunswick Center, Downtown Jersey City’s premier location for education and fitness.

Transformed by local developers BGT Enterprises, the former Holy Rosary School enhances Jersey City’s Village neighborhood by giving its residents easy access to many means of self-improvement.

“We renovated the Holy Rosary School with the sole intent of attracting top vendors in the wellness and education field,” said Ben Torrei, managing partner of BGT Enterprises, who is the mastermind behind the Center.

“We selected each and every occupant of the Center and were careful to ensure that each business offered something new to the education-wellness platform,” said Torrei. “This is a place where businesses can help each other through collaborative efforts. Ultimately, we want to foster a sense of community that will have a ripple effect throughout Jersey City.”

Businesses at the center include the Brunswick School, Hudson Play, Rush Cycling, Black Bird Stdio, Power-House Pilates, Jersey City Kickboxing, Jersey City Ballroom, The Art of Living, Ironplate Studios, Butterfly Drop-Off, Jersey City Ballet and the Max Challenge.

The Center is also home to the Brunswick School, which carries on the building’s tradition as a place for young learners. The preschool, which has its own private entrance on Seventh Street, is also the only school Downtown with a private parking lot, putting an end to parents’ pick-up and drop-off nightmares.

The Brunswick School focuses on core education but also places emphasis on creative activities. For example, kids at the school learn visual art, music and dance and can also take yoga and Spanish classes.

Students at the school enjoy delicious, nutritious meals prepared by Busy Bee Organics and Whealth. The food companies, which also provide for the whole Center, emphasis healthful eating and using quality ingredients.

When children aren’t learning at the Center, they’re having fun. Kids from ages 0 to 99 are welcome at the soon-to-open Hudson Play, a 5,000-square-foot gymnasium which houses an open-play ninja warrior course, climbing walls and a ropes course designed to encourage active play for youngsters during the day (and for adults at night).

While the Center’s studios are currently fully leased, it has multiple spaces to offer local groups and individuals including a Community Room with hourly rental rates for classes, parties, meetings and more. The Center also features a lounge with Wi-Fi access, televisions and outlets for anyone looking to relax, get work done or have a quiet chat.

Torrei says the Brunswick Center is designed to grow along with the booming neighborhood around it.

“You simply have to look around to see the number of new residential buildings being built in addition to the many in the planning stage. Fast-forward three years from today, and it doesn’t take much to envision the huge demand for educational and wellness providers,” said Torrei. “As developers, we wanted to ensure that we could offer people not only homes to live in, but also a neighborhood to support the families that choose to make Jersey City their home.”

The Brunswick Center is located at 189 Brunswick St., Jersey City. For more information, visit or contact



Feature: The Brunswick School of Jersey City


Before the Brunswick Center, Seventh and Brunswick was home to Holy Rosary, a traditional Catholic school that educated hundreds of Jersey City residents through the years.

And while the location now hosts many fitness, health and wellness-oriented businesses, its legacy of educating JC’s youth continues, first with the Brunswick School, a pre-school for children from 6 months old to Kindergarten.

Owner Jillian Hernandez and director Erin Van Horn say they’re well aware of the history of their new school’s digs.

“So many adults who are born and raised in Jersey City and have strong ties here have come up to us and said, ‘That was my school,'” said Hernandez. “They would talk my ear off with all these stories about nuns and the church and they were excited to see what we’re doing with the center and keeping the integrity of the school as a school.”

Hernandez says they will use up to 10 classrooms in the former school, including some partitioned into music or technology enrichment centers. They hope to have up to 150 students and 20 to 25 staff members including teachers, receptionists and chefs (no nuns, though).

While the Brunswick School is, in some ways, continuing a tradition, it’s also innovating and providing a curriculum that Downtown Jersey City parents can get behind.

“I think it’s extremely important to do a good job developing children at a young age — a child’s brain really develops in the first three years of life,” explained Hernandez.

The Brunswick School focuses on core education but also places emphasis on more creative activities. For example, kids at the school learn visual art, music and dance and can also take yoga and Spanish classes.

“We want children to learn without realizing they’re learning and just having fun,” said Hernandez. “Our curriculum provides creativity in a structured format…children at this age thrive on routine and structure, and we’re providing it, but it in a way that makes learning fun for them.”

Hernandez says they’re also particularly sensitive to parents’ needs. The entire program runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to accommodate early drop-off and late pick-up and includes meals prepared in a state-of-the-art kitchen. Parents can also choose between different day packages depending on how many days they want their kids to be at school.

“It’s really exciting to see all the businesses here with art, dance, music and fitness,” said Hernandez. “We’ve already gotten so much great feedback from people.

“We’re having fun developing this school. It’s important for this community and goes hand-in-hand with all the development going on in Jersey City.”

For more information, visit

Feature: Rush Cycling, 25 years of rush!


At Rush Cycling, brothers Gary and Bruce Goodrich and their client-turned-business-partner Heidi Gillette put a new “spin” on an old gym staple.

For 25 years, Gary Goodrich has been teaching spin classes, mostly in California. When he moved to New Jersey, he and his brother decided to open their first Rush Cycling spin studio in Hoboken using with a secret weapon Gary picked up in the Golden State.

“In California, we used RealRyder bikes, which are the only spin bikes that actually move. They pivot side to side unlike stationary bikes with are, A, boring, B, stationary and C, only works your lower body.

“These give you a full workout because you move the handlebars side to side…you work your core, triceps, legs, your bum–it’s literally a full-body workout! Until you’ve taken a spin class on a RealRyder bike, you haven’t take a spin class.”

As lifelong fitness enthusiasts, the Goodrich brothers can truly appreciate the value of a full-body workout. (Gillette, who teaches Pilates and yoga, certainly does, too.) And while Gary says he also enjoys long-distance cycling, spin offers a high-octane burn that regular biking usually can’t.

“Unless you’re really racing, when you go on long bike rides, you barely break a sweat. But in one of our 50-minute-long classes, we kick it up a notch and there’s not a second where you’re not moving,” said Gary.

Spinners not only burn more fat and calories, they also don’t have to wait for bad weather to clear up and can get into the groove with their classmates.

“In the classes we have music and great instructors and you get caught up, you push yourself a little harder.

“We don’t condone it, but there is this kind of competitive quality where you at least want to keep up,” admitted Gary. “When you know someone beside you is giving 110 percent, you want to give it 120.”

Despite the intensity of the workout, Gary says spinning is a non-impact exercise that won’t hurt your joints afterwards–he even has a 75-year-old client who “kills it” in class, and doesn’t feel any post-workout pain!

Gary also points out that unlike big box gyms that offer a host of classes a la carte, specialized studios like theirs offer customers the very best possible experience.

“At Rush Cycling, we feel like we’re a triple threat. We have the best, newest bikes; the best, hottest instructors; and now, the best and hottest location,” he added.

“I love the idea of Brunswick Center, where it’s all under one roof. You come in one day and you can do spin or Pilates, or combine them,” said Gary. “The fact that you can go to one place and get all your health, wellness and physical fitness needs met is brilliant.”

For more information, visit