Nearing one year of operation in Nesconset is the , teaching the Israeli self-defense system krav maga to locals. The system, according to dojo owner Michael Rosati Sr., is an abridged version of martial arts developed while Israel was fighting for its independence due to their lack of weapons.
Training in krav maga for 40 years and instructing for 34, Rosati's background consists of martial arts, military service and law enforcement. He served as a US Marine, was a member of the NYPD/ESU, and is a two-time international karate champion of the 1994 United States World Cup team where he took home a gold and silver medal.
Rosati said this background is necessary to teach self-defense properly.
"If you’ve never been in a life-threatening situation you can’t teach self-defense," he said.
What separates this school from others locally, according to Rosati, is authenticity.
“If you go to Krav Maga classes, 90 percent of the schools that you see around the country, they’re doing cardio-kickboxing," he said. "They don’t pay attention to how the hands are up when they should actually be throwing kicks and punches … we are actual commando techniques, everything we do comes through the head of the organization.”
Rosati, who had schools in Nassau County for 28 years and Ronkonkoma for four years, said he brought the dojo to Nesconset based off of community demand.
"There are a lot of law enforcement people here, there are a lot of nurses that we have in our program and there are a lot of women in our program because with the way the economy is today people are worried," he said. "There are more and more home invasions, there are more robberies on the street, there’s more larceny in general, and people are nervous. People are coming to us because they want to learn reality-based self-defense."
The dojo also doesn't operate off of a belt system like other martial arts schools do. Instead the students receive stars for every 100 classes they attend.
"If two children start together, whether they are siblings or they are neighbors or friends, in the old system one might get promoted and one might not. What does that do to the child’s self-esteem? We do a star system so if the two children are out there sparring and one child says, ‘he’s better than me,’ He’s better than you because he’s got 400 classes and you have 100 classes," he said.
With the one year anniversary on the way, Rosati is currently organizing an open house for locals to see and participate in classes at the dojo.