DUMBO, Brooklyn — From Muhammad Ali to Mike Tyson, all the greats have trained at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, where a new instructor is looking to help a community that's seemingly been the target of attacks in recent weeks and months.
The iconic Brooklyn gym welcomes fighters from all walks of life, regardless if you’re pro or amateur.
Courage, according to owner Bruce Silverglade, is the only prerequisite.
“It’s a complete mix of people,” Silverglade explained. “It’s probably one of the last melting pots in New York City.
"Ages 4 to 83, Blacks, Whites, Hispanics — we have cops, we have robbers," he said.
An integral part of its business model, Gleason’s is now hoping to instill that courage and confidence to the city’s most vulnerable communities in the wake of a series of biased attacks in the region.
It’s offering specialized, self-defense training at a reduced rate, taught by a new instructor.
Former World Champion Rabbi Yuri Foreman has been tapped to teach the class, where training will cover situational awareness, risk assessment, strength and combative technique.
“Once they learn how to punch — properly punch, it’s going to give them the confidence that [when] something happens, they will know how to strike back at least,” Foreman told PIX11 News.
But physical contact, he explains, isn’t always the objective.
“You don’t have to fight,” Foreman said. “Boxing is the perfect way to learn about your coordination and controlling your body and mind.”
The 90-minute training session will be offered each weekend, depending on the demand.
Gleason’s is offering the option to those ready to let go of fear and take back their power.
“If we teach a person how to control the situation and most importantly how to control their fear, then you are ahead of the game already,” Silverglade said.
For more information about the self-defense classes, head over to Gleason’s website.