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Class Action: Muay Thai Boxing at the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers

Fitness classes follow fashion. The city’s gyms and studios constantly launch new “It” classes. In Class Action we dish on what we’re trying, or what we really want to. And please tell us what classes you’re excited about in the Comments section, below!

Jason Van Oijen
(Photo Credit: Sam Scott Schiavo for Client Magazine)

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At the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers’ new Muay Thai Boxing class, you’ll actually learn to box from a current champion fighter.

Your instructor, clad in sparkly shorts, muscly arms, and a Dutch accent, is Jason Van Oijen, who holds the New York State Title in Muay Thai and is also an MMA fighter. He’s also a model, and Googling him may, um, increase your motivation to sign up. Just saying.

Classes take place in the boxing ring, with bare feet, boxing gloves, and shin guards when you need them.

After a warm-up of dynamic stretches, jumping jacks, and push-ups, Van Oijen got us straight to the boxing. We partnered up and practiced punches, kicks, knees, and elbows taught in the previous class (you alternate holding pads with your partner), moving between six stations.

Van Oijen circulates the ring the entire time, correcting your form and often calling for more force. He’s super clear with instructions, patient, and a great motivator.

Which is helpful: Don’t expect choreographed sequences or inspiring music. Do expect sweaty men next to you, occasional pain from repeated contact with the pads, and the general feeling of being a bad ass. And something we didn’t expect: a feeling of Zen afterward. “Outside the ring, you feel calm and collected,” he says, “because you’ve gotten it all out in the ring.” —Lisa Elaine Held

Mondays and Wednesdays from November 5–28, 7:00 p.m. Members $120, Non-members $200,