Sweat SMARTer For Haiti: An upcoming charity event in NYC to benefit those who were hit worst by Hurricane Matthew

Date: December 17th, 2016

Time: 9am to 1pm, Ripley Grier Studios, 520 8th Avenue

            2pm to 7pm, Vitor Shaolin Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, 780 8th Avenue

In the midst of this current political climate, it may surprise you to know that we are holding a fitness charity event to help Haiti recover from it’s most recent natural disaster. The media’s predominant focus is on the DAPL, social injustice, post-election concerns and women’s rights- ALL worthy of our attention and issues that we, at SMARTer Bodies, care about and continuously advocate. It’s easy to forget, however, that our neighbors in the Caribbean are still struggling to find loved ones and rebuild their homes. The small country continues to struggle from the earthquake that devastated its land 6 years ago. But in October, Hurricane Matthew aggressively swept through Haiti wreaking havoc on the fragile land and civil infrastructure that Haitians worked so hard to rebuild. Aside from the 1000+ people that have died during the storm there is now the spread of disease, like cholera, taking lives. To read more about the most recent tragedies this click here.


We know it’s difficult to not succumb to the inertia of global-issue overwhelm. Many of us feel powerless to help ourselves, let alone extend help to others so far away. We feel that in times like these, it is important not to lose sight of those who are in desperate need. Kim, our co-founder, has done the research and made the connections to find a charitable association that you can trust to help the Caribbean’s forgotten. The Haiti Development Project has a specific mission

Haiti Development Project (HDP) speaks for thousands of invisible children in rural Northwest Haiti who are growing up illiterate and without the necessary resources to succeed in life.

For this important reason, Haiti Development Project (HDP) is championing the cause for universal primary education enrollment for thousands of unschooled children in rural Haiti.

We are one of a small number of NGOs operating and planting seeds in a region that is mostly isolated, poverty-stricken, underdeveloped and neglected.

It’s difficult to be charitable even when you want to given all the corruption that happens in non-profits. Kim has taken the time to personally speak with the founder of HDP, an employee of the UN, Nionese Prudent, who was more than happy to answer all of Kim’s questions and make herself personally available to help with this project.

We can assure you that this non-profit is a aware of and committed to negating the corruption that makes people hesitant to send financial assistance. Here’s an organization that will continue to rebuild the lives of the students who have been once-again impacted by uncontrollable forces.

You can give by clicking this link http://www.haitidevelopmentproject.org/ or by going to our charity event. It’ll be a day of fitness and fun! Teachers are volunteering to teach classes that you can enjoy while giving to people who are in need. Classes will be held at 2 different locations in midtown Manhattan. Classes will be $25 each and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Haiti Development Project. Class descriptions and schedule as well as teacher bios can be found below. Also, for the months of November and December our book, Exposing Yoga Myths will donate 50% of our profits towards the cause. You can find our book on Amazon or the e-book on https://smarterbodies.com/exposing-yoga-myths/

Here’s our class line-up. Please note that the link to sign up for the class is in the class description below the schedule:

Class time Instructor Class Type Location
9:00 AM Marcus SMARTer Strength and Cardio Ripley Grier
10:00 AM Kim SMARTer Interval training Ripley Grier
11:00 AM Abby SMARTer Flow Yoga Ripley Grier
12:00 PM Christopher ConBody Bootcamp Ripley Grier
2:00 PM Mario kickboxing vsbjj
3:00 PM Alvaro No Gi BJJ vsbjj
4:00 PM Julio “Fighting Dirty” vsbjj
5:00 PM Rafael Women’s self defense vsbjj
6:00 PM Kim Yoga for grapplers vsbjj

Class descriptions:

SMARTer Strength and Cardio with Marcus:

A 60 minute workout using nothing but your own body weight. We will incorporate full body strength and cardio moves to build a great sweat and some muscle as well! This class requires a moderate amount of effort and is better suited to those who are used to more moderate training. Open to all ages (18+).

Sign up here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sweat-smarter-for-haiti-at-ripley-grier-tickets-29709429704

SMARTer Interval training with Kim:

This class is sure to get your heart pumping and sweat dripping, no matter what fitness level or age (18+). Appropriate modifications will be shown for every movement. This class requires no equipment, but will cover balance movement patterns in all 3 planes of motion and integrate the whole body. Since this class is based on timed work to rest periods with active rest in between, you can be sure that no matter which modification you choose, you will getting a great workout!

Sign up here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sweat-smarter-for-haiti-at-ripley-grier-tickets-29709429704

SMARTer Flow Yoga with Abby:

Take the principles of SMARTer Bodies (evidence based training built on techniques proven to be reliable) and bring them into a flowing Yoga class! This is a great opportunity to see how we take the Yoga Myths and bring them to what you might typically see in your Yoga classes. Take this class so you can know better what kinds of modifications will work for you! This class is open to all levels and all ages (18+).

Sign up here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sweat-smarter-for-haiti-at-ripley-grier-tickets-29709429704

ConBody Bootcamp:

You my have heard about ConBody as one of the hottest fitness trends in NYC right now! This military/prison cell bootcamp class requires no equipment and integrates calisthenics, cardio, endurance training and strength training. For more information visit www.conbody.com

Sign up here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sweat-smarter-for-haiti-at-ripley-grier-tickets-29709429704

Kickboxing with Mario Hernandez:

This class is an excellent way to burn some calories while learning effective striking techniques! Open to all levels, but be prepared for a challenge. Note: If you have your own boxing gloves, please bring them.

Sign up and reserve a spot here:


No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Alvaro Tautiva:

This no gi class is open to all belt ranks and will include a warm up, a couple of techniques and some live rolling. No gi apparel is appreciated, but not necessary.

Sign up and reserve a spot here:


“Fighting Dirty” with Julio Rivera:

This class will cover simple attacks to sensitive areas (groin, eyes, throat, etc.) that anyone can use for self protection. No prior training experience needed and open to all ages (18+)

Sign up and reserve a spot here:


Women’s Self Defense with Rafael Santana:

This class will use simple, yet practical techniques that anyone can use to get themselves out of dangerous situations. These techniques can be used on opponents that are physically larger and stronger and are ideal for women.

Sign up and reserve a spot here:


Yoga for Grapplers with Kim:

This class will address asymmetries, imbalances and compensation patterns found in grapplers and work to improve flexibility needed for difficult techniques and positions.

Sign up and reserve a spot here:


We hope you’ll be able to join us for this exhilarating day of celebrating what we do best, moving and helping those who need it.


Abby Kaufmann – Yoga Teacher with SMARTer Bodies


Abby’s desire for in-depth knowledge of the physical body’s experience in yoga has led her to teach with SMARTer Bodies. Her diverse education includes a Bachelor’s degree in social work and certifications as a Health Coach, Pilates teacher and Karuna Reiki master.

Marcus Hudnell – Personal Trainer with SMARTer Bodies


Heavily involved in sports and athletics for the better part of 25 years, Marcus developed an appreciation and fascination with the human body. “Health” and “Fitness” are terms that apply to both the physical and mental/spiritual nature of a person.

Christopher Kennedy- trainer at ConBody


Freelance model, military veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division and trainer at ConBody.
Recovering from alcoholism. I am an individual who has concern for others in the midst of disaster. My concern for others is legitimate, sincere and I am eager to do this for #Haiti.

Kim-lien Kendall – Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer and Co-Founder of SMARTer Bodies


After obtaining a degree in Biochemistry and deciding that her talents would be better spent helping people one on one rather than in a lab, she started working with bodies in 2005. Kim’s experience in gymnastics, sports and martial arts combined with her studies in somatics, kinesiology and biomechanics have equipped her with the knowledge and skill set to work with a wide range of clientele. She started SMARTer Bodies with Melissa in order to teach upcoming body workers from their combined experience and give back to the community by working with various organizations that benefit disenfranchised populations. She is a co-author of the book Exposing Yoga Myths and Co-founder of SMARTer Bodies.

Julio Rivera – Founder of Omni Martial Arts


Sensei Julio Rivera has been involved in health and fitness for twenty years as a bodybuilding competitor, personal trainer and journalist.  He currently holds 3 black belts in Judo, Japanese Jiu Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has trained in HAGANAH (a no nonsense Israeli Self Defense style) and boxing. Sensei Julio has trained students who are agents and officers from the NYPD, Customs and Border Patrol, Secret Service and private security agencies.  He has also helped train and corner MMA fighters.

  Alvaro Tautiva – Assistant Instructor


Alvaro Tautiva is a Brown belt in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Sensei Julio Rivera. Before joining the Omni family in 2010, Alvaro trained in Muay Thai and was a certified trainer with N.A.S.M. An active competitor in the BJJ scene, Alvaro has competed and medaled in several tournaments in the United States. In 2015, as a purple belt, Alvaro was runner up in the IBJJF Masters Worlds championship and soon after took 1st place in the no gi Pan-Ams championship. As an assistant instructor, Alvaro implements his background in speech and language pathology, from LaGCC and Brooklyn College, to help with the instruction of the children’s programs at Omni Martial Arts.

Mario Hernandez – Assistant Teacher


Mario Hernandez is a purple belt in BJJ under Professor Vitor Shaolin and  Sensei Julio Rivera.  He is an active competitor in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and amateur Mixed Martial Arts fighter having trained under Bellator MMA standout Marcos Loro Galvao.  Mario has been training since 2009 in various martial arts, (BJJ, Kickboxing, Boxing)  In 2013, Mario scored his first MMA victory as well as a silver medal at the Big Apple BJJ tournament.  He gained experience early on working with children as a camp counselor and now assists with teaching kids and adults at Omni Martial Arts.

 Rafael Santana – Assistant Teacher                                          


Rafael Santana is a brown belt in Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Sensei Julio Rivera. He has also studied self defense techniques under World renowned BJJ and MMA Champion, Vitor Shaolin Ribeiro. Rafael earned a Masters in Criminal Justice from John Jay.  He began training in Judo and BJJ at Omni shortly after.  He has earned medals at several competitions, including the IBJJF Boston Open, New York International Judo Cup, Big Apple BJJ tournament, LI Pride and Tech Judo.  He uses his six years of teaching experience from City University to teach children and adult classes.