DENVILLE, NJ-- Some people prefer to workout in their homes or get a membership to a traditional gym, but others have taken to a non-traditional workout method to keep in shape while learning self-defense tactics.

Real World Mixed Martial Arts, located on Main Street in Denville, teaches mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and kickboxing classes, along with a children’s class.

The owner, George Sernack, tries to keep the academy clean, safe, and a fun place for people to learn martial arts.

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“We’re not cutting any corners; we have brand new mats, we keep everything clean, and we definitely promote a professional atmosphere,” Sernack said.

Sernack got his knowledge and black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu from Renzo Gracie, a leading member of the family known as the inventors of modern Brazilian jiu-jitsu. This allows Real World to be considered a Team Renzo Gracie gym, a name that carries much weight in the martial arts world.

While getting a workout and learning self-defense is important for everyone at the gym, it’s the community that Real World has built that keeps people coming back.

“People like to come here at first to get the workout but then they become part of the family and they’re having fun and they see the great comradery that everyone has here,” Sernack said.

Members of the gym scatter throughout the facility to practice their craft before classes start. According to Sernack, it’s not uncommon for members to show up 30 minutes to an hour before class to hang out and practice techniques they learned in the previous class.

“It’s one big family here. If you miss a couple classes you can expect to get a phone call asking where you’ve been to make sure everything is okay,” David Barry, a member of the academy, said.

“There’s no workout like the one get here and everyone is extremely supportive,” Milan Davidek, a longtime member, said.

According to Sernack, the wide range of ages that come to Real World is a testament to how diverse their courses are and it speaks to the community they’ve created. Kids in the youngest classes are as young as four and the oldest gym member is well into his 60s.