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BEST PLACE TO BALANCE BRAIN AND BRAWN

Laurita Jiu-Jitsu and Karate Academy

Kids who kick academic butt can learn to kick literal butt -- on the house -- thanks to this martial arts school's Self-Defense for Grades program. Any honor roll student from any Valley school can cash in that stellar report card for a free month of martial arts lessons -- just call and schedule the first session. This program could cause a significant shift in the ages-old schoolyard dynamic -- who'll be taking whose lunch money? Of course, as the dojo's Jerry Laurita points out, martial arts training isn't merely physical. "The martial arts aren't just about self-defense. The ultimate self-defense is to have a positive mental attitude and self-discipline. Keeping up good grades is a huge first step."

 
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