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Allen and Naomi, you guys have truly started something special here. I can see it already! The energy and attention you give each child is remarkable.

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The best marital arts ever. I love it my son is in the after school program. And I am so happy for him.

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I love the workouts I got at Zentai and the support you get from Master Allen and his wife!! I highly recommend it to everyone! :)

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What amazing place! They are genuinely passionate about helping people. Kids love them, great environment for parents. And the Martial Arts is real. If you are looking for self defense for yourself or kids, this is the place.

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At first I was intimated by the cardio kickboxing class but then I realized why everyone still pushed through and kept going- it's the energy! We get pumped up, laugh and encourage one another, and it's fun. I don't like gyms because I wouldn't feel encouraged to think of my own workout and I'd end up being very lazy with it. [Unless it's yoga, I do all my yoga. :)] So this is finally a power workout where I feel encouraged to pull out my best work and still have a fun time. I'm feeling stronger each week! Thanks, Master Allen!

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We tried a few other martial arts groups for our boys, but Zentai was the clear winner from the start. The kids specifically asked for a program with structure that would clearly teach them martial arts skills while leveling up their belts. I'm amazed during every class when I see them respond to commands with so much focus and passion. Zentai has helped them build up their confidence and taught them so much already. And they have a blast! We highly recommend Zentai!

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They say it takes a village to raise a child. Zentai has been our village since my grandson William lost his mother in May of 2017. Now it's home away from home. He started out 2 days a week at Zentai for martial arts classes. When school ended we enrolled him in Zentai summer camp. Now he's enrolled in the after school program. Thank you Zentai for being our village.

Marissa Devine reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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We absolutely love this place! My son started coming for the after school program at the beginning of last year. He absolutely loves it and looks forward to going everyday. He has ADHD and we had a hard time finding a program that fits his needs until we stumbled upon Zentai. Best after school program out there for kids of all types and ages! We highly recommend it!

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I just wanted to give a shout out to Zentai Martial Arts and After School Program! I had my daughter’s birthday there on Sunday and they made it amazing! The attention to detail, the one on one with the kids just fabulous! Everyone was so happy and we all enjoyed our time there. Naomy and Allen are amazing patient people, the smile never left their faces and they were so kind and patient with the kids! I can’t say thank you enough for making this the best birthday yet!

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NorthJersey.com: Assistance dog visits children at home in Bergen to soothe coronavirus anxiety

Assistance dog visits children at home in Bergen to soothe coronavirus anxiety

Kaitlyn Kanzler

NorthJersey.com

These are difficult, anxious times for families holed up with small children. Ladd is here to help.

The assistance dog normally does his calming and comforting at North Arlington’s Zentai Martial Arts studio. But these days, Allen DePeña, owner and operator of Zentai Martial Arts, has been taking him around to his younger students’ homes to deliver bags full of slime and coloring pages and crayons.

“My idea was for him to go around to the kids and brighten up their days,” DePeña said. “I’ve had lots of conversations with families who are struggling, who have lost jobs or members of their family.”

DePeña has Ladd (formally known as Ladd III) sit on the doorstep while he remains farther back, adhering to social distancing rules. DePeña said he originally was just going to drop the bags on porches but thought a familiar furry face would lift kids’ spirits more.

Allen DePeña, owner and instructor at Zentai Martial Arts in North Arlington, and service dog, Ladd III, have gone around to students at their school and dropped off bags filled with things to help keep them occupied.

DePeña said he received numerous messages from parents after he and Ladd dropped off the goodie bags. Parents told him that seeing Ladd put smiles on their faces and lifted their children’s moods.

“It’s very emotional, it’s very touching to see the level of impact he’s having on the families,” DePeña said.

Not only does Ladd bring treats for kids who can no longer attend martial arts classes at the studio, but he also helps the children at Zentai’s child care. Zentai has been licensed as a child care center for two years.

DePeña said that they are operating at 15% to 20% capacity because of social distancing. His wife, Naomy, a retired special needs teacher, is caring for at least 15 children. DePeña said they are the children of essential workers.

On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy told day care centers that unless they certify to the state that they are caring only for children of essential workers, they will have to be closed by April 1.

 

The DePeñas got Ladd on Valentine’s Day after a long application process that began two years ago. They were finally invited to a two-week training at Canine Companion for Independence’s campus and trained to work with Ladd.

“It could not have happened at a better time to have him be part of the community,” DePeña said. “Just because of everything going on right now and him being there for these kids.”

He has been very beneficial for the children at the child care center and is therapeutic for the children, DePeña said.

The DePeñas are also using Zoom, a video conferencing app, to provide free martial arts classes for children and bedtime stories. DePeña’s son helps out by teaching breathing and stretching techniques in the morning before school.

DePeña said it’s “amazing” to see the children interact during the virtual classes and that it has helped some shy children come out of their shells.

“Right now, one of our main concerns is keeping [children] physically active to help them not get too anxious or into a depressed state of mind,” DePeña said. “It can easily happen with all this cabin fever.”

COVID-19 and pets

The CDC has said there is no evidence that pets and other animals could be a source of the coronavirus but recommends practicing good hygiene when encountering them because they could carry other germs.

After petting or handling animals, their food, supplies and waste, people should wash their hands.

 

Kaitlyn Kanzler covers Essex County for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: [email protected] Twitter: @KaitlynKanzler8

 

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/north-arlington/2020/03/31/coronavirus-nj-north-arlington-service-dog-makes-house-calls-to-soothe-kids-anxiety/2927664001/?fbclid=IwAR2Do5bVtHtBt5xh6q0-jv3em8vqOCXYok60fDiQrZoqwKB_WNImqbtuJR0