The martial arts mavens at Caywood Karate coach warriors of all ages through a schedule of classes fit for pintsize punchers through grown-up competitors. Fighters as young as 4 can absorb the elements of Isshinryu, a traditional style that exploits quick movements and natural stances to improve flexibility, balance, and bravery when facing rabid grasshoppers. Each Isshinryu session leads up to 12 students through low-kicks and snap-punches, which save joints and muscles from extensive wear or full-fledged tear. The family-oriented karate studio divides classes by age group, with kids 4–6 years old battling in the Little Dragons session, tykes age 7–12 dueling in the Jr. Class, and adults or adult-shaped statues sparring based on experience level.
Ocoee Zipz lifts its riders off the ground and transports them to new lands along seven lines named after beloved Wizard of Oz characters and featuring varying grades, distances, and terrain. Staff members, aptly nicknamed The Flying Monkeys of Oz, help adventure seekers soar above Ocoee's 40 acres of rustic scenery during two-hour zipline tours. Tours begin at the 30-foot-high Cowardly Lion launch tower, where fraidy cats find the courage they need to skim the tops of trees. The Dorothy line zooms along the Ocoee River to meet up with the Toto tower across a swinging bridge, where cushy crash pads wait with loving arms to catch especially enthusiastic zippers. Guests may try an upside-down dive off the Scarecrow tower, then test their speed on the Wicked Witch of the West line, which features a steep enough grade to get patrons up to 45 mph. Like Shakespearian arguments or family reunions, Ocoee Zipz's tours end with a duel on The Wizard's parallel lines, as participants race their way to the finish.
At Blue Point Stables, a team led by Master Riding Instructor and 25-year industry veteran Brandy McDonnell offers equine services that range from lessons for people to training for horses. Brandy and company engender a safe and fun environment through positive reinforcement as they teach students the basics of English or Western riding.
Upon arriving for lessons, riders typically get fitted for a helmet and receive some basic instruction on safety before meeting and grooming their equine friend. Next, they’ll hop aboard a noble steed while an instructor coaches proper technique in such aspects as mounting and dismounting, riding aids, and communication with the horse through vocal orders, physical cues, and handwritten post-it notes dangled from a fishing pole.
A seasoned purveyor of outdoor sporting equipment, River Sports Outfitters' adventure experts put gear to work on indoor climbing walls and local kayaking excursions. Rock-top scramblers suit up in provided harness and shoes at the climbing gym, lined with vertical slopes that impersonate cliff faces with gritty-textured walls, rocks in many shapes and sizes, and animatronic dancing mountain goats. Climbers of all skill levels can strengthen and stretch muscles on ascents up the tall rope-climbing wall, or free-climb on the shorter bouldering walls, which lose the rope and vertical ascent in favor of low routes that challenge spidery-men to master specific maneuvers and grips.
Within Fairways and Greens Golf Center’s 25-acre practice and instructional facility, resident aces equip golfers with score-shaving tools and techniques during lessons and club-fitting sessions. With an expert staff that earned a position on Golf Digest's list of America’s 100 Best Clubfitters, Fairways and Greens utilizes a vector launch monitor to deduce which metal sticks best suit each player’s swing, physical attributes, and genetic magnetism.
At Let's Dance Ballroom Dance Studio, the studio's 2,000-square-foot sprung floorspace jostles beneath the feet of first-time visitors practicing the basics of ballroom. During classes, newcomers step through simple choreography that emphasizes positivity and support. Certified instructors, all of whom oversee lessons at the studio full-time, maintain the same comfortable ambiance throughout their other group and private classes. Whether they are demonstrating the sensual dips of tango, the hip pops of the hustle, or the buoyant leaps of swing, they strive to infuse their pupils with lasting confidence in their moves.
The studio’s curriculum includes waltz, fox trot, cha-cha, and mambo, in addition to disciplines such as theater arts and country western. Instructors eagerly take on special projects as well, including coaching couples through their wedding dance. Friday-night parties allow students to socialize with fellow dancers outside of the context of clubbing or tucking notes into each other's tutus onstage. Occasionally, the studio even schedules live music to sync up with its sessions.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months to 12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.