UNITED Tae Kwon Do's group classes aren't really about punching and kicking. Sure, students work to master self-defense techniques, but they also focus on topics such as confidence and respect. The conditioning and reaction drills also help to build lean muscle and serve as an effective form of stress management. In this way, UNITED Tae Kwon Do's sessions benefit all types of students, whether they're kids or adults, beginners or more seasoned martial artists. The trained instructors also teach private lessons that adhere to personal goals, such as preparing a student for an upcoming black belt test.
These programs didn't develop overnight. UNITED Tae Kwon Do has been honing them for more than three decades, long before martial-arts uniforms became a red-carpet fashion trend. The educators have expanded into multiple locations throughout the Houston area and show no signs of stopping.
Part color-powder fight and part animal-themed 5K, the Jungle Fever 5K Colorful Run For Your Life Series brings runners of all ages together for a morning of relaxed and fun racing. Volunteer "animals" surprise runners with splashes of color as they leisurely make their way through an untimed 5K race. Outlandish outfits are encouraged—either wild animal-themed outfits or all-white clothing. The whole affair ends in a colorful splash as runners lob handfuls of colored powder at one another in a color fight.
Founded in 1893, Sheltering Arms Senior Services has devoted more than a century to providing Houston’s elderly population with care, advocacy, and community support. Despite its long history, the nonprofit organization is only looking forward. Between 2011 and 2012, it provided seniors with 128,658 hours of personal-care assistance—including meal preparation and housekeeping—and fed 2,182 seniors a nutritious meal. And their specially designed Adult Day Center, which provides top-notch care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Factor in the organization's more than 20 Houston-area senior centers, where staffers offer recreational activities, health education, and legal advocacy, and it is clear that Sheltering Arms is only building upon its 120-year foundation.
Sheltering Arms' mission begins with its committed corps of staff members and volunteers. Certified nurses’ aides customize and implement home-care plans that include light housekeeping, meal prep, and medication reminders. Social workers advocate for members at risk of being institutionalized by managing their financial and health casework. Volunteers make daily safety checks on seniors who are living alone and organize arts-and-crafts classes, game nights, and dances.
What began as a small studio with five enthusiastic dance students has transformed into a full-fledged company that's educated thousands and won multiple awards along the way—including a Certificate of Congressional Recognition. Today, Strictly Street Salsa has a whole team of instructors that has danced its way across the likes of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Spain, and Rome and is ready to introduce students to new cultures through the art of dance. The studio offers classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced dancers in both salsa and tango and hosts dance workshops that blend Latin dance with various cultural elements, including African movement, gypsy music, and good old-fashioned American screaming.
Houston's skyline looms over Urban Warzone’s downtown field, which recently grew in size due to a land purchase, framing a detritus-strewn paintball arena where players skulk and snipe gear-clad combatants. Under the watchful eyes of referees and sentient corporate executives in skyscraping offices, players can paint the entire town or a single disliked opponent with semi-automated sprays of paintballs. As battlers duck behind corrugated tubes and wooden bunkers, paintballs zip through the air, splattering the ramparts or leaving Rorschach blots on players' armor.
To create a personalized experience, each game has a dedicated host catering to the needs of private parties or scheduled events. Elsewhere, a covered picnic area shields onlookers from elements and provides an excellent venue for spectating or snacking.
Karen Mones's passion for fitness began at a young age, exercising to Jane Fonda videos with her mother. She went on to play softball, earn her bachelor's in exercise and sports science, and obtain six instructor certifications in everything from yoga to strength training. She founded Houston Adventure Boot Camp to share her knowledge and passion for fitness with as many people as possible.
She and her trainers create different regimens each day, taking advantage of the city's natural spaces and natural forces to enhance their workouts. They challenge gravity by having students lift their own bodyweight or free weights. Students plow through the heaviest friction the air can throw at them in sprints, and they hold up under constant pressure from the sun to nap in the middle of a field.