Kids' karate is one of the specialties at American T.K.A. Universal Martial Arts, and it's no surprise: the gym goes so far as to pick students up after school so that they can take part in their hobby as soon as the bell rings. Though karate joins tae kwon do and MMA as three of their programs tailored specifically to children, the staff also guides adults through martial-arts training as well. After 15 years at the same location, American T.K.A.'s offerings also include muay thai, boxing for kids and adults, and aerobics-style kickboxing for grownups.
More than 60 times a day, Skydive Air Adventures' King Air jump plane climbs to nearly 3 miles above the earth's surface. Once there, instructors strap themselves to novice divers and plunge out of the aircraft during tandem flights. The frequency of these dives has allowed some of them to rack up serious airtime; many instructors have more than 8,000 dives under their belts, including Carl Smith, who has jumped from planes and escalators to heaven more than 14,900 times. To keep track of all these jumps, Skydive Air Adventures can shoot photos and videos of every wind-blown expression and ear-to-ear grin.
In one, fluid motion, an advanced student of Batto slashes his sword through the air. Gracefully, the live blade slices through a bundle of saturated straw—a dense target meant to simulate the resistance of a body or a stack of unpaid credit card bills. At Japan Karate-Do Genbu-Kai of Florida, Batto is one of two specialty programs that utilizes weapons in its training. But the facility doesn't rely solely on weapons to teach martial arts. While seasoned students may eventually choose to pick up a sword, Japan Karate-Do emphasizes mental focus and discipline above all. It’s a theme that carries through all of the facility's programs, starting with the Little Ninja program for kids aged 4–6. They offer junior karate, adult karate, and Okinawan weapon.
Twenty-nine thousand square feet of space. Forty-five group fitness classes per week. Over 30,000 pounds of free weights. As impressive as the numbers may be, it's the attention to personal detail that the trainers at Ultima Fitness pride themselves on. They work one on one with clients to achieve specific fitness goals and lead classes ranging from the lighthearted fun of Zumba to the competitive intensity of cardio kickboxing. While parents work out with the trainers, the gym welcomes children up to 12 years old into the fitness fold with their kids' club, a supervised play area. Additionally, separate from the gym's 100 strength-training machines and 70 pieces of cardio equipment lies a women's only workout area, featuring much of the same equipment, only without the attached mustache combs.
Nestled inside Ultima's expansive studio, the 3,000-square-foot Xtreme Tae Kwon Do teaches the five-thousand-year-old martial art. In a flurry of fists and feet instructors host many controlled sparring sessions so that aspiring fighters can get used to the feeling of high-speed contact and learn to defend against attackers.
Power lifting, gymnastics, running, rowing, and jumping rope. These are several tools CrossFit uses to facilitate fitness, but not all of them. At CrossFit Wellington, coaches employ the system's medley of exercises to create a comprehensive workout. That workout features constantly varied functional movements performed at a high intensity. In short order, it builds total-body fitness—enhancing strength, stamina, and agility. Instructors change workouts daily, too, to keep boredom from sneaking in and ruining motivation. Motivation, actually, is another tool of CrossFit, and CrossFit Wellington's staff of trainers knows just how use it to keep everyone on track and inspired to achieve goals. And, since workouts can be adapted to anyone's abilities, CrossFit is ideal for all fitness levels and ages. An inclusive system by nature, trainers further its accessibility by offering beginner's classes and even kids' programs.
The 18 holes of Palm Beach Gardens Golf Course slither through the natural marshes and wetlands of the Loxahatchee Nature Preserve, testing golfers' mettle with frequent changes in fairway direction and lots of water. Players scoot about the Roy Case-designed layout aboard golf carts equipped with GPS systems, which help them ascertain exact distances to greens and around sunbathing caddies. The fairway of the par 5 ninth hole -- dubbed "Mucho Agua" -- lies on an isthmus between two large bodies of water, leaving little room for error as players try to reach the green in two. The fairway of the 13th hole, also a par 5, doglegs twice into a unique Z shape, earning it the name of "Zorro's Revenge." Before players may turn in for the day, they must deal with two shots over water on the last hole, named "Swamp Thing" for its proximity to marshland and proclivity for early '80s horror movies.
Course at a Glance: