Like any 18-year-old kid working a job, Prem Carnot couldn't wait to clock out for the day. But instead of calling up his friends after his workday, he had something else in mind. After his shift at Parisian hotel tucked in the shadow of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Prem would grab his gym bag, jog across the Seine, and spend the next five hours practicing backhands and forehands. At that time, his game of choice was ping-pong. The dedication paid off, landing him a spot in the French National Table Tennis Championships.
It wasn't until he moved to Washington state, had a run in with a shrink ray, and met an enthusiastic pickleball player that he redirected his ping-pong prowess into the new sport, travelling the country to compete in tournaments. Today, Prem takes players under his wing to teach them the ins and outs of the sport. Though a master pickleball blaster in his own right, he approaches each lesson with humility, discovering each new student's innate playing style and going from there. The results have been overwhelmingly positive, as former students sing Prem's praises.
When you can hear the gentle whoosh of the tides from your backyard, it's impossible to ignore the ocean's calling. What's Up Stand Up Paddleboard Surf Company happily embraces the calm Pacific waters that backdrop their three locations, beckoning passersby to hop on their standup paddleboards and skim across Mother Nature's aquatic playground. Each location's tranquil water conditions are ideal for visitors to learn and enjoy the paddle-powered sport, which situates riders atop paddleboards, where they'll propel themselves with paddles. Standup paddleboarding not only strengthens an array of muscles but can also bring paddlers up close to the area's wildlife, which may include dolphins and sea lions.
At his locations in La Jolla, Carlsbad, and Oceanside Harbor, Oceanside Paddleboard's George Hood equips students with the gear and know-how necessary to enjoy a day skimming across the water. When paddlers-to-be arrive at the water, he fits them with a board and paddle and then sheds light on proper techniques for maintaining balance, smooth propulsion, and turning around periscopes. Once students get the hang of it, they're free to explore the nearby waters, where they can catch glimpses of birds and sea creatures, all-the-while getting some cardiovascular exercise.
Arcadian Ascents helps students to master the art of open-air rock climbing with guided excursions and onsite lessons for all experience levels. The maximum student-to-instructor ratio for each class is 4:1, and all guides and instructors have earned certifications as single pitch instructors from the American Mountain Guides Association and as wilderness first responders from the Wilderness Medicine Institute. Private and group courses cover material from basic rock movement to custom-designed courses on speed climbing, self-rescue, and advanced rope technique. Arcadian Ascents provides all equipment for most courses, including climbing shoes, helmets, ropes, and mountain-goat bribes.
Rock-ascending buffs can also expand their experience and strive for new personal achievements on guided trips to Mexico or Spain. Veteran climber and guide Josh Wieberg leads his charges with experience climbing from Canada to Italy and wields his BA in history and philosophy to teach in public schools when not scaling their brick walls.
Kempo’s movement patterns may look beautiful—fluid, swooping kicks, graceful evasions, smooth takedowns—but underneath the beauty lies a tradition nearly 2,000 years old. Since 1968, the instructors at United Studios of Self Defense have armed students with these techniques, leading classes where participants of all ages and skill levels soak up fighting skill while galvanizing self-confidence.
But before they can share their tactics and Mortal Kombat cheat codes, the instructors themselves must be trained. Each instructor who cinches the black belt around their waist has graduated with honors from the Studio’s own rigorous training academy. The training doesn’t stop there; every week they meet with the founder himself, 10th-degree black belt Charles Mattera, who refines their strategies and instills them with advanced techniques.
Self-defense is at the core of each technique taught at White Dragon Martial Arts. Whether students are practicing kung fu or MMA, they'll learn how to successfully defend themselves against intimidating opponents who may be larger in size or wearing a superhero cape. Kickboxing classes add an element of cardiovascular fitness, tai chi sessions slow down the moves to a meditative pace, and grappling lessons provide step-by-step instructions on how to take someone down to the floor. Instructors also spend one-on-one time with students during personal-training sessions that focus on perfecting punches and kicks.