Staffed by a team of nine eye doctors and surgeons, Tidewater Eye Center has racked up recognition in three categories from HamptonRoads.com's Best of Hampton Roads, including Best Health Care Provider and Best Place for Laser Vision Correction. Patients can receive a variety of optometry services at each of the clinic’s three locations, including basic eye exams; treatments for glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration; and even aesthetic procedures, including eyelid surgery. Yet, the center’s most popular treatment is blade-free LASIK eye surgery, which eliminates the need for lenses and soda-bottle monocles in as little as 15 minutes.
Kobukan Martial Arts’ trainers emphasize the mental benefits of the ancient fighting techniques as strongly as the physical ones. The controlled focus required in Tai Chi eases stress, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu offers the peace of mind that comes from learning self-defense techniques and sculpting muscles quickly. A full schedule also holds other MMA classes, such as kickboxing and karate.
While serving oversees in the US military, Tracy Lee Thomas would often dream of opening his own martial-arts training studio. He had been training in martial arts since he was 13 years old, mastering the form and self-defense techniques of a variety of styles and eventually earning his seventh-degree black belt. He was able to realize this dream once he returned to American soil, where he opened up his own studio: Changing Lives Martial Arts.
Today, the official American Taekwondo Association master pulls from his years of expertise to lead karate, tae kwon do, and krav maga classes to students of all ages. Tracy and his team of expert instructors teach self-defense tactics and guide students through dynamic punches and kicks while emphasizing the importance of life skills such as self-discipline and focus. The instructors also take a load off moms and dads by hosting kids’ birthday parties, where martial arts–inspired games provide a fun alternative to messy piñatas and games of pin-the-tale-on-the-grownup. His dedication to his students and martial arts has also gained the attention of the Virginian-Pilot, which has awarded him the Best of Hampton Roads award seven times from 2005 to 2012.
Ballroom Blitz VA's sure-footed instructors utilize their experience as dance educators and competitors to unveil the secrets behind dance styles such as ballroom, Latin, swing, and salsa. Instructors tailor individual sessions to meet each customer's skill level and only teach the style of dance that each student expresses interest in, gifting students with the fancy footwork of Fred Astaire or the winged feet of Hermes. Students can prepare for upcoming events and competitions, or improve their techniques before imminent dance-offs with rival neighborhood gangs.
Adam and Jennifer Pismeny have always been passionate about fitness. They both became involved with sports at a young age: Jennifer enjoyed swimming, cheerleading, and dance, and Adam focused on activities including soccer and BMX racing, qualifying for state-level meets and competitions along the way. Perhaps as a facet of their team-sports experience, the duo also has a long history of helping others. Jennifer, who has struggled with weight concerns, obtained her undergraduate degree in elementary education, and both of them became certified personal trainers to guide other people toward achieving personal health goals.
Along with trainer Joe Boozer, the Pismenys share their knowledge and experience at Hampton Roads Adventure Bootcamp, which is part of one of the largest boot-camp organizations in the world. Their program was designed by fitness expert John Spencer Ellis to build strength and confidence via a combination of motivating, varied workouts and nutritional guidance. The team hosts sessions five days a week all year long, leading groups of about 30 women through exercises that can be modified for all skill levels or any number of extra biceps.
Virginia Beach Rock Gym is anchored by a 32-foot wall, where auto belay, top rope, and lead climbing sections help guests tackle realistically textured slabs, inverts, roofs, bulges, cracks, corners, and arêtes. Two 12-foot tall freestanding boulders are available for climbers wanting to develop strength and practice technique while staying low to the ground. In addition to supervising the climbing areas, VBRG’s friendly, knowledgeable, and professional staff members also run a fully stocked pro shop and teach classes that cover topics, including knot-tying, belaying, the philosophies of the "rock star" lifestyle, and the ever-important technique of traversing past a pterodactyl nest without disturbing the mother.