When Aikido instructor Elliot Freeman discovered martial arts as a teenager, his interest knew no bounds. He searched for and attempted to master as many forms as he could find, including Kendo, Tae Kwando, and sword. When he heard rumors that the mysterious style known as Aikido could grant practitioners the ability to throw people across the room without touching them or secretly attaching their pant legs to a trebuchet, he knew he found what would be the bedrock to his entire career. He eventually studied under acclaimed Aikido masters, earned top ratings in the National Karate Assocation and American Karate Association, and formed various programs and dojos. In 1993 Freeman journeyed to St. Louis to study with action-film star Sensei Steven Seagal at his Aikido summer camp. Seagal became so impressed with Freeman that he asked him to open a new school in St. Louis. Freeman readily agreed, founding Three Rivers Aikido where he still acts as chief instructor alongside many other Master Instructors. Freeman, along with 12 other Aikido instructors, welcomes students of all ages to come and train within the 3,500-square-foot dojo.
In addition to the martial-arts training offered at the dojo, Yoga instructor Alyona Komolova, a former Russian ballerina, offers classes to help students increase flexibility. Tai Chi Instructor Justin Meehan, a martial-arts veteran of 38 years, instructs attendees in tai chi, a relaxing flow of prescribed motions that balance body and mind.
Master Ken O'Neill, who has been practicing martial arts since 1969, and has experience with Aikido, Mauy Thai, Filipino Kali-Escrima, jujustu, Russian Systema, and more.
At two different locations in Clayton and Creve Coeur, FitChix functions as a one-stop shop for fun and challenging women-only classes,personal training, and playful parties that impart striptease and lap-dancing techniques. Instructors in the signature FitChix sessions employ circuit- and interval-training methods that fine-tune physiques and complement the studio's eclectic lineup of pole dancing, kickboxing, and creative cardio classes. During FitChix's Booty Camp, certified personal trainers invigorate fitness seekers with intense, one-hour sessions comprised of varied, motivating workouts that incorporate kettlebells, Bosu balls, and TRX machines. They'll collaborate with exercisers to help them reach their goals and defeat the turtles of pessimism hiding in the obstacle courses.
After working out, patrons can peruse the apparel and accessories at an onsite boutique.
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For nearly half a century, clients have been stopping into The Posh Nosh Deli to dig into hot and cold sandwiches, hot matzo-ball soup, and the buckets of pickles and kraut that top every table. Reuben sandwiches are a shop specialty with five incarnations that include the Rebecca (pastrami instead of corned beef), the veggie Reuben (sliced tomato instead of meat), and the Rachel (turkey pastrami). Those who prefer not to know their sandwich on a first-name basis can try classic roast beef, kosher beef salami, or a smoked club loaded with ham, smoked turkey, smoked gouda, and bacon. Any sandwich can be made "New York Style" by doubling the meat and then stuffing it into a giant apple.
Knowing their clients don’t always have time to stop in, The Posh Nosh Deli also delivers premade lunch boxes that pair a favorite sandwich with chips, a chocolate-chip cookie, and a deli pickle. The family-owned shop opens its doors from breakfast until late afternoon, with staff explaining the differing tastes of the meats, cheeses, and deli sides, which can be sliced by the pound or to fit any standard pants pocket.
A longtime tennis player, Mark Platt began teaching the sport as soon as he graduated from high school. However, after a brief period of instructing at local country clubs, he realized that his heart wasn’t in the work. The country clubs catered to intermediate and advanced players, and Mark wanted to teach beginners. In the absence of a satisfactory beginning tennis program in the area, he founded Mark Platt’s Beginner’s World Tennis in 1984.
As a tennis instructor, Mark has won numerous awards from such prestigious publications as Tennis Pro and Tennis Industry, according to the St. Louis Business Journal. Specifically geared toward beginners, his program combines lessons with special events including camps, leagues, and parties designed to encourage socializing—so far, his program has spawned 53 marriages. He and his small staff have big plans for the beginning tennis world; this year alone, they expect to introduce 10,000 adults, children, and marionettes to the sport.
When Alive magazine publisher Elizabeth Tucker first thought about LASIK surgery as an alternative to the glasses she had worn since second grade, she didn't think it was an option. She feared the cost, worried about the time off work, and was unsure about how safe the procedure would be. Luckily, numerous friends told her about the transformative effects of their own procedures, and she finally decided to take the plunge at Crown Laser Center. There, a team of seven board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, and surgeons put Elizabeth and other clients at ease as they correct corneas with trained hands and cutting-edge equipment, boasting a 99% surgery-success rate. Elizabeth is now glasses-free and doesn't regret a thing. "It's been life-changing for me," she says in a video on the laser center's website, "I would recommend it to anyone."
Founder Todd Beckman opened the first Tan Company location, then called The St. Louis Tan Company, in 1994 with a pair of average-size sun retreats. After perfecting a superstore concept with multiple levels of tanning beds and an intrepid-reporter alter ego, Beckman's bronzing business now spans 53 locations in 8 states, including 39 locations in the St. Louis area. Todd ensures each salon keeps the same high standards that won the 2010 award for Best Tanning in St. Louis from CityVoter.
A knowledgeable staff maintains each bright, highly sanitized environment and stocks shelves with Australian Gold, Swedish Beauty, and Designer Skin tanning products. The Tan Company also fashions UV-free tans with Mystic Tan standup booths that evenly spritz bodies with a paraben-free DHA solution infused with aloe vera.