Harnessing yourself to a rope and rappelling into a canyon is challenging enough--but what if on the way down, you run into a waterfall? Since 1999, ATS AdventureWorks has prepared students for exactly this type of outdoor challenge, with courses in canyoneering, mountaineering, and rock climbing. Adventurers can also try their hand at these vertical sports on the company's indoor ropes courses, or on guided trips to rock formations and climbable celebrity homes throughout Southern California. The company's veteran team oversees every outing and class, keeping novices safe and sharing tips on gear and safety. And even when they're not working with students, they're navigating rough terrain and setting up specialty TV rigging for shows such The Amazing Race, The Bachelor, and The Biggest Loser.
The trend-attuned staff at Store13 lines the walls with creative and original brands of street apparel, footwear, and accessories beloved by freestyle cyclists and skateboarders. Andre the Giant chides passersby to do as they are told from the technicolor crest on a Genuine Article T-shirt by Obey ($26). Stow your gear with reliable style inside a blue and grey mini-metro backpack by Chrome ($120), or slip on a black, narrow-brimmed castor woven hat by Brixton ($40) and pair of black canvas sneakers by Cadence ($49.99) to keeps heads and feet stylishly covered in concert.
The instructors at Ace of Spades Boxing don’t just throw anybody into the ring. Their adult boxing program begins with four weeks of strength and conditioning training before the sport’s fundamentals—such as basic footwork and jabs—are even introduced. By week nine, teachers incorporate more advanced techniques, including combination punches and drills. After proving yourself with bag and mitt work, it’s time to step into the ring for full contact sparring sessions once or twice a week. Open to boxers of all skill levels, Ace of Spades not only hosts classes, but also offers weekly open gym times where patrons can refine their uppercuts.
The founder of Shaolin Kempo Karate and Villari Martial Arts, Grandmaster Frederick Villari is a 12th-degree blackbelt—the highest rank one can achieve. His style blends Japanese and Chinese martial arts with Western boxing, resulting in a fighting system that helps students employ practical self-defense tactics. The system is also rooted in peace and harmony, leading students to also develop life skills such as discipline, respect, and confidence. Grandmaster Villari has been teaching for more than 40 years, and his style has spread to more than 500 schools that currently teach the method.
A seventh-degree black belt in hapkido. An eighth-degree black belt in taekwondo. A 10th-degree black belt in karate. A masters certification in the martial arts from Seoul National University in South Korea. This laundry list of accomplishments belongs to Grand Master Myung II Kim, a South Korea native who started practicing martial arts at the ripe young age of five. At MIK Martial Arts, he and fellow instructors bring their varied areas of MMA expertise to martial arts classes for children and adults. Classes span a wide variety of martial arts; student might find themselves sparring with opponents in karate, jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, and even bowstaff combat.
True to its name, Empire Bikes is all about expanding the civilization of cycling. Its inventory spans everything from beach cruisers to race-ready road bikes, and its handy staff helps keep existing bicycles in tiptop shape. They also foster a sense of cycling community with weekly rides and bike-centric events that benefit charities and other causes.