Having honed his kitesurfing skills off the beaches of Hawaii and Southern California, both places known for gusty winds and big waves, Daniel Andersson knows all of the ins and outs of the sport. He draws on nearly a decade of teaching experience as the head instructor of Zen Athletics, which also specializes in functional fitness and jeet kune do—Bruce Lee’s combat system. Before he even got into kitesurfing, Daniel mastered several martial arts, studying muay thai and Thai-style boxing at a very early age in Thailand. He brings all of this athletic expertise to bear in his lessons, which are kept private or semiprivate with four people or less to ensure each student gets individual attention.
Whittier Narrows trains and nurtures novice and advanced tennis players with its roster of iTennis lessons, USTA adult league teams, and well-kept courts. Each of Whittier Narrows’ 16 courts are painted U.S. Open shades of blue and green to emulate professional play and increase ball visibility, and are fully lighted for nighttime and solar eclipse play. Tennis center memberships entitle players to complimentary perks such as a one-hour drill clinic, a racket demo program, weekly stroke clinics, and free ball machine rental (during off-peak hours), as well as a 10% discount in the pro shop and discounts on classes. After rinsing away sweat and lingering grunts in the men’s and women’s locker rooms, an airy member lounge invites athletes to relax on a leather couch and enjoy wireless Internet, a flat-screen television, and refreshments.
At Ring of Fire Martial Arts Academy, most of the instructors are amateur or professional fighters who blend a quartet of hapkido, muay thai, boxing, and kickboxing into fitness sessions. These classes boast resistance training that can help burn fat, tone muscle, and increase endurance and stamina along with flexibility.
Bouldering, rock climbing's weird cousin who only wears sleeveless shirts, condenses the challenge of scaling a wall by contorting the vertical plane into strange shapes, inversions, convexes, and concaves. Every route becomes a problem, an intense, Escheresque puzzle of grit and physical stamina that builds endurance, spatial-thinking skills, and body awareness. The introductory classes will impart the basics of navigating these challenging routes.
With more than 2,000 years of history behind it, tae kwon do merges traits of karate and kung fu into a form of combat often characterized by its white uniforms, powerful strikes, and devastating kicks. Although Master Michael Han of Best US Tae Kwon Do Academy Martial Arts Center trains his students how to execute these moves, he believes tae kwon do is ultimately predicated on the desire for peace. To that end, he fosters a community that promotes self-discipline, respect, and confidence.
In addition to traditional tae kwon do, Master Han teaches classes in two other Korean combat styles: hap ki do and tang soo do. The former is characterized by its strong joint locks and use of weapons such as staffs, nunchucks, and barbed insults; in the latter, practitioners dole out self-defense techniques with empty hands and bare feet.