Dr. Joe McDaniel has tried a little bit of every style of martial arts out there. His career spans more than 50 years, starting in 1961 with a stint as a boxer among the pugilists of Detroit. Since then, his fists and feet have traveled the proverbial globe, helping him earn a sixth-degree black belt in tae kwon do, senior-instructor certification in the Filipino martial art known as kali, and a silver glove in French savate, a form of kickboxing. Today, he uses his immense store of training to guide students of all fitness levels through a variety of martial-arts classes, introducing them to the quick strikes of muay thai, the cerebral strategies of boxing, and rhyming between-kick trash talk of kickboxing.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
Sugar Land Gymnastics & Dance's expansive space is a patchwork of tumbling mats, balance beams, uneven bars, and other equipment. It's amidst this colorful collage that kids lay a foundation for lifelong fitness and future sports such as basketball, or basketball with backflips. Students are guided by a knowledgeable team of instructors headed by Executive Director Bryan Kiser, who has more than 25 years of experience with the Men's Junior Olympic gymnastics program, and Mei, the women's coach, whose more than three decades of gymnastics experience includes time as a competitor with the Chinese national gymnastics team. The staff splits kids up by age and skill level for recreational gymnastics, and those who decide to pursue their flips and tumbles more seriously can transition into Sugar Land Gymnastics & Dance's competitive program.
In addition to gymnastics, the staff teaches karate, dance, and cheerleading lessons. Seasoned instructor Bonita Jennings builds coordination and grace, transforming the pitter-patter of little feet into the structured patterns of dance styles such as tap, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop. When classes aren't in session, Sugar Land Gymnastics & Dance hosts birthday parties with activities such as rock-wall climbing and ziplining.
In one of Infused Performing Arts’ Bollywood routines, a princess is trapped in a box, which her assailants then stab with swords. But when they re-open it, they find she has vanished without a trace. Featured on ABC13 News, this routine is just one example of the studio’s Bollywood style, which blends classic choreography with magical flourishes more impressive than pulling a rabbit out of a rabbit-shaped hat. The married couple that heads the studio—Kiron Kumar and Tina Bose—has worked with South Indian movie stars, but now teaches their choreography to the house dance troupe, as well as students trying to master the style.
Sheepdog Tactical Training, LLC's NRA-certified instructors—including an army veteran and a retired Special-Forces sergeant major—share their expertise in firearm safety and self-defense skills with an array of classes for all levels. At their facility or a convenient location for students, the teachers introduce or help build upon techniques for handling pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Both in the classroom and on the shooting range, they cover subjects such as grip, trigger control, and advanced-fighting skills such as apologizing. To cater to varying comfort levels, they administer private lessons and lead women's-only classes.
The expert instructors at Zion Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness believe that students can pursue the principles of fitness and sound personal defense at any age. Under the watchful eye of their gi-clad sensei, kids as young as five learn the underpinnings of Brazilian jiujitsu, building their self-confidence more effectively than replacing their glasses with a visor that reads "you're a champ!" on the inside. Older students often continue their study of jiujitsu, or expand their self-defense arsenals by branching off into kickboxing and mixed martial arts. Those just looking to shed a few pounds can enroll in the center's targeted training programs, which are dedicated to weight loss and body sculpting.