When Debra Sternberg first caught sight of Tom Koerner at the Doc Scantlin dance in 1987, she was smitten by his enthusiastic jitterbug. Though the duo's subsequent amorous relationship lasted only a year, their swing-dance partnership has lasted for decades. Together, they have jitterbugged and lindy hopped into the top spots in contests that include the 1994 UK Lindy Hop Championships, the 1998 Virginia State Open, and the 2010 National Living Legends of Swing Award.
Today, Tom and Debra pass on their expertise and passion at Gottaswing, their dance school that has expanded into eight locations throughout the United States. Each week, more than 500 students lay the six- and eight-count foundations for the jitterbug and lindy hop. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes meet six nights a week at various studios and dance clubs throughout the DC area, each equipped with a dance floor where students and a woman who looks suspiciously like Amelia Earhart can let loose . Four nights a week, the school invites students to join fellow classmates at events to dance along with DJ-curated tunes and live music.
Sticks and stones may break some bones, but not if they’re directed toward one of Capital MMA & Elite Fitness’s students. In a team-oriented environment, the studio’s instructors teach key mixed-martial-arts moves such as grappling, striking, and wrestling and supplement the training with classes in specific fighting styles, such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay thai. Guests looking for a practical crash course in self-defense learn snippets from each technique in self-defense classes, learning methods for staying aware of surroundings, fending off attackers, and freeing themselves from the grip of King Kongs. Some women-only classes are also available.
The studio's CrossFit program, alternatively, boosts athleticism without combat, through a multi-faceted regimen of Olympic weightlifting, cardio exercise, and custom diets. Beyond group classes, the center offers private lessons and seminars, which allow its students—both children to adults—to learn with focused guidance.
The first stat listed beneath a coach's name at Perfect Performance is his or her specialization. Wide receivers and running backs, tight ends and offensive linemen, speed and combine––each coach boasts a different area of expertise. Which is good news for school-aged athletes, who can choose from a few sports-specific options at the training facility. General speed and strength conditioning classes focus on core strength and stability, acceleration and deceleration mechanics, and agility and quickness. More than 10 programs welcome kids as young as 7 to hone their game.
But no matter on which program young athletes decide, the overarching methodology remains the same. Coaches create goals for each athlete based on a four-step process: evaluation, post-evaluation consultation, training, and post-training evaluation. In this way, they maintain a level of transparency with both student and parents about where athletes stand and how they've progressed.
Taekwondo isn't just about using feet and fists for self defense. It's a journey of the mind, the body, and especially the spirit at Kingdom Warriors Christian Taekwondo. The school is a ministry of Washington Community Church, and as part of the esteemed United States Chung Do Kwan Association, Kingdom Warriors also has the certified blessing of World Taekwondo Federation. As both a licensed minister and a high ranking black belt, Senior Grandmaster Ed Sell has ministered to thousands of soldiers, carrying on Kingdom Warriors motto: "To give strength to the weak, confidence to the timid, and spiritual guidance to those who seek after God." In addition to their lessons in self-defense, self-discipline, physical fitness, coordination, and spirituality, Kingdom Warriors Christian Taekwondo also counts itself a part of the SPARK after school program series in which youngsters can learn taekwondo, or enjoy tutoring, socializing, and study activities.
Trouble Defense's instructors work out of Sharp Shooters, which features 16 handgun and rifle lanes.
Instructors supply rental firearms (pistols or rifles depending on the class), ammunition, and ear and eye protection.
Safety is the cornerstone of Trouble Defense, which teaches two types of classes: hand-to-hand defense and firearms training. Master Gibson takes care of the former. The fourth-degree black belt instructs men and women on situational awareness, physical defense, and how to prevent altercations. NRA-certified instructor Keith Jordan leads things on the firearms front, covering both handgun and rifle use.
At Potomac Kempo, professional instructors focus on fitness and exercise while teaching self-defense. They help their students build strength, balance, speed, endurance, and coordination, as a way to liven up repetitive fitness routines or add to non-existent ones. Perhaps more importantly, they incorporate the key elements of martial arts—allowing each of their students to reduce stress, increase energy, improve focus, and gain self-discipline.