Defensive Shooting Instructors' training staff includes Special Forces members, SWAT officials, and intelligence specialists. Drawing from these backgrounds, the highly trained team teaches dozens of public courses that cover everything from pistols to shotguns to hand-to-hand combat. Rather than guiding their students through simple lessons, the instructors run drills that simulate real-world conditions and aim to create safe-yet-intense environments. Depending on the class, they might have groups race through obstacles, run up stairs, or even roll in the dirt. For firearms training, they travel to local ranges and put shooters through repetitive drills focused on speed, accuracy, and consistency. In addition to civilian instruction, Defensive Shooting Instructors designs courses for law enforcement officers, military members, and deploying journalists. Its staff mans a gun shop.
Frank Abay is a busy man. Along with a security school and a private-investigation company, the licensed instructor now owns Miami Guns Inc. There, his guests can buy and sell firearms or practice their aim at the eight-lane, 25-yard indoor range. Visitors seeking more guided instruction can earn licenses by completing D and G classes. Miami Guns Inc. also hosts low-light pistol and self-defense-tactics courses, which include 100 rounds of ammo, range time, a certificate of completion, and a T-shirt.
Founded by Chief Master William Clark, Karate America is a popular martial-arts school that believes martial arts can make people happier and healthier. With locations around Florida, Karate America is staffed by highly trained instructors teaching children and adults the self-defense moves of tae kwon do, krav maga, and kickboxing. While training in a team-like atmosphere in each of these classes, members learn self-discipline and respect, gain lean muscle, and burn calories.
Through a combination of lecture-based sessions and overseen practice time at their indoor shooting range, Allstate Training Academy guides civilians, law-enforcement officers, and military members in the responsible use of firearms. The faculty includes experts such as Albert Confident, a state of Florida firearm instructor and NRA handgun and shotgun instructor, who covers the fundamentals of marksmanship, firearm maintenance, and knitting holsters. During other courses, the instructors teach students to defend themselves with retractable batons in obtaining the necessary skills to become a professional security guard.
• For $70, you get a one-hour private lesson from one of the academy's certified instructors at Doral Golf Resort (a $140 value). • For $75, you get a one-hour computer-assisted clubfitting session at Doral Golf Resort (a $150 value). • For $150, you get a one-week junior golf clinic for kids ages 7–13 at the Miami Beach Golf Club (a $300 value).
The NRA-licensed instructors at Weapons License train both civilians and security officers in armed and unarmed self-defense. Their class catalogue breaks down into an array of courses, covering topics such as concealed-weapon training, pressure-point control, and women's defense. They also dedicate time to teaching proper medical response, such as how to give CPR.
Blackwater Agency is a fully licensed and insured private-security firm serving Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties.
Shula’s Athletic Club—named for Don Shula, the NFL Hall of Famer who coached the Miami Dolphins to a Super Bowl trophy in 1972—doesn’t find it hard to fill its sprawling 40,000 square feet of space. A cardio room with more than 50 pieces of equipment, a spinning center, weight rooms, fitness-class studios, and basketball courts spread through the facility, luring athletes for independent workouts and personal-training sessions. Dozens of weekly fitness classes range from calorie-burning Zumba workouts and Vinyasa-yoga sessions to spin classes that help students practice for the day they have pedal-powered cars.
The athletic club also accommodates older exercisers with aquatic aerobics and seated Silver Sneakers workouts, and it keeps kids busy with confidence-building youth sports programs. Young legs run over a new 60-yard athletic field or nine lighted tennis courts where kids whack tennis balls and low-flying hot-air balloons with rackets.