Bel Air Golf Center helps duffers straighten out drives, hone putter strokes, and lower scores with an expansive driving range and miniature-golf facility geared toward player improvement. Turn unsightly snap-hooks into power-draws of supernatural beauty at one of the driving range’s 47 stalls—10 of which are enclosed, heated, and lighted to facilitate sessions in rainstorms, after sunset, or on the ice planet Hoth. The range also helps divoteers dial in their distance with 14 target flags measured to precise yardage.
As a part of the Maryland state-park system, The Graham Equestrian Center allows riders to navigate the several miles of trails winding throughout Gunpowder Falls State Park. The center draws its name from Dr. Albert Graham, who deeded his farm and 22-stall barn to the park system in order to help fortify the bond between Maryland citizens and their natural surroundings.
Through horseback-riding lessons, the center's trainer, Jim McDonald, educates children and adults on all aspects of horsemanship and horse management, from basic riding techniques to advanced grooming methods. His lessons and events also help riders understand herd dynamics as they strengthen relationships with both horses and their landscape.
Rebel Race's military-style obstacle courses challenge athletes from all backgrounds to shed humdrum day-to-day routines to experience the primal joys of mud, sweat and glory. Emerging from the mire in various states across the country, each Rebel Race packs its rucksack with tests of physical and mental toughness, rousing racers and washing machines alike to triumph in the face of sloppy opposition. After dashing through fire, climbing walls, and scaling mountains of hay, race participants bask in the collective kudos of parties, which include live entertainment, food, and beer for purchase. Camping options encourage participants and spectators to transform races into weekend getaways, while awards recognize each day's standout competitors and most-humble mud pits.
For a company that has pushed more than 1.5 million people out of planes during the course of 38 years, Skydive Baltimore enjoys a top-notch reputation among adrenaline-seeking sky travelers. Tandem skydivers pair off with their trusty instructor before ascending to 11,000 feet, taking in views of Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay as they discover what gravity feels like 2 miles above the ground. Divers can commemorate their jumps with video and photographic evidence captured by their instructor, a third jumper, or a borrowed spy satellite.
Tahirah Bowrey—the owner and head dancer of Creative Impulse Dance Studio—helms a team of five talented instructors that teach fleet-footed charges to step, swivel, and sway in styles ranging from hip-hop to ballet. Students of all ages match their footwork to classical refrains or pulsing, bass-heavy beats in three class levels, suited to beginner through advanced coryphées. Adults tone their bodies’ contours and learn to outmaneuver calories in sensual, cardio-infused styles such as floor- and pole dancing, and young children prepare to dazzle discerning hopscotch judges with pirouettes perfected in ballet class. Instructors hold lessons in a spacious hardwood studio flooded with natural light from tall windows and echoing with the sounds of toes tapping in unison.
Nearly 300 years ago, the elders of China's Shaolin Temple convened to develop a new kind of martial arts. They dreamt of a style that would eventually overcome all the others, thanks to its combat efficacy and the fact that it would take a much shorter time to learn. They named this style Wing Chun, a Chinese phrase that translates to "forever springtime" and reflected their hope for a renaissance in Shaolin martial arts.
This renaissance never quite arrived, but traditional Wing Chun is still practiced today. This is largely thanks to the efforts of practitioners such as Grandmaster William Cheung and Sifu Tim Berkemeier, the latter of whom founded Traditional Wing Chun Baltimore. It's easy to see Wing Chun's appeal to modern sensibilities, as it emphasizes a scientific approach that draws on biomechanics and angular deflections. It's also ideal for students who don't have the muscles to send their opponents flying across the room, as it focuses on disabling rather than brute strength.