Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
Behind Excel Motors' rows of shiny preowned vehicles, mechanics tinker under their iconic ASE-certification shoulder patches, their hands sowing the hard work necessary to harvest peak mileage from engines of all sorts. Quarts of high-quality oil await their chance to flow alongside thirsty car metals, and bays securely hoist autos into the air so techs can service them, inspect various parts for safety, or rotate tires. Meanwhile, customers can peruse the lots for a new domestic or imported car and take a look at each vehicle's Carfax report to see its prior life, accident history, and ability to snuggle with weather tarps.
LifeShield protects home owners and their valuables with a savvy combination of smart technologies. While some other home security systems can be easily ripped out of the wall by a belligerent R2-D2, LifeShield’s systems feature two “brains” located throughout the house with multiple layers of backup protection. The LifeShield Essential Kit contains all of the hardware needed to stump burglars and unwelcome relatives, along with foreboding window stickers and a yard sign to advertise your abode’s impenetrability. This Groupon includes the first two months of LifeShield’s monitoring service ($29.99 a month), which puts the house on a direct lifeline to police protection. The monitoring service also allows owners to arm or disarm the system from their phones and set up open-door alerts, enabling them to see whether their kids came home from school at 3 or their spouse is back from visiting his or her secret family.
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces?including vases, mugs, and mermaids?await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze and fire it for them before customers retrieve the finished piece a few days later.