At age 11, Tony Genova faced an inescapable problem: bullies were making his life miserable. Looking for help, he found his way to martial-arts classes—and he was a natural. Only three years later, he was a black belt in karate. Now a fourth-degree black belt, he seeks to pass on the self-discipline and respect he learned through his classes at Texas Karate Center. He and his team of instructors teach kids and adults of all ages and abilities, including classes designed for kids with special needs.
Boasting a spacious driving range and practice areas for putting and chipping, Timbercreek Golf Center helps club-toting clientele hone all facets of their golf games. Buckets brimming with obedient range balls facilitate swing improvements, as each spheroid willfully subjects itself to swing experiments while commending duffers for their stylish neon knickers. All-grass hitting areas further enhance practice sessions, as the organic surface more closely emulates on-course lies and allows golfers to seek divot-tearing vengeance on Mother Earth for a lifetime of debilitating grass stains. Well-struck drives jettison balls into the stratosphere before they rain down on the range's large target greens that beckon in the distance. The range is also illuminated each night, enabling divoteers to hone swings in late-night sessions.
Six principles guide courses at American Masters Martial Arts. These principles—which include politeness, bravery, and respect—ensure that students come away not only with martial arts skills but also with a sense of character and integrity. Instructors specialize in seven martial arts styles, and while some courses are sports-oriented, others focus on self-defense. Whether learning hapkido, tai chi, tae kwon do, or personal safety techniques, students earn a well-rounded education that encompasses both physical and mental goals.
The instructors at Excite! Gym, Cheer, and Dance fulfill many roles for each child, from leading dance, gymnastics, cheer, and tumble classes to ushering fun programs. They work with students preschool aged and up, focusing mostly on the physical skills needed for tumbling, cheerleading, and dance. They hold regular classes for kids to attend, and also conduct more succinct summer and holiday camps. All the while, instructors monitor their charges' progress carefully, regularly promoting them to more challenging classes as they master the skill requirements.
Equipment: Trampolines, tumble mats, foam pit, bars, beams, all spring floors.
Students should bring: Comfortable clothing, pack a lunch and drink.
Average class length: 30-60 minutes
Number of Staff: 25+
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
What inspired you to start your own martial-arts school?
It has been a lifelong dream to teach at and own my own martial-arts school. Ever since high school, my focus has been to develop students into great people who are skilled in martial arts. When I saw people grow in confidence over weeks of training, I knew that the business of helping people was going to be my passion. When the opportunity presented itself to serve the city I grew up in, I was humbled to do so. My motivation is positively impacting the lives of students and their families.
What’s the vibe of your school like?
The vibe is a homegrown business. It’s a clean, straightforward presentation that is modest in its decoration. We keep our trophies in the corner of the room while we display our six principles—Be Polite, Be Patient, Be Alert, Be Brave, Do Your Best, Respect Yourself and Others—proudly over our mirrors.
Describe you average student.
Our average customers are people that have heard about the benefits of martial-arts training and want to see what it can do for them. They start out timid and apprehensive but, with consistent encouragement, they grow into more confident people that can stand in front of a group . . . and be themselves without being embarrassed.
What makes your business stand out from the competition?
Our school emphasizes the character development that other schools seem to lose sight of. We give our students the chance to grow in confidence and build themselves up to effectively defend themselves in a great atmosphere. We are dedicated to the goals of our students and encourage them to be the best version of themselves they can be.
Course architect Tripp Davis drew inspiration from both classic Scottish links and California’s famous Monterey Peninsula courses when crafting Stewart Peninsula Golf Course, an 18-hole layout touched on all sides by the waters of Lake Lewisville. Much like the conditions found at Stewart Peninsula’s high-profile muses, ever-shifting winds play a large factor in course play, challenging golfers who struggle to keep balls low or prefer to steer their carts with massive sails. The course also features two terraced par 5s—holes 9 and 18—that recall seaside holes at Harbour Town and Pebble Beach and end both 9s in dramatic fashion. Before taking to the first tee, clubbers can head to the driving range, where warm-up sessions will help prevent them from losing their balls in the abyss of Lake Lewisville or the neighboring ruptures in the fabric of space time.