When Darren Levine received his first Krav Maga black belt in 1984, he wasn't the first man to have worn that particular piece of fabric. The belt originally belonged to the man presenting it to him: Imi Lichtenfeld, the creator of Krav Maga. Darren had had the good fortune of learning the self-defense technique from Imi himself, and eventually became one of Imi's most trusted practitioners, developing training programs for more than 5,000 law enforcement and military personnel throughout the U.S.
In 1998, just one year after his beloved mentor passed away, Darren founded Krav Maga Worldwide to meet growing demand from curious civilians. The hand-to-hand technique is focused on reacting to realistic attacks, and teachers use scenarios inspired by everything from military combat, to late-night walks alone, to heated matches of Whac-A-Mole. Darren and his team lead various programs tailored for law enforcement and military members, women, fitness buffs, and even children, and they also offer certification programs for those looking to become instructors.
When he’s not designing floral art for the Oscars, Grammys, or Emmys, Kevin Lee uses his petal-placing prowess to create weekly, semimonthly, or monthly arrangements for homes and offices. Kevin and the Simply Petals team source flowers and greens directly from growers before crafting customized arrangements by hand. Finished arrangements are then delivered to locations within the shop’s designated delivery areas, which all share the planet address of Earth. In addition, Kevin makes custom bouquets for events such as weddings and bar mitzvahs.
At Preferred Dental Spa, tooth whisperers apply a specialty Zoom! gel onto chompers, which then bathe in focused, intense light in three 15-minute cycles. The 45-minute service causes minimal discomfort, if any, and brightens teeth up to eight shades more efficiently than holding a flashlight between teeth. Zoom! reports that with careful upkeep, results can last for years.
Photographer Stuart Townsley uses a trained eye and high-tech equipment to capture memories into frameworthy prints and digital art, using 10 of LA's most attractive landmarks as backdrops. The famed local sites where he sets up camp—such as the roaring Pacific Ocean under Santa Monica Pier or the 1930s architecture and picturesque fountain of Union Station—elegantly complement subjects' smiling visages. His shutter snaps hundreds of times during each photo shoot, immortalizing the faces, poses, and secret handshakes of families and well-behaved pets. Well-versed in state-of-the-art retouching gear, Stuart unfurls his astutely edited creations onto glossy prints, canvases, and online albums.
Stuart's advice on what to wear and bring to shoots, garnered through 12 years of professional experience, conveniently resides online to aid in the selection of appropriate outfits for every mother, father, child, or hamster.
A row of brown aprons lines the seafoam green wall in the kitchen at Give Me Some Sugar. Students wrap themselves in these aprons in preparation for lessons taught by seasoned chef instructors. In basic classes, students squeeze piping bags filled with fresh buttercream to adorn pre-made cakes with rosettes, shells, and blueprints of perpetual-motion machines. Specialty classes show students how to work with specific ingredients, such as fondant classes in which participants cut out shapes and letters, or cake ball classes in which students learn to decorate round shapes with sprinkles and candy and how to pump basketballs full of cake. Students age 8 and up of almost any skill level can find a class that fits and don't have to worry about procuring their own icing bags or aprons, because the studio provides all needed supplies. Staff members will also ensure gluten-free or vegan supplies are on hand with prior arrangement.
With locations in San Ramon and Lafayette, internationally recognized Itrim helps members lose weight quickly and keep it off by combining healthy meal plans with a specialized exercise center. Unlike other weight-loss programs that stop when clients have reached their goal, Itrim recognizes that most people still need guidance when it comes to maintaining their svelte figures. So their health coaches and staff take the time to provide hands-on support and give members tips for incorporating healthy eating and exercise into their daily routine. By following these tips and the rest of the program, Itrim says members can lose an average of 25 pounds in the first 12 weeks.