Along their lush, 40-acre parcel of land, Brad and Mary Ann Funk bring a lifelong dream to fruition every day. The Funks transformed their property into a school—a place where visitors of all ages and experience levels can learn about the couple's shared passion: horses. In the warmer months, students of Ashwood Farms can be seen trotting, cantering, and conquering fences at the outdoor arena, equipped with all-weather footing. Year-round, the farm and stables are home to casual equestrians and competitive riders alike, a handful of whom compete across the country at AA Hunter/Jumper horse shows. Students can enroll in individual classes, or join the equestrian club for a unique, well-rounded experience that includes lessons and tips for a flawless ponytail. Ashwood also provides boarding services for those already equipped with ponies, and school horses for those who wish to use them during lessons and practice rides.
Merging golf clubs, gyms, and pools for their exclusive members, GreatLife Golf & Fitness’s collective includes 13 diverse golf courses throughout Kansas and Missouri, from the National Audubon Society–certified River Oaks in Grandview, Missouri, to the 1920-built The Oaks in Leavenworth. Golfers fearing course commitment can opt to play one 18-hole game on any of the well-manicured courses, all a prime lot for testing out swings or attempting a more avant-garde drop-kick method. Covering greens fees for four and two carts (up to $32/person) for one day, quartets can cruise around their chosen orb obstacle anytime during the weekday, while weekend play is limited to after 11 a.m.
Practicality is the name of the game at ATA Martial Arts. For kids and teens, they have bully prevention, child safety, and leadership classes, as well as karate lessons. For adults, they teach self-defense through tae kwon do while fostering fitness, positive attitudes, and confidence.
Fourth-degree black belts Jeremiah and D.C. Hackerott lead a crew of certified instructors that teach fledgling martial artists how to chop, kick, and uphold their code of honor. Women learn to grab threatening situations by the scruff of the neck during the Sexual Harassment Assault Rape Prevention—or S.H.A.R.P.—self-defense workshop. In addition to safety tips for avoiding dangerous situations, this two-hour tactics seminar discusses how attackers choose their victims, how the body reacts during stressful situations, and how to build a defensive weapon out of hand sanitizer and a scrunchie. When these concepts have been covered, femme fatales learn to recognize the five most common attacks and how to defend against them.
A joint venture between a professional boxer and a team of kickboxing-equipment tycoons, Title Boxing Club maintains a network of dozens of studios spread across 19 states, building a devoted clientele with boxing- and kickboxing-themed classes. Each workout uses cardio training to satisfy people’s innate desire to punch and kick something other than a vaudevillian jukebox. Participants build strong muscle tissue by delivering powerful blows to punching bags, and build flexibility and agility by practicing kicks and hooks. Students can build their core strength and endurance with medicine balls and burpees, enlist a qualified personal trainer to practice their newfound skills in the ring, or burn calories during intense full-body Power Hour workouts.
The closets of the instructors at Topeka Jiu Jitsu Academy must look like the inside of an exploded rainbow, bursting with belts of all colors. Marc Monaco, for example, boasts a brown belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and a third-degree black belt in American jiu jitsu. David Owens and Steve Twemlow each sport a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and black belts in various other disciplines.
With their extensive training, they lead students of all ages through jiu jitsu classes, teaching them submission grappling and advanced techniques. They also help students build the power they need to put their techniques to use in strength and conditioning classes. Their women's self-defense classes show ladies how to safely protect themselves in real-world threatening situations.