Karate West is one of the largest martial arts schools in the country. Inside the 9,000-square-foot Issaquah training facility or the Mercer Island branch, kids and adults learn classic karate and self-defense moves, while also developing self-respect and discipline for both themselves and one another. Certified instructors lead students through traditional belt programs designed for kids as young as three, as well a specialized programs such as a women's only course, combat hapkido course, and a weapons program where students learn how to properly wield a bo, cane, sword, and loaded seltzer bottle.
An osprey hovers 30 feet in the air over Lake Washington, virtually silent until it spots something beneath the water's surface. Quickly, it folds its wings and plunges into the water, emerging seconds later with a fish ripped firmly between its talons. Nearby, Cascade Canoe & Kayak Centers' founder, Dan Henderson, floats by silently. This slice of the pristine outdoors happens to be his workplace, but none of it would have happened if his mother hadn't forced him to take a canoeing lesson in 1972. Despite his initial reluctance, Mr. Henderson took to the water like a robot to a magnet store. He went on to race whitewater canoes and flat-water Olympic-style canoes, eventually earning four medals as a member of the U.S. national team. Later, Mr. Henderson became a coach and set out to train a new crop of water athletes. To this end, Cascade Canoe & Kayak Centers serves as the natural continuation of Mr. Henderson's journey: a place to, in his words, "share paddling with the community in a manner that is fun and safe."
Under the leadership of expert guides—many of whom learned their trade directly under Dan Henderson's wing—visitors embark on day trips into inlets and bays, paddling in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains or tailgating orca whales. The staff also leads canoe and kayak classes that aim to take novices from beginner to expert. Their efforts have proved fruitful, as three of Cascade Canoe & Kayak Centers' students have made it to international-level competitions.
As avid golfers themselves, Pro Golf Discount’s staff members boast a wealth of experience and professional equipment advice. They are eager to direct shoppers through stores full of golfing merchandise from brands such as TaylorMade, Nike, and Callaway, pointing out the differences between the quality products. They lead lefties to their expansive selection of left-handed equipment, and discuss the advantages of their specialty women's gear with ladies. The master club fitters evaluate clients’ swings with advanced Launch Monitors and the Foresight Sports GC2 golf-simulation system, enabling them to recommend equipment that is suited to the customer's specific needs.
Most of the locations host golf lessons within their onsite golf theater hitting cages, where top golfers dish out expert tips and techniques. The Tacoma, Bellevue, Lynnwood and Bellingham locations feature repair centers, where technicians can spruce up clubs in preparation for upcoming tournaments or a golf vacation.
Within Gregg Rogers' Golf Performance Centers' indoor facility, a team of PGA- and TPI-certified instructors harness [technological teaching aids and golf-fitness programs to groom golf games with pro-level tools and techniques. During lessons, the passionate aces can augment their golf knowledge with swing data captured by TrackMan launch monitors or cure chronic cases of the yips with ultrasonic sensors and soothing cybernetic bedtime stories of the SAM PuttLab. Named one of America's 100 Best Clubfitters of 2011 by Golf Digest, the center helps lonely swings find their crooked-stick counterpart with a formula that takes into account a multitude of scientific parameters. Along with fostering pin-hunting skills, the center pinpoints golf-deficient muscles and develops strategies for consistent movements with Titleist Performance Institute fitness assessments.
Staffed by experienced professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the Three Laws of Golfing Robotics, GolfTec’s syndicate of golf training centers grooms games with a five-pronged approach enhanced by technological refinements. Score-shaving wisdom resonates within the walls of the indoor facilities, where certified personal coaches point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips to permanently improve their game from tee to green. By utilizing video swing analysis and motion-measurement software, instructors can assess pupils’ abilities with objective data and a fact-based tact superior to traditional hearsay-oriented coaching strategies. To further enhance performance, GolfTec offers club-fitting services to match each swing profile with its ideal set of sticks.