In its more than two decades of existence, East Coast Martial Arts has produced more than 100 black belts in tae kwon do, including one 4th-dan black belt master. This should come as no surprise, given its leader Master Portante's status as a 6th-dan black belt. To achieve this, the school starts young, training children from age 4 through adulthood in age-appropriate classes that build strength and confidence using the ancient Korean art of tae kwon do, as well as the hands-on fighting style of hapkido.
Kickboxing.com represents a conglomeration of schools from all around the world, including locations in America, Japan, Singapore, and the Dominican Republic. They focus on high-quality training from different disciplines of martial arts that range from kenpo karate to capoeira and taekwondo. Each school combines the art of kicking with the basis of Western boxing to create devastating combinations that use every limb.
Winner of more than 100 mixed-martial-arts competitions, Tiger Schulmann shares his pride and love for fighting and self-defense with both adults and children in gyms across five states. From first-time grapplers to expert muay thai fighters, students of all fitness and experience levels are welcome to dive into a class at Schulmann’s. At more than 47 locations, adults can take classes in kickboxing, MMA, and jujitsu—the last of which instills students with the skill and confidence to take down opponents of any size, strength, or telekinetic ability. Kids, meanwhile, can learn martial arts for fun, or gain useful experience in bully prevention; the kids’ classes help victims immediately identify and safely diffuse situations when pitted against an aggressor.
Helmed by a team of passionate climbing coaches, both of The Gravity Vault's locations surround climbers with more than 13,000 square feet of climbing space. Walls tower past 35 feet, mimicking such natural rock formations as overhangs, keyhole arches, and slabs, and bouldering areas challenge climbers with a latticework of problems that—unlike most of life's—can't simply be solved with dynamite and a pair of roller skates. Visitors can choose from up to 60 top-rope stations, trusting either the trained staff or a certified fellow climber to man the ropes while they scramble to the summit. When not dangling from a hold or saving lost kittens from a rappel ledge, members can bulk up in the cardiovascular-training area.
The experienced dance instructors at Steeltoes Dance Studios have been teaching little ones to gracefully twirl and leap across the dance floor for 29 years. They strive to boost each student’s self-image as they dole out personal attention and technique corrections in their studio’s friendly, noncompetitive environment. Their small-group classes range from vocal to ballet and tap to hip-hop, and are divided by age into junior, teen, and adult classes. During hip-hop sessions, the staff teaches current moves from modern stars such as Usher, Beyoncé, Selena Gomez, and Bing Crosby. They’ve rounded out their class roster with musical theater and pre-school creative dance and interpretive-dance classes, which help kids express themselves.
Hands-on learning and playtime in JW Tumbles’ interactive classes helps children explore the far reaches of their cranial caverns. Parents with toddlers younger than three years old can enroll in parent-participation classes such as Squeakers Class, geared toward four- to 10-month-olds, or Wobblers Class, where baby bodybuilders 11 to 18 months old practice tumbling and balance to increase motor skills and decrease the need for sippy-cup creatine shakes. Ages three and up can fly solo (parents can watch from the sidelines if they wish) during age-appropriate and highly interactive independent classes. The Artsy Kids Class teaches two- to five-year-olds creative skills, and three- to four-and-a-half-year-olds prep for kindergarten in the Stompers Class.
Congers Bike Shop has been pairing its clients with new and used bicycles for more than 30 years. The shop’s longevity is partially due to a staff of experts that knows its fleet of bikes inside and out, and considers the age and skill level of customers before picking out bikes, accessories, and racks. So locals and visitors alike can explore the area’s state parks, lakes, and UFO-landing sites, they also lend out bikes and helmets to rent for full-day adventures.