The seasoned instructors at Tang Soo Do University know that the best martial-arts training in the world won't compensate for a lack of practice. That's why they've filled their 6,000-square-foot studio with all the punching bags, kicking shields, and padded floor space necessary for students to hone their techniques. These practice tools come in handy after and during classes, allowing students to throw full-on strikes and take-downs without risking injury.
Matthew Woodard studied martial arts for over 30 years, spending much of that time honing his skills in the field. In addition to time in the dojo, he worked as a law enforcement officer and executive bodyguard - he even served on a protection detail for the Dalai Lama. Today, he drew upon this life of discipline when he founded the Todai Bujinkan Dojo branch in Moorpark. Though Matthew now travels the world serving on high profile protection details, other instructors carry on in his place, arming students with modern self defense moves and a traditional warrior's spirit during lessons infused with an edge of practicality.
Boris Boundjia fell in love with the game of basketball from the first moment he picked up a ball at aged 10. In 2007, he left his family and friends behind in France to follow his dreams in the United States, where he played for Stoneridge Preparatory School, one of the nation's top basketball prep schools. After competing in Division II college basketball at Salem International University, he founded Grind 2 Shine. Here, he's known as Coach Bo and shares the skills and techniques he's learned throughout his career with boys and girls of all ages and skill levels. Beyond drills and tips on shooting form, Coach Bo strives to teach life lessons to his pupils to help them reach their full potential.
When Simi Valley Batting Cages first opened back in 1989, it was simply a place where batters could practice their swing. Since then, owner Rudy Gonzalez has made it his goal to create a facility where players can work on other facets of their game, such as fielding and wrestling the mascot. Sure, he's installed state-of-the-art pitching machines that hurl balls as fast as 75 miles per hour, but he's also organized lessons that focus not only on hitting, but also on throwing and other fundamentals. Players will find plenty of ways to boost their game in the pro shop, which stocks bats, bags, and gear from brands such as Easton and Rawlings.