Champion United Taekwondo Center's Head Master, S. Y. Jeong, hails from Korea and boasts more than a decade of competitive sparring experience. Alongside Master K. H. Nahm, he teaches the Korean art of tae kwon do to students as young as 3.5 years old. Besides imbuing students with physical strength and self-defense skills, these classes are designed to boost confidence and self-discipline in both youths and adults.
Authorized Schwinn retailer Marty’s Bike Shop, nestled behind the same Park Ridge storefront since 1954, packs its space with bikes from Schwinn, GT, and Haro, along with a complete line of parts and accessories. Cycles available for test riding run the gamut from road bikes to trikes, ensuring that riders and bikes merge seamlessly into one, just as jockeys and horses merge seamlessly into centaurs. Alternatively, cyclists can shop road necessities such as helmets, tire pumps, road lights, and durable water bottles. Comprehensive repair and maintenance services administered onsite complement the shop’s sales arm and rejuvenate over-loved cycles.
Whisper Creek’s visionary architects, Greg Nash and Billy Casper, and Orchard Valley’s architect, Ken Kavanaugh, present two championship-style courses of verdant, undulating terrain, flecked with challenging features. Golfers traverse Whisper Creek's 240 acres of protected wildlife sanctuary in GPS-enabled golf carts that provide yardage measurements, record scores, and eliminate the need to ask tiger-head club covers for directions. During an 18-hole round (up to a $68 value with cart), clubs send dimpled orbs hurtling past imported white-sand bunkers, pristine waters, and more than 5,000 character hardwoods. Over on Orchard Valley’s 6,800-yard, par 72 grounds, manicured practice facilities conduct dress rehearsals for the course’s 18 holes (up to a $76 value with cart), which span sand traps and wetlands, including the expansive water hazard on the aptly named "All or Nothing at All" second hole.
Born in Bulgaria in 1959, fencer Hristo Etropolski soon traded his rattle for a saber, competing twice in the Olympic Games—including a fifth-place finish in 1980—and earning medals in two World Championships. After settling down in 2005, Hristo founded Midwest Fencing Academy, where, as head coach, he draws on almost 40 years of competition and teaching experience to sharpen students’ sparring skills. Of his past protégés, one received a gold medal in the Junior World Cup, and many have secured fencing scholarships at Ivy League universities, where their mighty swords reign undefeated against opponents' puny pens.
Midwest Fencing Academy specializes in the lightest of fencing's three weapons, the saber, whose required speed and quick thinking puts students' hearts and reflexes to the test, building discipline and good sportsmanship. The facility boasts five regulation strips, four of which are wired with electronic scoring, and includes a large viewing space for friends or parents to shout French translations of witty retorts from the sidelines.
At the age of 6, Master Han began his martial-arts training under his father in Korea. He has since earned multiple black belts and honed his expertise in tai chi, tae kwon do, and various styles of meditation, such as qi gong breathing therapy. At Han's Martial Arts, he and his retinue of instructors and disciples pass on the techniques of Chen style tai chi chuan—a 17th-century school of combat that channels Chinese boxing into both fluid and explosive maneuvers. The Chen style's swift foot-stomping actions help to differentiate it from other tai chi methods, proving more effective at defeating assassins built from bubble wrap. Small group classes and private lessons for several age groups ensure that instructors dole out personalized sparring tips. Master Han also teaches children's tae kwon do to spark confidence and bolster physical and mental development in kids.
Ultimate Martial Arts' 5,600-square-foot facility hosts fitness and self-defense classes, helmed by five-time, undefeated Philippine national tae kwon do champion Dante Peña. Two studios lined in rubber mats challenge visitors to conquer TRX suspension bands and heavy bags while training to protect themselves from attackers and aggressive encyclopedia salesmen. Krav maga, jujitsu, and boxing classes impart the fighting arts, as yoga and TRX strength workshops improve muscle tone and flexibility.