Kobukan Martial Arts’ trainers emphasize the mental benefits of the ancient fighting techniques as strongly as the physical ones. The controlled focus required in Tai Chi eases stress, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu offers the peace of mind that comes from learning self-defense techniques and sculpting muscles quickly. A full schedule also holds other MMA classes, such as kickboxing and karate.
At Tidewater Hit and Pitch, a team of professional baseball and softball coaches pass their wisdom onto future generations of pitchers and fielders in one-on-one coaching sessions and group camps. The staff breaks down the sport into three digestible parts—pitching, hitting, and fielding—which helps players hone discipline with drills while imparting universal skills such as balance, body control, and how to dispose of chewing gum besides swallowing it.
As the annual host of the Eastern Amateur Golf Championship since 1957, Elizabeth Manor Golf & Country Club's championship course has attracted some of the country's greatest players on their journey to the PGA Tour. As golfers traverse each hole from tee to green, they can imagine themselves tracing the footsteps of Ben Crenshaw and Curtis Strange, both of whom played in the Eastern Amateur before illustrious PGA careers, during which they won a combined four major victories without ever corking a driver. Today, the 6,642-yard, par-70 course still hugs the Elizabeth River, utilizing the natural landscape with a challenging layout originally envisioned by course designer Dick Wilson in 1948. The course also benefits from more recent refurbishments that made the greens and bermuda-grass fairways more resilient.
A private establishment, Elizabeth Manor Golf & Country Club complements its golf course with a six-court tennis complex and an Olympic-size, outdoor swimming pool. The club also boasts two restaurants with two patios, where guests can enjoy views of the Elizabeth River and attempt to count the leaves on every tree in the vicinity.
Staffed by a team of nine eye doctors and surgeons, Tidewater Eye Center has racked up recognition in three categories from HamptonRoads.com's Best of Hampton Roads, including Best Health Care Provider and Best Place for Laser Vision Correction. Patients can receive a variety of optometry services at each of the clinic’s three locations, including basic eye exams; treatments for glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration; and even aesthetic procedures, including eyelid surgery. Yet, the center’s most popular treatment is blade-free LASIK eye surgery, which eliminates the need for lenses and soda-bottle monocles in as little as 15 minutes.
While serving oversees in the US military, Tracy Lee Thomas would often dream of opening his own martial-arts training studio. He had been training in martial arts since he was 13 years old, mastering the form and self-defense techniques of a variety of styles and eventually earning his seventh-degree black belt. He was able to realize this dream once he returned to American soil, where he opened up his own studio: Changing Lives Martial Arts.
Today, the official American Taekwondo Association master pulls from his years of expertise to lead karate, tae kwon do, and krav maga classes to students of all ages. Tracy and his team of expert instructors teach self-defense tactics and guide students through dynamic punches and kicks while emphasizing the importance of life skills such as self-discipline and focus. The instructors also take a load off moms and dads by hosting kids’ birthday parties, where martial arts–inspired games provide a fun alternative to messy piñatas and games of pin-the-tale-on-the-grownup. His dedication to his students and martial arts has also gained the attention of the Virginian-Pilot, which has awarded him the Best of Hampton Roads award seven times from 2005 to 2012.