Jan Wellendorf’s passion for karate began in 1963, when he first studied techniques from Japan, China, and Korea. Now a 10th-degree black belt, Jan has molded these experiences into his own style of karate—sanshinkai. At Karate International, more than 70 black belts teach Jan’s methods at five locations, where they help students use Eastern-inspired skills to control themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually. Geared toward pupils of all ages, Karate International’s programs also emphasize cross-training, which can incorporate everything from judo’s throwing techniques to the pizza-eating regimen of ninja turtles.
At Lake Wheeler Park, dragons glide through the clear blue water. These aren't your ordinary dragons—team-driven dragon boats create a fearsome image out on the lake and the Raleigh Dragon Boat Club promotes their freedom to paddle. At weekend practices, boaters sharpen their skills and cut through the water relying only on their arms, provided paddles, and the one teammate who was born with flippers for hands. Dragon Boat Club outings offer great alternatives to traditional retreat and rope course team building events and encourage team cooperative skills through fun and water-friendly adventures.
The Ninja Challenge pushes past mere human obstacles with a race that tests athleticism, stamina, and the ninja spirit. Competitors will need to complete a 5K race with more than 15 obstacles—leaping over rooftops, running across a swamp bridge, throwing ninja stars, and defeating an enemy ambush. Awards will be handed out for first-place finishers, best costume, and best ninja costume, and runners who beat the Super Ninja will earn a spot in the hall of fame. Participants also receive a Ninja Challenge T-shirt and headband, a race bib, and a free-beer-ticket wristband.
Laser-tag guns are often identical, but not the ones at Hard Knocks. The arena's arsenal houses 10 lifelike gun styles, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. All of them shoot the same ammo, however—eye-safe beams of infrared light, which can neutralize opponents during a choice of more than 85 missions. As they dart through the 30,000-square-foot indoor center, teams can simulate rescuing hostages or defusing a bomb.
At Raleigh Personal Training, clients work out with personal trainers by their side from start to finish. These coaches help them through warm-up stretches, weight-machine work, free weight exercise, box jumps, trips on the elliptical, and the cool down. They also dispense nutritional counseling to help individuals achieve the correct intake of protein, calcium, and sugar cubes.
Carolina Youth Lacrosse Club brings together coaches, players, and parents to help young lacrosse players reach their potential in a safe and friendly environment. Players as young as 1st graders can join leagues, camps, or clinics to improve their lacrosse fundamentals while learning the value of sportsmanship.