Live-fire practice takes place at local pistol ranges.
CCW classes include free pistol rentals for customers who do not have their own.
"Semper Fi" isn't just something written on the sign at Semper Fi Firearms Training. It's also a job requirement. In addition to holding NRA certification, every instructor has served in the US Marines. That includes Chief Instructor Andre Macon, who served as a marksmanship firearm instructor during his time in the military. Mr. Macon and his team teach comprehensive firearm safety courses for all skill levels, as well as self-defense using pressure-point control tactics.
Feet dance up and down the six electric strips that run across a 4,200-square-foot raised floor amid shouts of “En garde!” and blunted foils whipping through the air, meeting each other with the piercing ring of steel on steel or glancing off of padded vests. This scene takes place each weeknight at Salle d'Etroit Fencing Academy, where coaches Ben Schleis, Rebecca Keeling, and Jon Zelkowski teach the finer points of fencing, a sport originally developed by the French as an excuse to wear white after Bastille Day. The experts preside over classes for adults and youths, teaching them to wield foils, épées, and sabers.
In addition to organizing classes, the United States Fencing Association–sanctioned club hosts tournaments and matches pupils with new and used equipment at the pro shop. Should their weapons have issues after being used to clean whales' teeth, students can drop by the armory, where technicians take care of rewiring blades and other fixes.
Master Nick Colling views every student who walks into his studio as a potential black belt. If anyone knows what it takes to get there, it’s him—he holds black belts in multiple styles and boasts a martial-arts teaching career that spans more than 25 years. Colling and his team of knowledgeable instructors tutor students in tae kwon do, krav maga, and aiki-jitsu. Though they’re experts in each style, to them, the martial arts aren’t just about physical disciplines—the instructors believe their students emerge from the programs as better people in all areas of life.
Helmed by a team of expert bike mechanics, Cycle to Fitness outfits riders with cycling apparel and accessories, and keeps their bikes rolling smoothly. The shop stocks a wide range of biking accessories, including tires and brake pads, as well as complete bikes from Schwinn, GT, and Bianchi.
Instructors at Mind, Body & Soul Martial Arts teach a variety of classes including tae kwon do, hapkido, Korean kickboxing, and cardio kickboxing. The family-oriented studio leads classes for all skill levels from beginners to advanced students.
Though dogs tend to lovingly follow their owners' lead, that's not where the name Me & My Shadow came from. The owners had a dog named Shadow, an american eskimo that began suffering from health problems, including blindness, at an early age. When Shadow became too skittish to take walks around the neighborhood, his owners decided to put a pool in the backyard. Shadow was delighted to swim in it, and for years afterward, it seemed he was happiest during the summer swimming season.
This inspired Me & My Shadow, an indoor pool and recreation center where dogs can exercise and learn to socialize throughout the year. By-appointment swimming sessions are kept private to ensure dogs and owners—who can take a dip, too—feel comfortable. Pet parents can also sign their dogs up for training sessions, which are led by Judy Hales, an experienced trainer who takes a gentle, positive approach to instruction, as opposed to just rolling her eyes at dogs that can't complete their given task.