Canadian Hapkido President Master Michael Lok has traced a circuitous route to his current position as one of Canada’s highest ranked practitioners of hapkido, a Korean mixed martial arts style that claims millions of black belts worldwide. Born in Hong Kong, Lok studied in Regina, during which time he became interested in the fighting style's intricate kicks, strikes, and joint locks. After winning the Canadian Open Sparring Championship and amassing enough trophies to fill a tiny inflatable swimming pool, Lok decided to go to Korea—hapkido’s birthplace—for several years of intensive training. Now a seventh-level dan black belt, Lok passes on decades of martial-arts wisdom in his Richmond studio, which he proudly claims is Canada's largest dedicated hapkido facility. Open since 1996, the studio and its seasoned instructors help practitioners of all ages progress through hapkido's traditional belt system. In addition to boosting self-confidence, honing discipline, and improving physical fitness, the studio also inspires loyalty; current and past student alike helped honor Master Lok and company with a Richmond News Readers Choice Award for Best Martial Arts Studio multiple times over the past decade.
The seasoned instructors at Fly Without Fear aim to prove that flying is one of the safest ways to travel, ridding passengers of airborne anxiety through in-depth seminars and practical simulations. In each class, instructors review the basics of airplane technology, from the inner workings of jet engines to the physics of wing flaps, rudders, and ailerons. After explaining the effects of inclement weather and turbulence, they demystify the process of a professional pilot’s training, which includes flight simulators and medical testing to determine whether they’re eligible to have wings grafted directly onto their backs. Within a capsule modelled after a Boeing 737 Next Generation cockpit, students take the helm of a virtual aircraft themselves, manoeuvring it through starting procedures, takeoff, cruising, and landing.
Located in Richmond on land that was once home to an 88-acre organic farm, Mylora Sidaway Golf Club is a peaceful getaway just a few minutes from downtown Vancouver. The course itself is short—in fact, players encounter just three par 4s, including the sixth hole, which is the only hole that stretches past 300 yards. Facing such compressed distances, golfers have an unique opportunity to focus on their short game or drive their way into Mylora's hole-in-one club.
Course at a Glance
Between its shimmering pool and padded gymnasium, Wayland Sports keeps kids moving with classes and camps in swimming, gymnastics, and other activities. In-ground trampolines and swinging ropes drop airborne gymnasts into pits of soft foam cubes, and padded floors and gymnastics equipment enable somersaults, cartwheels, and entombing stuffed animal mummies inside human pyramids. Red Cross programs and lifeguarding classes equip kids with aquatic skills under the watchful eye of experienced coaches. Summer programs incorporate a variety of additional activities, including art, music, and badminton.
A decade has passed since Evan Durand began his study of Brazilian jujitsu. But that doesn't mean he forgets what it's like to be a novice. As the head instructor at Pacific Top Team Richmond, Evan tends to each student individually, helping them accomplish their own fitness or fighting goals through Brazilian jujitsu training. And since he's also trained in hapkido, a form of self-defense, he can incorporate both forms of martial art into his one-hour classes.
Nimble players send shuttlecocks flying in gravity-defying volleys across Ace Badminton Centre’s 12 courts, guided by a team of highly qualified instructors. The centre’s coaching staff overloads its collective mantle with a wealth of awards and trophies, such as Ximing Yao’s1986 US Open Doubles victory, or Shawn Zhang’s 2010 British Columbia men’s championship title. Trainees and players hone their skills on the courts’ floating-floor system, replete with a triple-layered PVC buffer and high-density foam cushioning for absorbing shock—much safer than floors cushioned by subterranean lava pits. After studying under a professional badminton coach or practicing against a worthy opponent, students can join the ranks of Ace’s trophy-bearing alumni, who sport medals from junior championships at both the provincial and national level.