Kempo’s movement patterns may look beautiful—fluid, swooping kicks, graceful evasions, smooth takedowns—but underneath the beauty lies a tradition nearly 2,000 years old. Since 1968, the instructors at United Studios of Self Defense have armed students with these techniques, leading classes where participants of all ages and skill levels soak up fighting skill while galvanizing self-confidence.
But before they can share their tactics and Mortal Kombat cheat codes, the instructors themselves must be trained. Each instructor who cinches the black belt around their waist has graduated with honors from the Studio’s own rigorous training academy. The training doesn’t stop there; every week they meet with the founder himself, 10th-degree black belt Charles Mattera, who refines their strategies and instills them with advanced techniques.
Yoga Del Mar is a renowned house of Hatha yoga that reinforces limb-limbering postures with spiritual guidance provided by some of San Diego's stretchiest experts. Instructor Geri Portnoy was one of the area's first certified teachers of the Anusara style—poses emphasizing alignment and focusing energies—and fellow instructor Roger Cole, PhD, teaches precise Iyengar yoga and contributes to Yoga Journal magazine. In terms of class options, neophytes can begin with level one, which moves at a careful pace with detailed instructions, and grizzled flex-meisters can skip to higher levels to test their seasoned skills. Beyond traditional class formats, the studio also hosts breath- and stretch-minded gatherings for the prenatal crowd.
Robotics, archaeology, cooking?6- to 12-year-olds enrolled at Rigatoni & Robots learn such unexpected skills. Class topics include culinary, craft, science, and engineering. Kids here have the opportunity to whisk up multicultural dishes in the Tastes of the World club, glimpse shimmery views in Rocks, Gems, and Fossils, and learn woodcraft skills so they can whittle a whole tree from a bigger tree. The school also offers memberships that include 16 different classes that are held once per week for an hour each.
Kayakers glide past ice shelves in the glacial waters of Patagonia. A continent over, hikers pose for a picture at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro—the highest point in Africa—before looking out onto the Tanzanian landscape. The Southern Terrain's team of licensed, bonded, and insured outdoor enthusiasts coordinates once-in-a-lifetime trips like these to storied destinations around the world.
To facilitate safe and memorable experiences, fitness experts arrange adventure-training programs so that explorers arrive ready not only to climb, hike, and kayak, but also to handle elevated altitudes. The professionally guided excursions typically maintain a traveler-to-guide ratio of eight to one. To support eco-friendly travel, The Southern Terrain partners with the nonprofit program iJourney Green, which helps adventurers to sustain the parts the world they visit.
Fitn is a leader in the social fitness movement, which strives to make exercising a more exciting and interactive experience while keeping it simple. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the app connects users to a fitness network of nearly 100 participating gyms and exercise studios around the San Diego area?from downtown and Mission Valley to Carlsbad and Pacific Beach. Once connected, members can search for gyms and classes by distance, intensity, and style, and then reserve a spot using the single membership. The sheer number of facilities in Fitn's network, described in this Discover SD article, creates a buffet of fitness opportunities ranging from Pilates and yoga to aerial fitness and CrossFit classes, inviting members to explore new types of exercise styles and connect with new people along the way. Click here to learn more about Fitn.
Bindu guides yogis of all levels through daily classes that strengthen and restore bodies and calm bustling brains. Bindu specializes in Vinyasa yoga, a practice that streams muscle and breath movement into one continuous flow. During Divine Play Vinyasa sessions, disciplined contractions, extensions, and alignments awaken life-force energy and the ability to channel soft-serve through ordinary drinking fountains. Vinyasa concludes in the relaxation pose shavasana, known less poetically as corpse pose, wherein yogis simulate the proud posture of dead presidents. Bindu's eight yoga masters also lead therapeutic Viniyoga and athletic Ashtanga classes that align and restore wayward muscles to their rightful places. Sessions range from 60–90 minutes.