Today's Groupon gets you a fun-filled day for two at Dulles Golf Center & Sports Park for just $18 (fun normally costs $36). Head to Dulles for two rounds of mini-golf, two small buckets of balls for the driving range, and six batting cage tokens. Take a friend or your kids along to share the fun, or selfishly hoard the fun in case there's a fun shortage due to the depletion of the world's fun reserves.
At Sterling Golf and Swim Club, golfers send balls sailing down the tree-lined fairways of an 18-hole, par 54 golf course, and swimmers backstroke across two 25-meter pools. For nearly half a century, club-wielders have traversed past water and dodged bunkers at the executive course, giving the pines and weeping willows ample time to flourish, and the nonprofit club itself has existed for four decades. Two kiddie pools flank the club’s two larger pools, enabling wee ones to practice breathing through their gills while their older siblings butterfly down lanes, and a game room provides indoor entertainment. An adult lounge lets weary golfers relax in peace, and the clubhouse’s pro shop outfits players searching for golf balls whose dimples perfectly match their own.
Karate master Kancho Ninomiya adapted the classic techniques of his favorite fighting style to the needs of modern self-defense, creating the style known as Enshin Karate. The fast-paced style emphasizes constant movement, a blend of kicks and grappling take-downs, and techniques for facing multiple opponents at once. The practical nature of the street-savvy style appealed to a young Nima Mazhari, who discovered a dojo on his way home from school one day.
Mazhari joined the school hoping to learn to fight, but instead discovered the value of a determined work ethic. The lessons he learned in that dojo inspired him to excel in school, pass his college-entrance exams, and pursue his degree. He then decided to share the lessons he had learned with the world. He founded Enshin Karate to not only teach kids and adults his fighting techniques, but to help them discover how to be the best versions of themselves without relying on personality upgrades downloaded online.
There's no mistaking the purpose of the dozens of 150-pound punching bags dangling from the red metal frames that span LA Boxing Sterling's floor. Whether members consider themselves professional fighters or aerobic exercisers, the gym is a place to punch things. Under the watchful eye of mixed martial arts instructors, students pound away at bags with fist and foot, elevating their heart rates to fulfill the cardio-conditioning portion of the gym's signature national program. Participants occasionally pick up weights or jump ropes, but it's all part of the training to get back to the bag and make the stuffing rue the day it turned down the chance to fill a wild teddy bear.
It's a scene that's been repeated in countless movies over the years: swarms of attackers descend on the hero, their kicks and punches thwarted by a perfect display of martial artistry. This motif casts a shadow on the aspects of martial arts that don't involve direct combat but are just as valuable. These aspects include community, physical health, and self-discipline, all of which are given their due at Ashburn Martial Arts Center.
At this family-oriented studio with weekly classes for kids and adults, martial arts isn't all about hand-to-hand combat. The instructors make it a point to cultivate the mind as well as the body, and they start by providing a safe, comfortable, and noncompetitive environment for their students. Though their specialties include jujitsu, muay thai kickboxing, and practical weapons training, the jewel of the studio is koryu uchinadi, a modern style of karate that draws on historic combat disciplines.
The colorful walls of Bella Ballerina’s studio echo with the patter of little feet springing across the wood floors. Classes welcome tiny dancers aged 18 months to 10 years, with ballet barres only a couple of feet off the ground and story time at the beginning of each session. The teachers, all professional dancers with years of performing and teaching experience, lead their students through basic ballet moves while sprinkling in jazz and tap. In addition to the classes, Bella Ballerina also hosts birthday parties that combine the things kids love: cupcakes, ballet, goodie bags, and another day lived without meeting whatever lives under the bed.