Instructors at Paragon Jiu Jitsu & Kickboxing channel personal sparring experience into Brazilian jiujitsu, kickboxing, and boxing classes. Jiujitsu classes ease exercisers into fitness and the ability to physically overpower unmanned fire-hydrant hoses with beginner, intermediate, and advanced tiers of Greco-Roman wrestling, judo, and submission wrestling maneuvers. Fists slam heavy bags and feet pummel targets in kickboxing, which fuses Western-style boxing and muay thai kickboxing for a blood-pumping workout that, when combined with jiujitsu, makes for an MMA-medal-winning brew. Tiny tendons spring into action in kids' classes and MMA summer camps, arming tykes with self-confidence and the ability to quickly take down invisible frenemies.
The Vita Art Center engages children, teens, and adults in creative expression with visual arts classes and monthly exhibits at their gallery. Capping head counts at 10 students or fewer, instructors work to keep classes welcoming for both beginning artists and those who have already painted a replica of the Sistine Chapel on their living-room ceiling. Young fingers pinch and coil clay and daub acrylic paints, and adolescents delve into more complex skills such as collage-making and printmaking. Adults may twist copper wire into handmade jewelry or learn how to enliven tax returns with stippling, cross-hatching, and other drawing techniques.
The sound of crashing pins draws equally loud cheers from players at Ventura Bowling Center as their progress is tallied via an automatic scoring system. Arcade games and dartboards entice them to take a break from alleyways, while hunger draws them toward the snack bar. Meanwhile, a full onsite bar supplies players with enough bubbly soda and ice-cold beer to celebrate a big win or an impressive moonwalk made possible by a pair of smooth-soled bowling shoes.
Until 1970, Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer ran one of hundreds of Australian surf shops vying for attention in a highly competitive market. Both avid surfers, they realized that too many companies supplied boards while too few manufactured wetsuits. So they bought a small house and a pre-World War II sewing machine, then cut up rubber from the floor to weave into prototype designs that they test-piloted themselves. Rip Curl was founded on the principles that, "Rip Curl is a company for, and about, the Crew on The Search." The company bases its foundation on the guiding concepts that the products they make, the events they run, the riders they support and "the people they reach globally are all part of the Search that Rip Curl is on" .
Now made with the duo's own Elastomax and SlickSkin technology, the wetsuits are one of many Rip Curl items designed and distributed in more than 60 countries around the world. Though products such as handcrafted custom boards and tide-tracking wristwatches retain the company's ties to surfing, the business has since expanded to gear and accessories for boardsports that include snow, skate, and wake. Rip Curl also continues to foster the boardsport community with Rip Curl Pro competitions throughout the globe and sponsored teams of top surfing, snowboarding, and wakeboarding athletes.
When it's not being used as a member's lounge due to its flashy flat-screen TVs and comfy chairs, Island View Enterprises' classroom accommodates beginners and amateurs looking to enrich their shooting prowess and firearm safety skills. During classes, expert instructors imbue pupils with gun maintenance knowledge and basic and intermediate shooting techniques, which they can then practice at Island View Enterprise's 55-foot indoor range. They also entice guests to become regulars with range memberships that grant free all-day passes, gun rentals, and lane reservation privileges, as well as a newly remodeled pro-shop that stays stocked with new and used brand-name firearms, as well as ammo, cleaning supplies, and strangely, baseballs signed by pro-golfers.
Stan "The Man" Nicolaides first heard the siren song of the kitchen at his grandmother's table, which hoisted mountains of homemade moussaka and moist, juicy gyros. While his grandmother's Greek cuisine remains the closest food to his heart, Nicolaides also expertly serves up menus consisting of Caribbean fare such as andouille sausage in orange marmalade, urbane American dishes such as shrimp cocktails and crab cakes, and Old-World Italian pastas such as hand-folded mushroom tortellini. Beyond his own restaurant, Greek House Cafe, he's worked at the Four Seasons Biltmore, taught at Roblar Winery, and recipized raw ingredients alongside such celebrity chefs as Julia Child, Jacques Pépen, and David Hasselhoff's talking microwave from Knight Rider.