UNITED Tae Kwon Do's group classes aren't really about punching and kicking. Sure, students work to master self-defense techniques, but they also focus on topics such as confidence and respect. The conditioning and reaction drills also help to build lean muscle and serve as an effective form of stress management. In this way, UNITED Tae Kwon Do's sessions benefit all types of students, whether they're kids or adults, beginners or more seasoned martial artists. The trained instructors also teach private lessons that adhere to personal goals, such as preparing a student for an upcoming black belt test.
These programs didn't develop overnight. UNITED Tae Kwon Do has been honing them for more than three decades, long before martial-arts uniforms became a red-carpet fashion trend. The educators have expanded into multiple locations throughout the Houston area and show no signs of stopping.
When course architect Roy Case designed the 36 holes that would become Wildcat Golf Club, he drew inspiration from two distinct styles by laying traditional Scottish links-style holes over the undulating Texas Hill Country topography. Players encounter lots of tall grasses but few trees as they eventually reach 100-foot elevations, where they?ll catch glimpses of Houston?s skyline, Reliant Stadium, and the Galleria. The Club is divided into two 18-hole courses?the Highlands Course and the Lakes Course?each blanketed in TifSport Bermuda grass fairways and TifEagle Bermuda putting surfaces so smooth that golfers have reported reaching into the cup and pulling out a single red rose instead of their golf ball.
Though situated next to one another, each course bears its own unique set of challenges. Deep ravines and strategically placed bunkers befuddle players on the Highlands Course, while the Lakes Course lives up to its name with water as its defining characteristic. A series of lakes comes into play on seven holes, nowhere more dramatically than on the twelfth hole, a unique par 5 configuration whose tee box, two fairway sections, and green are separated by intersecting water hazards, which double as watering holes for thirsty golf carts.
Highland Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,954 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.6 from the back tees * Course slope of 138 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
Lakes Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 7,016 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.2 from the back tees * Course slope of 135 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
It’s safe to say Catherine Fox knows her way around a pool. She won an Olympic gold medal for her ability to find her way from end to end. Partnering with Swim Jim owner Jim Spiers, a trainer for 2012 Olympics Bronze medalist Lia Neal, the pair transformed their expertise into a curriculum that helps others learn to love the water as they do. The resulting program, titled the Underwater Schoolhouse, forms the cornerstone of every class held at SwimJim.
Teachers take on students of all ages, focusing first on helping to cure land dwellers’ inherent nervousness around water. To do this, they use a combination of encouragement and humor, never pushing a student further than they’re willing to go. Once students take the plunge, the coaches focus on teaching the mechanics of a variety of strokes, such as how to kick during breaststroke or how to emerge gracefully from the chrysalis before butterfly stroke.
Originally developed in France and named art du deplacement, modern-day parkour teaches students how to embrace the full range of natural human movement while imparting a greater sense of control and self-discipline. Urban Movement's parkour classes cater to adults and children as young as 7, giving and give them the skills they need to navigate through natural or manmade areas while overcoming physical obstacles with graceful, fluid, and efficient movements. With their emphasis on running, jumping, climbing, rolling, and more, these indoor and outdoor classes help students develop greater strength, stamina, and balance, as well as mental fortitude and self-confidence. Urban Movement welcomes attendees of virtually any skill and fitness level, creating a safe and supportive environment where people can learn to appreciate, and master the art of parkour.
Some swim coaches can only tout their credentials and experiences, but director Susie Collins can prove the results of her labor. One of her pupils is working toward swimming in the Olympics, and a thrilled parent recently praised her ease and dedication in teaching their special-needs son how to swim. All the academy's instructors receive training in water safety, stroke curriculum, and child development directly from Collins, who also teaches games and techniques to motivate even the most stubborn inflatable alligator. Students learn at their own pace, following Collins's stage-by-stage method that leads toward individual swimming goals, whether students want to compete professionally or use their butterfly stroke to blend in at the local dolphin tank.