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Best Alternative Sport & Fitness Activities In Los Angeles

August 25, 2010 6:53 PM

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The MSF DirtBike School
Knights in armor fight one another

Knights in armor fight one another (credit: Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

Are you tired of the gym routine or find that your regular workout just isn’t doing it for you anymore? Well, maybe it’s time to tread off the beaten path a bit and try your hand at some other activities to help rejuvenate your physical fitness routine and make working out fun again. Here’s a list of some alternative sport and fitness activities you probably never thought about checking out. — Nicola A. Menzie


Stop dreaming about being James Bond and start honing your 007 skills at absolution’s SpySchool program. The company’s organizers promise that participants will “emerge with a bond-worthy body and a butt-kicking attitude” after two months of training. Classes cover subjects like how to take out an assailant, climb up a building and fire a weapon, among other things. The company’s recommended program costs $1500 and promises a challenging and rewarding workout.

absolution la

West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 890-2425

Circus Arts

If you’ve ever wanted to join the circus then Cirque School might be your ticket. Cirque School’s classes, which include programs like a clown intensive ($60), juggling ($17) and aerial trapeze tricks ($180), are taught by working circus professionals. The school claims to create an opportunity for “anybody with a body” to excel in their programs. Students call also choose from the Cirque 1010 or Tricksters package to get a discount.

Cirque School

5640 1/2 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Others: Kinetic Theory Circus School and Circus Classes | Circus Arts at the Los Angeles School of Gymnastics

Dirt Bike School

The MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation ) DirtBike School tours throughout California and Nevada to conduct one-day courses for those curious about the sport or riders who just want to fine-tune their skills. The classes are also family friendly with instruction for students as 6 years old and older. Prices vary and participants are expected to provide their own helmet, goggles, full-fingered gloves, etc. MSF will provide all other necessary equipment.

The MSF DirtBike School (DBS)

2 Jenner Street, Suite 150
Irvine, CA 92618
(877) 288-7093


There are a few options for Los Angeles residents interested in learning how to properly wield a sword without getting arrested. The Academy of Arms is all about “the historical martial arts” centered around the use of the longsword. Separate classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 7:30 p.m. and cost $40 a month (students are also required to purchase a uniform for $25).

Academy of Arms

(818) 276-1936

Others: City Aikido & Swordsmanship of Los Angeles | Shinkendo Japanese Swordsmanship

Urban Survival Skills

No one ever thinks they’ll get kidnapped for find themselves in a life-threatening situation, but it happens. And onPoint Tactical wants to train you on how to survive in the worst of situations. The Scout Urban Escape and Evasion class ($795) covers topics like covert movement, the use of disguises, lock picking and more. Training usually runs over the course of a weekend at a “safe house.”

onPoint Tactical LLC, Tracker & Survival School

PO Box 2131
Vincentown, NJ 08088
(609) 668-5384

Daniel Ilabaca does Parkour moves

(credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


Parkour, the discipline of using one’s own physical (and mental) strength to move fluidly and efficiently from point A to point B in any given environment, has its roots in martial arts and can be seen in many Jackie Chan movies. This athletic discipline, however, is not just for martial arts enthusiasts and isn’t limited to any gender or age group. Classes are available at the Los Angeles School of Gymnastics on a weekly and monthly basis for $15.

LA School of Gymnastics

8450 Higuera Street
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 204-1980
More Info

Contact Cliff Kravitz at or (310) 439-8370

Others: PKLA meet up group

Roller Derby

Unfortunately, there aren’t any male or co-ed roller derby leagues in the Los Angeles area, so this one’s just for the ladies. There are a handful of roller derby leagues that regularly recruit or just hold classes for those looking to sharpen their defensive skating skills. Angel City Derby Girls, for example, recruits women 18 and older who can attend three practices a week and have their own gear. Those interested are invited to attend an 8 p.m. orientation and skate event, which costs $10.

Angel City Derby Girls

Others: L.A. Derby Dolls | OC Roller Girls

People play dodgeball on a tennis court

(credit: Micah Walter/Getty Images)


Dodgeball is not just for kids — just ask LA’s professional dodgeball team the Los Angeles Chaos ( and the countless other amateur teams in the area. Join a league, start a league or find an open-gym time to join a game for free.

World Dodgeball Society (home of the LA Dodgeball Society)

Others: The Eagle Rock Yacht Club

A rugby match

(credit: Andy Hayt/Getty Images)


Rugby, similar to football but without all the protective padding, might be the challenge you’re looking for. If you’re feeling fearless, there are a handful of leagues in the Los Angeles area for men, women and youth players.

Contact LARC President Julian Bristow (310-850-0621)or Head Coach Marty Jones (310-743-3028) if interested in joining a practice or tryout session.

Los Angeles Rugby Club

(310) 527-8429 (women’s league)

Santa Monica Rugby Club | Pasadena Rugby Club | Back Bay Rugby Club

Underwater Hockey

Octopush, another name for underwater hockey, has its roots in the United Kingdom, and combines the elements of swimming and diving and hockey. Two teams of six people wearing fins, masks, snorkels,etc. play at the bottom of a swimming pool using a 1-foot-long stick to shovel around a 3-pound puck. Tempted?

Los Angeles Underwater Hockey

Others: Greater Los Angeles Council of Divers | USA Underwater Hockey

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