Writing and gross motor skills; math and nutrition; fine motor skills and social etiquette. Physical and social development may seem unrelated, but connecting the two can boost cognitive ability in growing children. That’s why WisdomGym Preschool always incorporates movement into its academic sessions. WisdomGym is just one branch of the Horizon Complex, which fosters a healthy community by teaching kids of all ages dance, gymnastics, and cheerleading skills.
Children as young as 4 months old can participate in gymnastics classes that help build motor skills through playful routines and exercises. At age 2, children can begin dance classes that progress to advanced levels of ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop. In cheerleading classes—for ages 4 and older—students can practice tumbling and chants with the goal of one day learning to successfully chumble. As kids play, parents can wait out in the lobby and peer through the windows that open into most classrooms.
Ann Arbor College of Martial Arts & Fitness?s hand-selected, certified instructors incorporate techniques from four disciplines to help students defend themselves in simulations of assaults.
When they aren?t teaching self-defense, instructors help students strengthen their bodies with Pilates and a kickboxing program that combines floor exercises and punching-bag work. In an aerobic interval program, teachers alternate stints of kickboxing, Pilates, and strength and toning techniques in small intervals to maintain cardio levels and help burn calories. Pupils can also burn calories with Zumba, which uses moves from Latin and hip-hop dance in a "fitness party" atmosphere that encourages a full-body workout.
By practicing martial arts at Kil's Taekwondo Center, students of all ages and experience levels can learn to unlock their full potential while mastering valuable self-defense techniques. Grandmaster Yong Sup Kil oversees the organization, relying upon his 30 years of teaching experience?including time spent coaching students for international competitions?as he and his instructors help attendees improve their physical and mental fortitude.
Although classes explore various forms of self-defense, they emphasize the techniques of tae kwon do. That martial art aims to help students understand virtues like self-control, humility, and perseverance while teaching them how to protect themselves from assailants or stationary pieces of lumber. Since balanced self-improvement is the ultimate goal, the center also offers fitness classes that range from kickboxing and Zumba to yoga and tai chi.
At Gonyon's Gymnastics, highly trained staff members craft a unique exercise regimen for each child, helping students foster confidence and grace as they master their desired gymnastic routine. Kids of all ages and levels first learn the fundamentals of bodily alignment while learning basic acrobatic skills. Over the weeks, students build balance, flexibility, and brawn through myriad gymnastic activities that include tumbling across floor mats, striding on balance beams, bouncing on trampolines, and feeding oats to pommel horses. The spacious gymnasium boasts colorful mats for preschool classes or more professional equipment for advanced students.
Before founding World Sports Fitness, Pierre F. Mouele routinely went toe-to-head in the ring, earning a kickboxing championship title. Finally, he hung up his gloves and retired his cactus-covered shoes so that he could use his boxing training to whip people into shape. Today, he puts his clients and classes through the same demanding conditioning regimen that prepared him to lay out his opponents.
His students cut swathes of muscle pummeling red, black, and blue punching bags in Shotokan karate and self-defense classes. Alternatively, clients heft weights and toss heavy balls during strength-conditioning courses, which help them sculpt a fighter's body without any of the impact exercises associated with traditional boxing training, such as getting constantly punched.
Blue and red padded squares glow underfoot in the vast gym, unused punching bags standing in neat ranks to the side of the space. Above them hang tidied rows of flags, representing the many nations and organizations from which World Sports Fitness draws its curriculum.