At Delta Martial Arts & Athletics, the staff knows that martial arts are as varied and unique as their practitioners. That's why they design classes specifically for different kinds of students. Kids as young as 3 benefit from traditional karate and jujitsu classes that are fun yet focused. Older kids continue to develop their discipline in Dragons classes. There they'll add kickboxing and self-defense drills to their repertoire as they develop coordination and self-confidence.
From age 14 and older, students can learn studio owner Jonathan Hamilton's specialties—wing tsun kung fu and escrima. Wing tsun, an ancient Chinese art, directs energy down the body's centerline, maximizing striking efficiency to best opponents. Escrima is a Filipino marital art that concentrates on self-defense and weapon work, namely with a knife, stick, and bow. Clients looking for strictly fitness-oriented classes sweat it out during CrossFit classes, where they perform dynamic functional movements such as weightlifting and sprints to lose fat and gain muscle.
In this parkour-based studio, improvisation is the name of the game as urban acrobats navigate a changeable maze of barriers, bars, and soft landing pads using practical and functional movements. Directed by a pro team originally based out of Boulder, athletes ages 13 and older scale sheer walls, spin in mid-air, and bounce from vertical surface to vertical surface. Before they attempt open gym sessions, beginners should start on introductory classes, during which they work on strength, agility, the art of falling, and explaining to citizens that they are not real superheroes.
As 10-pound balls zip down the slick wooden lanes, packs of wild pins quiver like a mailman at the dog pound. True to the alley's name, a mural depicting a desert hangs above the pin decks at Diablo Valley Bowl, where the myriad glossy surfaces seem to stretch on forever as they reflect colorful disco lights during daytime cosmic-bowling hours. Away from the hardwood, an Oakland Raiders sign overlooks the sports lounge, where patrons quell their thirst with more than a dozen draft beers while playing darts or watching games on the 50-inch TV.
Laser tag. Paddleboarding. Swimming. Bowling. Those are just a small sampling of the activities kids at Bay Area Adventure Camp might get to try on their sunny afternoons. Those kids, ages 5 through 14, romp under the supervision of experienced staff. The younger ones are matched with those leaders in a ratio of four to one, so they're never far from helpful supervision, whether they're playing soccer or learning to skateboard or ride a horse. The camp is partnered with a variety of other companies, which lets them arrange amusement park trips, archery, indoor skydiving, and other activities that require a lot of equipment or any number of roller coasters.
For some people, health and luxury are wishes to make on the future. But at The Big C Athletic Club, they happen to be the main draws all the time. Once inside, you pass the multilevel grand lobby and 75,000 square feet of weights, cardio machines, fitness classes, and sports courts open before you. After conquering workouts or group fitness classes, a dip in the temperature-controlled pool or the healing mist of the sauna soothes worn muscles. The facility's own Big C Grille offers healthy bites post-workout to replenish the body's all-important protein levels and angel-hair pasta enzymes. Even when members aren't working out, the club strives most of all to keep them happy: extra amenities such as massage therapy and a hair salon offer conveniences that help you leave both looking and feeling good.
If the punching bags that line the workout rooms at Max Combat Fitness could talk, they would probably still keep their mouths shut. That’s how scared they are of the professional and amateur fighters who inflict a beating on them every day during the gym’s muay thai and mixed-martial-arts classes. Led by chiseled combatant George Tsutsui, the team of instructors leads students of all ages and skill levels through the basics of hand-to-hand martial arts. If they aren’t interested in learning MMA strikes or jujitsu grappling techniques, students can burn calories in cardio-kickboxing classes that eschew contact in favor of aerobic dance moves. Similarly, the gym’s conditioning classes improve strength, speed, stamina, and flexibility through stretching exercises and explosive bursts of movement.