Sugar Land Gymnastics & Dance's expansive space is a patchwork of tumbling mats, balance beams, uneven bars, and other equipment. It's amidst this colorful collage that kids lay a foundation for lifelong fitness and future sports such as basketball, or basketball with backflips. Students are guided by a knowledgeable team of instructors headed by Executive Director Bryan Kiser, who has more than 25 years of experience with the Men's Junior Olympic gymnastics program, and Mei, the women's coach, whose more than three decades of gymnastics experience includes time as a competitor with the Chinese national gymnastics team. The staff splits kids up by age and skill level for recreational gymnastics, and those who decide to pursue their flips and tumbles more seriously can transition into Sugar Land Gymnastics & Dance's competitive program.
In addition to gymnastics, the staff teaches karate, dance, and cheerleading lessons. Seasoned instructor Bonita Jennings builds coordination and grace, transforming the pitter-patter of little feet into the structured patterns of dance styles such as tap, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop. When classes aren't in session, Sugar Land Gymnastics & Dance hosts birthday parties with activities such as rock-wall climbing and ziplining.
Sixth-degree black belt Joshua Hong took his first tae kwon do class at the age of 4. Nowadays, at Eternal Martial Arts, he and his staff teach tae kwon do to four-year-olds. Their knowledge and passion for the Korean martial art shows during their Little Ninja classes, their kids' summer camps, and their martial-arts-themed birthday parties, which feature cakes cut by knife-hand strikes.
The programs aren't reserved for youngsters only, though. The facility also features classes for teens and adults, including high-intensity fitness classes.
The grueling, seven-hour Krav Maga black belt test has an average pass rate of 50%—that is, at least, unless you’ve trained at Krav Maga Houston, which boasts an untrammeled pass rate of 100%. Such impressive pass rates are made possible by 2nd Dan black belt, C.J. Kirk, who helms a vetted and experienced team of instructors that teaches the Israeli fighting system to amateurs, military personnel, and law enforcement officers. Classes educate pupils on all aspects of the discipline, including how to respond to stress, act on instinct, and execute textbook strikes, blocks, and Eskimo kisses. To accommodate all levels, the center offers flexible class times as well as time slots dedicated to childrens’ fitness and fighting classes.
At 27,000 square feet, Gladiators Gym towers above lesser fitness facilities with an impressive weight room stacked with conventional weights and unconventional equipment. Serious skiers and snowboarders can also take advantage of the gym’s downhill simulation equipment—a revolving carpet that creates a platform for ski and snowboard lessons and recreation. Athletes train with the usual gear, but they can also build their strength and endurance with specialty equipment such as battle ropes, TRX suspension gear, two Austin Legdrive machines, and cones for agility drills. Artificial turf lines the floor to recreate outdoor workouts, which include agility drills and power drills such as tire flipping.