Open since 2005, West Coast Martial Arts promotes the spread of Mixed Martial Arts through the capable hands and feet of its expert instructors. From 23 locations, they train students of all ages and experience levels in the nuances of an international array of martial arts. Their fundamentals programs introduce tots, youths, and adults to some of the fastest-growing disciplines in North America, arming students with pragmatic self-defence skills that work as well in the heat of the moment as they do in the calm of the dojo. Instructors also lead an array of classes for more advance practitioners. Teaching the grappling and ground-fighting techniques of Brazilian jujitsu, they lead students in battling larger opponents with the holds and submissions of the Gracie street self-defence system. They round out their curriculum with the striking arts of kickboxing and muay thai, which is also called the "science of eight limbs." In this combat style, students unleash flurries of blows using their hands, feet, elbows, and knees, turning into a more fearsome opponent than Bruce Lee before he had his conjoined twin removed.
The talented choreographers at Subwalk Dance Centre aim to instill a passion for dance in pupils 8 and older as they master various styles and develop a healthier lifestyle. In front of the studio's wall-to-wall mirrors, students with no previous experience or ability to categorize the species of their dance shoes can discover the joy of fusing movement to music in high-energy intro classes that cover hip hop and salsa. Instructors guide dancers through House's footwork and the dynamic arm movements of Waacking, helping their skills grow as they move through beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses. Subwalk Dance Centre also hosts intensive training workshops that can grant fledgling dancers the skills needed to take down a charging flash mob in just five weeks.
Giggling children tumble into pits filled with foam cubes, bounce on trampolines, swing on ropes, or roll around mats shape like doughnuts and cheese wedges. Across the room, older kids twirl, flip, and pace on Olympic-grade bars and balance beams. When designing Cartwheels Inc., founders Katherine Campbell and Lisa Lacamell wanted to provide a space for recreational gymnastics and cheerleading training as well as a place for children to have fun. They employed expertise from a lifetime of gymnastics training, with each serving as the national course conductor for Gymnastics Canada and board director for Gymnastics BC. They hold their staff––many of whom come from yoga, dance, and fitness backgrounds, and all of whom have either gymnastics or cheerleading experience––to high standards: each holds at least a level-one NCCP certification, child-safety-focused Respect in Sport certification, and first-aid certification. Cartwheels Inc's instructors coach children as young as 18 months in classes taught to the standards of the National Coaching Certification Program, giving them stylish ways to climb into bunk beds. Beyond tumbling and gymnastics classes, girls also combine gymnastics, dance, and stunting formations to hone cheerleading skills in recreational and competitive all-star cheerleading programs. In the summer, gym staffers lead day camps that combine gymnastics and arts-and-crafts instruction with off-site field trips, allowing children to visit water parks or meet the man who invented water. Recognizing that their gym spaces can also serve as a playground, Katherine and Lisa also organize birthday parties and kids'-night-out events to host hours of unstructured play.
If each form of martial arts and self-defense was a different musical instrument, then Johnny Ahmed would be a one-man orchestra, one where every note could shatter a plywood board. For more than 15 years, Mr. Ahmed has immersed himself in the world of martial arts—he's mastered kickboxing and Muay Thai, earned a 5th degree black belt in Taekwondo and a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and has become certified in Bas Rutten MMA. In fact, Bas Rutten himself even visited Mr. Ahmed's studio, Richmond Martial Arts.
The majority of visitors to Richmond Martial Arts, however, aren't master fighters. Mr. Ahmed and his fellow instructors work with adults and children of all levels, starting with students as young as two years old. Their kid-focused programs work to build discipline, social skills, and confidence, as well as keep kids fit and active. Instructors also host specialized "Bully Proof" workshops, helping little ones avoid harassment at school. Adult and teen programs, meanwhile, split off into specific martial arts. Instructors teach disciplines such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai kickboxing, and Taekwondo: a full-body workout that instills balance, strength, and flexibility. Regardless of the chosen program, the faculty helps students stay in shape and learn practical, real world self defense.
Two fields, a soccer shop, five indoor tennis courts, and an outdoor, heated pool. Those are just some of the amenities inside Sportstown Sports Complex, but it's also got something a little unexpected: its own sports bar. In the glow of TVs or outside on the hundred-seat patio, visitors to the kid-friendly Sportstown Tavern find brews, food, and detailed instructions on how long to wait before eating and swimming. If your thirst for competition isn't quelled by beers—or by the Thai curry mussels and housemade pizza—you can keep up the spirit of play with a game of pool or Texas Hold 'Em on Tuesday nights.
The husband-and-wife team of Bobbi and Patricia Lusic introduces all levels to the art of the Argentine tango during group, private, and semi-private lessons. They work with each dancer’s capabilities, using progressive lessons to build upon fundamental steps as they cover topics such as musicality and etiquette. The duo also hosts social dances for students to show off newly acquired skills, and puts on performances for corporate and private functions.