Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.
The Yoga Sanctuary's impassioned instructors helm an extensive array of classes that cater to varying skill levels and yogic interests. Tasked with centering minds and corralling stampeding thoughts, Hatha sessions indulge arching limbs with a gentler yoga style that bolsters stamina and mindful concentration. Vinyasa classes enlist a dynamic series of fluid transitions that integrate measured breaths, crafting an invigorating sequence of poses that flows with the grace of a waterfall in zero gravity. Throughout the kinesthetic symphony of Ashtanga yoga's intensive regimen, the style's Primary Series of poses sculpts lithe limbs with powerful postures that hone the strength and flexibility needed to arm wrestle an octopus.
The "town" in Kids Play Lounge hosts a post office and a movie theater, enough to ignite toddlers' imaginations and deep reverence for the US Postal service as they make believe in a mini play unit, replete with soft flooring and age appropriate toys. Elsewhere in the award-winning 92,000-square-foot indoor facility, guests ages 9 and under can crawl through see-through panels in a two-level play area. Upon re-energizing with healthy, peanut and tree nut–free snacks at the café, kids can practice at the sports-oriented arcade with games such as air hockey and skeeball. Along with open play, Kids Play Lounge hosts up to 20 children for birthday celebrations in one of four party rooms, 2.5-hour blocks of supervised drop-off playtime, and story time at 11 a.m. every Wednesday.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months old–12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents magazine.