Fueled by a passion to make the Asia-born sport of badminton more accessible and popular here in the United States, the founders of Bay Badminton Center lovingly maintain 37 regulation courts across three locations. They?ve designed everything to let players concentrate on their game, from an electronic court-queuing system that keeps everyone in order to adequate lighting that reduces strain on the eyes. They even installed a full Robbins flooring system that allows players to lob shuttlecocks back and forth without worrying about slipping on a mat or being unkind to their leg joints. After games, guests can hit the shower-equipped locker rooms to rinse off. Players who haven?t yet surgically replaced their hand with a racket can rent one or buy one at the fully equipped pro shop at each location.
After an eye injury took boxing and martial-arts champion Eddie Croft out of the ring, he set himself a new goal: becoming the first person to train a boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts champion. Having already trained a world kickboxing champion and five San Francisco Golden Gloves winners, he is well on his way.
Croft plies his trade at B Street Boxing, where his team of instructors teaches professionals and amateurs the arts of boxing, muay thai, kickboxing, Brazilian jiujitsu, and tae kwon do. In the red, white, and blue ring of B Street Boxing’s gym, students jab and spar, practice their skills on punching bags, or check their form in a mirrored wall. Conditioning and boot-camp sessions also keep students from all backgrounds fit while imparting dedication, discipline, and the desire to wear boxing gloves even in the shower.
Between partner-based exercises and the inspirational commands of a certified personal trainer, community is a constant motivator during EmpowerFIT’s boot-camp classes. The savvy team of fitness gurus switch up the maneuvers of each daily class to help keep students engaged, and high- and low-impact variations of each move scale to the abilities of each student. The result is a full-body workout that relies on functional movements such as jumping, running, pushing, pulling, and bopping it.
Musical-theater works find a stage and an audience through Not Quite Opera's platform of community engagement. The not-for-profit production company gathers playwrights, lyricists, composers, and other San Francisco artists to create performances that reflect upon the lives of fictional neighbors and probe into life's greatest mysteries—such as who would emerge the victor in a wrestling match, Abraham Lincoln or his bionic twin. Artistic director Anne Nygren Doherty, an award-winning playwright and songwriter, works side by side with producer/handyman hubby John Doherty and an evolving collection of area artists to mold music-theatrical fusions, such as the theater's longest-running show, Absolutely San Francisco. The one-woman performance follows Sunshine the Homeless Lady during her journey of personal discovery on a railcar, and was hailed by the San Francisco Bay Times as "fun and funny" and by Statler and Waldorf as "much better than anything Fozzie Bear's done."