Hanabi Judo

Operated By: 
Dan Augustine
Kinder, School-Aged, Preteens, Teens, Young Adults, Adults, All Ages
30 participants
dan [at] hanabijudo.com

Hanabi means "fireworks" in Japanese and its energy, brightness and excitement truly express the spirt of our judo. A part of the Albany community for over half a century, Hanabi Judo offers classes for people ages three to seventy-three—and beyond.

Our goal is to become a healthy and fun part of your life. We have produced over a hundred state, national, and international champions, but most of our members don’t actually compete but simply enjoy working out and learning in our friendly atmosphere. We have classes of various levels for children and adults and we especially welcome women (who, not relying on strength, learn technique very quickly.) We strive to develop not only champions, but good people of strength and character.

Parent Reviews

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My daughter, 14YO, goes to Hanabi Judo in Albany. Sensei Dan is very supportive of teens. If I remember correctly, beginner teens start off with little ones in beginners class, but much sooner than little kids, he will put you in the higher level, if you put in the time and effort to learn. My daughter started later than most kids there, but Sensei Dan put my daughter on fast track to get her black belt, and gave her a job as an assistant to the little kids’ class! They learn discipline, respect, and leadership. Everyone there has been really supportive. My daughter used to be really shy, but Hanabi studio really helped her with her confidence, even though she is one of the oldest kids in the class. Currently, they are in person with masks on.

RE: Martial arts class for preteen ()

I highly recommend Hanabi Judo in Albany. They are very family oriented and excellent with kids. For parents they have “parents night out” and summer camp for the kids. 

RE: Martial arts class for preteen ()

Hanabi Judo in Albany at San Pablo/Solano. My son began there at 14 with no previous experience and easily transitioned into the community. He started going 3x a week and now, at 16, happily goes 5x a week and attends the tournaments. It has worked out really well and this was after a few fails.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

April 2014

RE: Martial Arts Classes for 5 year old

Hi highly recommend Hanabi Judo in Albany on San Pablo. The classes have been great for my 7-year-old son who started when he was 6. It is run by a wonderful and very gifted Sensei named Dan Augustine. He is very sensitive to the developmental needs of young kids and finds creative ways to engage all kinds of kids so the classes are fun and challenging. I'm amazed by how much my son has learned! Most importantly, Dan has created a culture of nurturing and respect. There are always kind and enthusiastic helpers--older kids who are more advanced--who assist with the classes. Their manner with the younger kids is patient and encouraging. I'm really impressed by the maturity of these young people and my son really looks up to all of them. I have to also mention that, besides learning skills, Japanese language and respect, the classes also provide excellent physical exercise! If your son is 5, he'd be the perfect age for the pre-Judo class. I encourage you to call Dan and stop by to observe or try a class. Anne

July 2012

RE: Berkeley Martial Arts Class for 4 year old

Hanabi Judo. They are on San Pablo in Albany. My 6 year old has been going there for a year now and it has been absolutely wonderful. I don't know what their age limit is, but I'm sure I've seen kids there as young as 4. The guy who runs it is greatCbhis name is Dan. cindy

Hanabi judo in albany, they have a pre judo class that would be perfect for your 4th year old. Kristin

June 2011

RE: Martial arts for four year old

Hanabi Judo on San Pablo by Solano has amazing teachers--both adults and teens. We have been very impressed with such a loving place. Lots of 4 year olds we know are taking classes there, and my 10 year old loves it. Mama to a Judo Boy

Hi Wendy, Check out Hanabi Judo, nearby on San Pablo Avenune and Solano (Albany)!! It's FAMILY friendly, not competitive (although if you want to and are ready to compete, they are Olympians who will train you for competition). Dan Augustine is like a child whisperer, who is gentle, firm and inspiring to the kids. Many of the pre-judo classes are taught by younger students (teens) - one of them, Flora, is 16 and is the judo team captain of Berkeley High as well as a blackbelt and national champion - I'd love to have her babysit one of these days. They are also offering summer camps (half and full days). Are you on Facebook? Their page is: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Albany-Judo/145864038761976 Hanabi Judo Dojo: Dan Augustine 841 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706 510-530-8312 maria

I cannot recommend Hanabi Albany Judo club more highly! Dan Sensei and his energetic and talented blackbelts lead fantastic classes for kids. My 5 year old is gaining great confidence & taking great pride in his mastery of each new skill. The classes are athletic, rigorous and fun: blending running & jumping exercise with practice in basic judo moves (the younger kids class does them solo on the cushy tatami mats, the older kid's classes offer opportunities to practice moves on a partner). Each class includes games that get their hearts pumping and the laughter echoing off the walls of the new, light-filled studio, located close to the intersection of San Pablo & Solano (lots of free on-street parking). The kids are also learning some Japanese beyond ''Judo Japanese'', last month was body parts, this week was basic introductions in Japanese. Dan Sensei often films the kids and ''screens'' the film during the same session, so the kids have a chance to see themselves on screen immediately, which they LOVE! You can tell that Dan has a background as an elementary school educator--with 2 kids, I've had ample opportunity to observe instructors and he is really in a class of his own. I drive here from Kensington and would easily drive twice as far! There are also family classes, should you want to join in (I've taken a class myself and had a blast!). Hanabi Judo Dojo Dan Augustine, Sensei 841 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706, 510-530-8312 FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Albany-Judo/145864038761976 Happy Mom to a Judoka