Kinetic Arts Center
My suggestion is for Kinetic Arts in Oakland, though it’s not martial arts as you requested. It’s circus arts center that my ADHDer has found immensely supportive and great for burning off energy. The coaches have all been very open to talking about our child’s needs before class or camp and are truly interested in understanding her needs so they can best support her. They have a bunch of classes every week, from basic intro that involves giant obstacle courses to trapeze to parkour, as well as camps during school breaks. It’s also set up in a way that we can watch and help redirect.
I really enjoyed the classes at Kinetic Arts Center in West Oakland. Small and fun with great teachers. I appreciated that the class attendance is flexible - you can pay for a certain # of classes and then just show up to whichever ones you want - without losing money on unattended classes. They have the same class on Sat and Sun just at different times so you can choose what works best for you.
They also usually have some older kid classes going on during so your child can be exposed to other types of circus/gymnastics.
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We've done classes for 3- and 4-year-olds at both Kinetic Arts and Trapeze Arts. We've been consistently pleased with Kinetic Arts for creating an environment in which our daughter stays focused and pushes her own abilities -- and she loves it! The downside is that the classes tend to stay the same over a long period of time, and older kids tend to drift away after they get bored. Kinetic Arts is talking about setting up a class just for four-year-olds, which would be excellent.
My 8 year old son has been doing Parkour at Kinetic Arts Center for several years now and loves it! Their number 510-444-4800. They are located in 7th street in Oakland (they have their own building and parking lot). You may also want to check out Athletic Playground. Another Parkour Mom
Try Kinetic Arts in West Oakland. Not the best location but absolutely the best gymnastics for young kids in the area (and we've tried a lot of them). It's fine safety-wise if you park in their lot. Their teachers are friendly and professional circus performers for the most part. Highly recommended. Ron
Just wanted to chime in since I too have been looking for toddler tumbling classes for my little monkey. The best luck I've found so far for a formal, structured ''class'' is at Oakland's Kinetic Arts Center. Not sure how old your little one is, but they have classes that accomodate 18- 24M as well as 2-4/5. I had a parent recommend the ''tiny tumblers'' class at Kids in Motion (also Oakland), but it seems that they're likely out of business as I haven't been able to find a website or working phone number for them. I also wholeheartedly agree that Kindergym with Dawn is great - my son has a BLAST there - although it's not a formal tumbling/gym class. If you find a great one, would you mind dropping me a line? And if you're interested I can report back on how the KAC class is - we're going to try it out next month. Happy tumbling! Cara
I only know head over heals and kinetic arts center of those you listed. Head over heals teaches good classes, and has some fun teachers. However, the venue is a large hall, and I cannot imagine a birthday party in that place in between other people still taking classes. Kinetic Arts Center is much more intimate. I have been to a birthday party there. It was lovely. Nice atmosphere since it's a small place. The staff is very friendly and accommodating, and very eager to make this a special event. The guests were welcome to participate in all or some or none parts of the program. There was no pressure, but a lot of support. My child who is a year younger, would prefer a venue where her's is the only party. But yours might like the sports hall atmosphere better. Have a fun party.
Kinetic Arts Center has openings in the Circo (Circus) Summer Camps - particularly in the weeks starting July 25 and Aug 15. These two weeks are for ages starting 5 (kindergarten) up to 9 years. Circus Arts, clowning, puppetry, circus acrobatics all day long. Love Love Love it. vangello
For what it's worth, I think you may have overlooked one other new alternative: Kinetic Arts Center on Seventh St in W. Oakland, very close to Trapeze Arts. That might also be worth your investigation! darcy
NON-competitive sports -- my daughter will be a senior this year (gasp!) and since she was 11 years old been studying circus arts and physical theatre. It is so non-competitive and so empowering and healthy for her and every young adult who walks through the door. I can not say enough good about it. She can work at her own pace, set her own goals, can perform or not (check out smirkus.org for pictures of two BHS kids performing all summer long in New England) and she will go home tired and happy. A brand-new circus arts and circus-based fitness company, Kinetic Arts Center, is opening this Sept with classes and programs that will suit her needs -- www.kineticartscenter.com. It's in Oakland right off a bus line, BART, easy free-way access. There are kids of all ages in the performing program as well as not. We are lucky to have circus arts as a physical fitness option for our kids. Victoria