The Kick to the Top program offers a van pick-up service for children who attend school within five miles of the center, located at 1365 Buchanan Road. Billed as a safe alternative to day care, the program costs between $90 and $110 per week. Discounts will also be available for families with multiple children.
"Now that I'm a parent of school-age children I understand the importance of good after school care," said sensei John Felipe, owner and chief instructor of East Bay Karate-Do. "A lot of parents I've talked to are concerned about daycare that lacks structure. We're, of course, dedicated to keeping kids off the streets in a safe environment but also to instilling the values of martial arts training."
Felipe, who recently earned his sixth degree Black Belt in the Okinawan Uechi-Ryu system, has been teaching the art form to adults and children alike since 1994. He noted that students have different reasons for their interest in the martial arts - some are drawn to the physical fitness and weight-loss aspects of training, others seek to add discipline and self-control to their lives and still others are concerned about their safety and are interested in self-defense. There is a program for everyone at his center.
In an effort to teach key life skills like self-control, discipline, balance, confidence, memory, teamwork and fitness to its younger students, East Bay Karate-Do offers age-specific curriculum in its Little Ninja's program, for ages 3 to 6, and the Little Dragon's program, for ages 7 to 11. But even more important than good technique and form, Felipe and his trained staff emphasize a central principal in martial arts - respect.
"We try to instill in the newer generation the importance of opening doors for people, for saying 'yes, sir' and 'no, sir,' for making eye contact when they speak to someone," Felipe said. "We find that eventually those things become automatic."
East Bay Karate-Do also offers karate instruction for teens and adults in addition to a Fitness Karate program for those looking to get into shape without the commitment of martial arts training.
For information on classes or the Kick to the Top program, which begins on Aug. 27, call 439-0964.