Mon., June 26 – Fri., June 30, 1pm-4pm, intensive features ‘workout while you wait’ for parents
Former professional dancer Robin Hart does not look like she runs a school in the martial art of Muay Thai. With her disarming smile and sweet demeanor you might think her a soccer mom. But when she speaks on the subject of Muay Thai she exudes passion. And like a soccer mom she loves her “kids” – all 15-20 of them whose bare feet and gloved hands move about the padded floor of Muay Thai School U.S.A. in North Hollywood.
Coached by Head Kru (Kru is Thai for instructor) Dan Mayid, a martial arts practitioner since age six, with the last 12 years focusing on Muay Thai, kids ages 5 to 15 punch and kick mitts and pads, held by fellow Kru Jessica Lopez and Kru Edward Gonzalez.
These students are working, as in, they are not messing around. A tremendous energy envelopes the room and yet there is a lightness present. Not only due to a feeling of safety brought by their moms eagerly watching from the adjoining room, but these kids seem to be enjoying themselves, all the while staying attentive to their Kru.
Christine Crosby makes the 16-mile round trip to the school with her two sons, Peter and Holden, specifically to take class with Mayid. In fact, Crosby followed Mayid from the previous school where he taught, having been “working with Dan since March of 2015,” she says. The Lake Balboa mother has herself started training in Muay Thai, so it’s a family affair.
“We don’t just teach the sport of Muay Thai, but the art of Muay Thai,” says Mayid. This is evidenced by their literature, where they promise your child “will develop in respect, discipline, courage, confidence, focus, wisdom and strength.” To further this aim, each class concludes with a two-minute meditation, promoting calmness and clarity.
The ability to kick butt is implied when training in martial arts, but when asked how his students should handle bullies Mayid is quick to say that fighting should not be the first option. “We teach kids to develop themselves so they might avoid conflict, preferably walking away, if possible. Fighting is the last resort,” he advises.
Muay Thai School U.S.A. offers a Star System beginning with Blue Star, then Red Star, then Gold Star, representing the levels of proficiency a Muay Thai practitioner may achieve. Along the way children learn skills applicable outside the gym, such as camaraderie and team spirit. Worth mentioning is the physical nature of the martial art itself, which employs use of the hands, feet, elbows and knees, making Muay Thai a fantastic workout. Just ask the Crosby family. They’ll be back next week.
Muay Thai School U.S.A is located at 11116 Weddington St. in North Hollywood, between Vineland Ave. and Lankershim Blvd. Validated parking is available in the structure next door. For more information call (818) 980-6688 or visit MuayThaiSchoolUSA.com.