by Master Sensei Vince
Parkour is a word you may have heard about by now, especially if you are a frequent visitor to Gymja Warrior. But what exactly is Parkour? To answer that question best you need to ask, what is movement?
Movement is something we do normally and usually naturally. Movement is a part of our everyday routine and is commonly overlooked as a key to our longevity. You see, a common everyday task can slowly become daunting the more we operate without focusing on our movement in our off time.
The definition of "mobility" is "the ability to move or be moved freely and easily." That's straight out of the dictionary. It's simple, yet so many people fail to understand what it means to be mobile. More importantly, so many people have no idea how to simply move FREE and EASY.
It's not simple, however, to “define” Parkour. To me, Parkour is an art. It’s the art of movement. It’s a discipline. It’s a learning experience. It’s risk to reward management. It’s not easy, and as much as I hate to say it, Parkour isn’t for everyone.
A true description of Parkour is the ability to move efficiently in your environment commonly progressing forward from one point to the next. There are a lot of misconceptions as to what Parkour is. I like to say Parkour is the new skateboarding. All of us who practice it, train differently and have mixed visions as to what it means. Those who don’t, see it as dangerous, crazy, or awesome.
Either way, that doesn’t take away how important movement is, no matter what form it comes from. Fall, fly, flip or football, Parkour and movement are one in the same.
From a firefighter climbing through a burning building, to a construction worker keeping balance while pouring concrete, or to that Dunkin Donuts employee running to catch the bus because they are late for their shift, movement is a clear and obvious focus in our everyday lives. When we begin to realize this, we can take control of our body and mind in order to live our lives or continue our career without fear of challenge, diversity or deterioration.
I’m not asking you to become a Parkour athlete and do flips off the wall, or instantly transform into a Ninja Warrior. I just believe we should pay attention to our body and prepare ourselves for success. We are our own worst enemy.
If you are interested in hearing more about Parkour, or are interested in a Gymja Warrior class, call us at 978-816-6767.
Hosting more than 20 parties a week, Gymja Warrior has quickly become a true leader in the birthday entertainment space over the last three years. Inspired by the hit TV show, American Ninja Warrior, Gymja Warrior ensures a one-of-a-kind, stress-free, birthday party experience for all ages.
Adriana Urban is Gymja Warrior’s Party Manager and spoke to us about why birthday parties have become such a resounding success for Gymja Warrior, what people should expect from a party at one of our locations and how our coaches make sure all participants leave with a smile on their face and looking forward to a return visit.
Adriana earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Endicott College in 2010 and lives in the North Shore area with her husband and 14-month-old daughter.
1. In your mind, why are Gymja Warrior birthday parties so popular?
I really believe it’s all about our coaches. They are so committed and encouraging and positive. They push the kids to do their best, challenge themselves and have fun. It’s a blast to watch them do their thing because they are so good at what they do. Sometimes the parents just sit there and watch the party in amazement at just how much fun the kids are having.
2. Do first-time visitors to Gymja Warrior sometimes feel intimidated when they first arrive?
Yes, sometimes there are kids who are shy or a little overwhelmed, but, once again, our coaches do an excellent job of interacting with them and motivating them to challenge themselves. By the end of the 90 minutes they have a new sense of confidence and can’t wait to come back for more.
3. What is the format of the parties?
All parties include a supervised 60 or 90 minute session of Gymja Warrior activities for a minimum of 10 kids. There is also an option to get 30 minutes in our dedicated Pizza Party area, where each kid gets one slice of pizza and if that’s not enough, additional food can be ordered. We also provide candles, napkins, plates, silverware and a free Gymja Warrior t-shirt for the birthday boy/girl. Additional shirts and/or water bottles can be purchased as party favors. All the parents have to bring is a cake and drinks. Our staff takes care of everything else, including setup and clean up.
4. What is the most common feedback you hear from people that have parties at Gymja Warrior?
I think people are surprised that you don't have to be an active person or an athletic person in order to come to our parties and have fun. The coaches will tailor all of the activities so that they are age and ability appropriate for everyone at the party.
The best part is that the kids are working out, but they don’t even know they are working out because they are having so much fun. Many of our guests at Gymja Warrior were first introduced to the gym by coming to a birthday party. And we’ve had parties for kids as young as five and for adults as old as 30. It doesn’t matter what the age group is. Everybody alway seems to have a great time.
5. What tips do you have for parents who are looking to host a party at Gymja Warrior?
The most important things to do are pick a date that works for everyone and decide on how big you want the party. The minimum is 10 people and the max is 60. After that, we pretty much take care of everything else. Our goal is to make the entire experience stress-free, easy and fun!
To read reviews and hear feedback about Gymja Warrior parties, please visit our Facebook Page. To book your party or for more information, visit the Parties Section of our website, call Adriana at 978.816.8005, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
As first quarter and college semester grades come to a close at area schools, Gymja Warrior announces that it will award all Honor Roll and Dean’s List students with a free class or one-hour open gym session through Dec. 31, 2017.
Local students of any age are asked to present a current Honor Roll or Dean’s List certificate from their respective school at Gymja Warrior in Danvers or Woburn to receive a complimentary skill level/age appropriate walk-in class or one hour of open gym time, seven days a week. Both the walk-in classes and one-hour gym sessions are valued at $35.
“At Gymja Warrior, we teach how important it is to lead an active and disciplined lifestyle, but we also want our students to achieve success in school,” said Gymja Warrior founder and owner Shahab Afsharian. “It is our pleasure to reward all of the hard working students in the area who have proven they are excelling both inside and outside the classroom.”
Gymja Warrior provides a safe and fun haven for young and adult athletes that want to learn challenging ways to get fit, solve problems and set goals. Classes are divided into Little Ninjas (3 to 5 year olds), Young Ninja Warrior (6 to 10 year olds), Rising Ninja Warrior (11 to 17 year olds) and Adult Ninja Warrior and are designed to meet each student’s skill levels. Professional and certified coaches utilize Ninja Warrior obstacles such as the 15-foot warped wall, swinging ropes, trampolines and tire swings.
Students progressively learn how to express themselves through movement on all types of obstacles focusing primarily on improving full upper body strength, balance, and coordination in fun and challenging ways, while learning visually exciting and creative moves and techniques found in gymnastics, Parkour, freerunning and rock climbing.
Gymja Warrior also hosts birthday parties, team-building and corporate events, fundraisers and private functions.
Gymja Warrior Master Sensei Raymond Butler is a man who backs up his own words. And he’s got a Guinness World Record on his mantle to prove it.
“My mentality is that if you really want to do something, you can do it,” says the 30-year-old Butler, who joined the Gymja Warrior team over the summer. “If you put your mind to something, it doesn’t matter what shape or size you are. Because if you really work at it and commit yourself, you can do it.”
That’s exactly what the 5-foot-2, 145-pound Butler has done over the past decade. Growing up in Boston, he was always outside mimicking the moves of the Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles he saw on his TV. He played an assortment of sports as a youth, but his true passion was pulling off stunts and different jumps and flips. After graduating from Norwood High School, Butler started to take that passion to a new level by working out in a gym with a spring floor and tumble tracks. With a background in Taekwondo, the fundamentals of pulling off advanced handsprings and other stunts came natural to him.
“Before long I was doing all of the same flips and tricks that I had always been doing, but the level of difficulty was times 10,” he explains.
Butler’s dedication paid off, helping him appear on American Ninja Warrior (Season 6) as well as land jobs as a professional acrobat and NBA Performer. Along the way, Butler also become the world record holder for the longest backflip into a pair of trousers -- twice.
He initially broke the record back in 2013 when he took advantage of an opportunity to fly to Los Angeles and compete on the TV show, Guinness World Records Unleashed, where he pulled off a flip of 6-feet, 11-inches.
As exciting as it was to hold a world record, the adulation didn’t last long because Butler saw his record get one-upped just three months later when professional snowboarder Mario Fuchs topped him with a jump of 7-feet, 8-inches.
Undaunted, Butler went back to the drawing board, dedicated himself and went on NBC’s TODAY Show in September of last year to break the record again, on live TV, with an effort of 8-feet, 6-inches.
“The best part is hearing the crowd go wild,” says Butler. “I love it when I stick that landing and hear the cheers. It’s an amazing feeling.”
With the world record back in his grasp, Butler is now happy to be working with the Gymja Warrior team, mostly in the Woburn location. Since coming on board he has thoroughly enjoyed seeing guests come in, work hard and see results, just as he did on the road to mastering his craft as a tumbler.
“The great thing about Gymja Warrior is that people get to exercise without feeling like they are actually exercising, because it’s so much fun,” he says. “I’ve already see some kids come in and really enjoy themselves, but then after a few classes they kind of hit a wall. That’s when we tell them that not everything is going to come easy. They have to work at it.
“And when they do, all of sudden a few classes later you see them getting stronger and more motivated. For me, that’s the most gratifying thing of all. That’s why we come to work every day. To see people make progress, get stronger and achieve goals that they didn’t think were possible.”
All Gymja Warrior members can now take advantage of Ninja Warrior, Parkour, Tricking and Tumbling classes at both our Danvers and Woburn locations for just $150 a month. For additional information, call us directly at 978-816-6767.
Flips and Freerunning are great activities for both children and adults. While it can help to create healthy habits, leading to a healthy lifestyle, it is also extremely fun! Just ask any of our regular Gymja Warrior guests.
Gymja Warrior classes allow for students to learn maneuvers typically designated for Parkour, gymnastics and cheerleading.
While this is a fun activity for youths, it also has a lot of other benefits, that really help them down the road. Let’s look at some of these benefits and break them down individually.
Develop Healthy Bones: Since tumbling is considered a weight-baring activity, it helps to build and strengthen the bones. This does not affect children much as a young age, but as they get older, there is a lower risk for broken bones, as well as osteoporosis.
Coordination & Flexibility: To tumble at a higher level, it is important to build up coordination, as well as flexibility in order to perform specific stunts. This will also help in the future, as coordination and flexibility are keys in not getting injured. The more flexible you are, the less likely you are to have a muscle or bone injury, and alongside this, coordination is essential to avoiding injury.
Disease Prevention: Our classes can increase healthy behaviors and be a game changer when it comes to building a healthy lifestyle. It can help to prevent diseases such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and cancer.
Emotional & Mental Wellbeing
Increased Cognitive Abilities: With the left and right side of the brain working together, tumbling can increase cognitive abilities of the brain. This can lead to higher test scores, as well as better classroom behavior.
Discipline: Having a class where you are pushing your body calls for self-control. Discipline is crucial and is something that really sticks in the long run.
Self-Esteem and Social Skills: Tumbling is an activity that is based on individuals, however, it can truly turn into a skill utilized in a team sport, such as gymnastics and cheerleading. Since it is individualistic, a lot comes from being able to land a certain move, or learning something new, which factors into the self-esteem factor, while also increasing social skills that will be a large element of everyday life.
For additional information, visit the program section of our website, or call us directly at 978-816-6767.
Master Sensei Vince Klapper wasn’t surprised by the initial reaction of the 80 high school freshmen from Salem Academy Charter School when they piled into Gymja Warrior in Danvers last Friday.
“At first you could tell they were kind of like, ‘What’s this all about? What are we doing here?’” Klapper explained. “They were all kind of staying in their little groups and not really communicating with each other very much.
In other words, the students and teachers got exactly what they were hoping for out of the event.
“It’s really cool to see everyone cheering hard and working as a team, instead of individuals or small groups,” said Christine Titus, a teacher at the Salem Academy Charter School, as she looked around the room. “Most of these kids have not been here before and they didn’t know what to expect. So it’s great for them to be here to try something they’ve never done before, use different muscles and, most of all, interact with some kids they haven’t before. That’s why we’re here.”
Gymja Warrior regularly hosts birthday parties and other events for large groups, who come in and try out replicas of Ninja Warrior obstacle courses in fun and challenging ways while also enjoying the visually exciting and creative moves and techniques delivered by Boston’s finest Parkour athletes.
“We end up having just as much fun as them,” said Klapper, who was one of six Gymja Warrior trainers on hand to help out. “Because we get a huge kick out of seeing kids come in here who are intimidated at first, but then end up having the time of their life. That’s what this is all about. That’s what we try to do every day.
“We want people to come here and not just exercise their body, but also make new friends and gain confidence. That’s what we’re seeing happen today, and that’s how we know we’ve done our job. It’s very gratifying for us and enjoyable for them.”
If you would like to book your next event or party with Gymja Warrior contact us directly at 978-816-6767.