Excel Martial Arts in Larchmont is a haven for the whole family. They offer something for everyone, from infants to parents! The name may be misleading: Yes, Excel Martial Arts offers intense martial arts training and classes by husband and wife team, Shihan Joseph Rivera and Shihan China Rivera. But they offer up so much more, including a child enrichment program, art classes, yoga, pilates and boot camp. (And free child care while mom exercises! More on that later…)
We stopped by last week for a free trial of the “True Toddlers Class,” which takes place 3 days a week at 9:30am. The class is targeted toward children 18 months to 3 years, and the format caters to that age group with combined free play and organized songs, gym time and arts & crafts.
While the mirrored room typically hosts karate classes, that morning it had been converted to a toddler’s dream land. There is a trampoline, balls of all sizes, an obstacle course, slide, and more things to climb and swing on. There was a small pile of books where my son found a Thomas the Train book that he held tight to the rest of the class and my daughter went nuts for a trapeze bar with rings that was hanging at the perfect height for her to swing — not something she can usually play on at the park. Chloe is the energetic leader of the toddlers’ class and her enthusiasm and energy perked us all up.
We hear really good things about Excel’s kids karate program, which comprises 80% of their membership and is organized by age group: Little Achievers for the 3-6 year old set, Little Dragons for 7-11 year olds, as well as teen and adult classes. In addition to the main karate studio, the 3,500-square-foot facility boasts two more rooms used for classes and birthday parties, and a 2nd floor space which converts from a serene yoga studio to a party room complete with a light show.
The schedule is diverse, and free trial classes are encouraged and readily available. Their prices are very reasonable and the toddlers’ gym, art & open play classes run on an unlimited schedule where you pay per 6-week period and attend as many classes as you want. (They also offer drop-in rates and an amazing sibling/twin discount of 50% off your 2nd child for the unlimited classes.) Excel even offers babysitting at $5/child during some of their morning exercise classes, which means your little ones will have a blast playing with Chloe while you break a sweat at pilates. It’s a win win for everyone.
Excel Martial Arts, 2097 Palmer Avenue, Larchmont; 914-834-1540.