Hanabi Judo

Hanabi Judo

9 employees
58 years in business

About this pro

For over 50 years Hanabi has been teaching martial arts to our community, producing national champions and strong, confident people of character. 

We have classes for children starting at 3 years of age but we also have classes for older children, teenagers, women, and adults.  

We have experienced black belt instructors from around the world - Japan and Africa for example - and across the United States. Many are currernt or former national and international competitors.

Our head instructor, Dan Augustine, is a 6th degree black belt who was Sr. and Master's national champion and the alternate to the 1988 Olympic Games.  He also holds a Master's Degree in Education and has taught in New York and Tokyo. He speaks Japanese and Spanish. He is also the father of three children.

Judo is the world's most popular martial art and a very safe, yet very effective form of self-defense.  We learn to use our opponents strength against themself.  

Judo features spectacular throws and intense grappling. Our higher level students learn the submission techniques of chokes and armbars.  

Our workouts are vigorous but fun.  You will sweat and you will smile.  We want judo to become a part of your life so we really value the relationships we develop with our students.  

Hanabi means "fireworks" in Japanese. We feel its energy, brightness and excitement captures the spirit of our judo.

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Albany, CA 94706
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

We speak with the student - and their parent if they are younger - and listen to the reason they are considering our classes. Based upon our discussion we decide what would be the best program for them.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have taught children and adults in classrooms, day camps, judo schools and professional situations since 1980.  

I have a Master's Degree in Educational Administration.

I was an elementary school teacher in New York and California. I taught English as a Foreign Language in Japan.  I taught bilingual Spanish classes here in the Bay Area.

I have been teaching judo part time since 1990 and full time since 2010. I am a nationally certified coach.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Pre-JudoOnce per week$99/monthTwice per week$119/monthUnlimited$139/monthBeginning JudoTwice per week$119/monthUnlimited$139/monthIntermediate/Advanced JudoUnlimited (11 and under)$139/monthUnlimited (12 and over)$149/monthFamily SpecialFor three or more people in the same family, save 15%Single Class (Drop-In)$30/Class

How did you get started teaching?

I always wanted to teach children.  I studied to be an Elementary teacher at San Francisco State and when I graduated, I moved to New York City in 1984 and taught in East (Spanish) Harlem.  I wanted to speak Spanish better so I moved to Mexico and lived in the Olympic Training Center there were I trained with the Mexican national judo team.  My Spanish improved and I moved back to Berkeley where I taught a bilingual Spanish class.  

But I wanted to go to train for the Olympics so I moved to Tokyo where I taught English as a Second Language and trained.  Three years later I returned home and continued teaching elementary school for another year before forming my own company that did educational programs with Japan and other countries around the world. 

I ran that company for 20 years. I realized my dream of opening an independent judo club, Hanabi, in 2011.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with children as young as 2 and adults into their 70's.  We have students who are developmentally disabled and We have a good group of visually impaired students.  

We have a great woman's class and a wonderful adult Beginning class with both men and women.  

We national level competitors and a few who have competed internationally.  

We also have some academically gifted young people. At 18 our students earn their black belt as well as their high school diploma.  We have had our young black belts attend Duke University, Columbia, John's Hopkins, Cal, UCLA and Boston College - to name a few.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Every month we have in-class tournaments.  This past week we had a 5 year old girl who tried it out for the first time.  While she didn't win any of her matches, she tried very hard, and earned the "Most Inspirational Competitor."

We believe that effort is important. Not everyone will win every time.  But all of us can learn and achieve and we want to celebrate the effort to improve.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Sit down and watch and listen. Do you respect how this person teaches? Do you like the way they interact with others?  If you had a child, would this person be a good role model? Based upon the answers to these questions you will know if this teaher is a good fit for you or your child.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What do they want? What is the goal? 

Sometimes students don't have clear answers to these questions. Talking to others, sometimes even the potential teacher, can help clarify them.

But you don't always need to have clear questions. You can even ask the teacher what questions the teacher thinks students should ask.