About the Program

The goal of KickSmart is to provide youth or adults with a healthy physical outlet through the combination of mindfulness, and challenging noncompetitive KickBoxing workouts. Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. KickSmart helps participants achieve high levels of physical exertion, leading to a peaceful mindset and improved behavior in class settings.

kicksmarter kids

During a KickSmart session, participants expel energy or aggression in an empowering, responsible, nonviolent and individually-paced manner. Students do not compete with each other directly, rather the KickSmart Coach teaches technique while keeping youth actively engaged through boxing pad-work, rigorous circuit training and fitness based games. The session concludes with relaxed breathing exercise and a guided mindfulness session. KickSmart never encourages violence or anger, and students are taught the importance of mindfulness, perseverance, confidence and respect.

Anyone can benefit from KickSmart — it transcends age, personality type or athleticism, and creates a family atmosphere with any group after just one session. KickSmart is fun — really fun! — but make no mistake, participants will be physically challenged to push themselves. That level of exertion, however, is different for every student, and each KickSmart Coach is mindful of all students’ personal abilities.

When a group of individuals are challenged and succeed together, an unforgettable bond and uplifting personal experience ensues. That’s KickSmart!

About the Team

Jon Lawrence

KickSmart Coach Jon Lawrence has dedicated the last decade to youth-work with an emphasis on fitness and mental growth in Richmond, and Oakland CA. He accomplished this in a variety of capacities — as a P.E./Playworks coach, as director of an elementary after-school program, and, most recently, as the founder of KickSmart.

Over the years, he’s encountered countless students dealing with hyperactivity, anxiety, or anger, which of course results in disciplinary action. These students, labeled as “disruptive,” often received repetitive consequences over the course of the school year, most of which had little to no effect on the student’s actual behavior. Without a safe, independent, physical and mental outlet, these students’ behavior in class or on the playground led to punishment and/or isolation. The actions taken by school staff would prove to have minimal success in causing the child to both understand and change his or her behavior.

Jon Lawrence with students

Coach Jon’s experience has proven that youth benefit from having a safe opportunity to expel physical energy within public education settings and beyond. Providing a channel to healthily release energy and aggression helps students of all ages feel more at peace when later participating in school-related activities or socializing with peers. While recess and organized sports facilitate exercise, they do not always provide the necessary physical intensity level to push each student to reach full cardiovascular exertion. Also, students who are self-conscious about their skills, or who have difficulty establishing healthy relationships with their peers, are less likely to reap the physical and mental health benefits of traditional P.E or team sports practices. Our education system often overlooks how fitness has the power to help youth function in academic settings.

Jon Lawrence kickboxing

Coach Angelo

Coach Angelo Biosse was on the Olympic Cape Verdean boxing team for the 2016 Olympics and has trained extensively in MMA, jujitsu, wrestling, and kickboxing. His favorite part about working with Kicksmart is watching children learn new skills and gain self-confidence. Angelo has also been working with children for over ten years. coaching boxing and working at several schools. He is determined to create a safe environment where kids can “have fun, believe in themselves, and learn how to take charge of their own physical fitness.” Angelo lives in Oakland Ca with his wife and young son.

Coach Angelo

Coach Ross

Coach Ross has a long history in both training and teaching martial arts. He’s trained MMA, and both trained and taught Savate Kickboxing, Brazilian Jui Jitsu and MMA. After studying martial arts extensively, he became involved with the Sonoma County Indian Health Project (S.C.I.H.P.), teaching martial arts to the youth in his native American community. This is was extremely influential in Ross’ experience, feeling like he became closer with his community, and truly committed to bringing martial arts to youth in his future. He believes that martial arts “builds self esteem, and helps students understand the connection between the mind and body.” He definitely appreciates how KickSmart has brought martial arts directly to bay area public schools and how the program has incorporated mindfulness into it’s sessions. Ross lives in Oakland, Ca with his partner with one child. He loves spending time with his family, and occasionally holds boxing pads for his parter.

Coach Devin

Coach Devin is from Richmond, Ca and has valued being active for as long as she can remember. Though she has worked in schools for over ten years in a number of different capacities, she can honestly say that coaching mindfulness and kickboxing with KickSmart is her favorite position yet. She once coached a girl’s middle school softball team to the championships, but noted that what was actually important to her that year was how “the love for an active lifestyle was planted in so many wonderful young women’s minds.”
Devin loves that KickSmart creates a fun, safe, hands-on environment that connects self-empowerment with being active. She appreciates how kids from all backgrounds and athletic abilities can truly fall in love with KickSmart, just as she has done since she started coaching. Devin can’t wait to continue enriching the lives of young people in the community she grew up in.
coach devin
coach devin

Our Sessions

First Ten Minutes

After covering all safety measures and KickSmart’s stance of nonviolence, class begins with a guided mindfulness session and a mindful check-in. Here, students are asked to be mindful of their current emotions. Through deep breathing, students are also encouraged to mentally prepare themselves for intense exercise, and to be confident that they can, and will finish the entire session.

Thirty-Five Minutes

The core of the session consists of high paced kickboxing pad-work routines combined with circuit training. Students perform routines at their own pace while the coach provides encouragement for each challenge. There is no direct competition amongst students, just personal goal-setting – in KickSmart, finishing the workout is winning.

Five Minutes

At the end of the workout, the coach will lead a synchronized group exercise. This provides one last cardio blast and promotes team-mentality amongst the student.

Last Ten Minutes

Once students have reached their peak cardiac performance, the KickSmart Coach leads a second mindful check-in, encouraging personal reflection. As the class relaxes, here’s where the magic happens — students are asked to compare their mindset to that of their first mindfulness session. This solidifies the understanding that exercise does in fact benefit one’s state of mind. As the session wraps up, students are encouraged to carry this relaxed, peaceful state into their next activity, whether in a classroom setting or with family at home.

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Let’s Talk

Want to learn more, join the team, or bring Kicksmart to your school? Contact us today.

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