Facility & Background History

After looking at different business models and deciding what we wanted to offer our athletes, we decided that a smaller facility would be the way to go.  Bigger facilities schedule too many classes at the same time (sometimes over 60 kids on the floor during peak times), providing much less square footage per class than our facility.  We wanted better for our athletes.  We envisioned each of them to have more personal attention from the best trained and experienced coaches, rather than offering classes taught by teenagers or other unqualified staff who don't understand the proper form, technique, and safety spotting.  

Our coaches have passed rigorous background checks, gone through the highest level of training from USAG, and have the highest level of professional certification to teach its junior olympic curriculum.  We are proud to share that we are the only gymnastics facility in Oahu that is a program partner with Girl Scouts of Hawaii.  Click here to learn more about our gymnastics equipment.  

Staff

Head Gymnastics Coach

Sarah

Sarah

Education:  Applied Science degree with a Biotechnology Concentration from the University of Wisconsin - Stout (UW-Stout)

Academic Honors:  Recipient of the coveted STEM and S-STEM Scholarships.

Gymnastics Background:  NCAA Collegiate Gymnast at the University of Wisconsin -Stout. Before being recruited by the Blue Devil’s at UW-Stout to practice collegiate gymnastics, Sarah was a member of the Junior Olympic Athlete Program with USA Gymnastics.  She was a five-time California State Champion in uneven bars, beam, and floor at compulsory and optional levels when she was coached by USA Gymnastics Coaches Oksana Suvalova and Ivan Bereznyakov.  She has been a gymnastics instructor at SEGA Gym in Wisconsin since 2012 prior to co-founding Manakoa Gym & Keiki Learning Center.  She has coached a wide range of gymnastics classes from preschool up to team level (preschool/ beginner/ intermediate/ pre-team/ team) as well as private lessons. Sarah trains her gymnasts with a strict emphasis on conditioning and technique.  She is a professional coach member and member athlete of USA Gymnastics.

program director & Coach

Cynthia

Cynthia

Education:   International Business and Economics degree from California State University, Los Angeles.  She is a Los Angeles Teaching Fellow and recipient of the Golden Apple Award by the City of Los Angeles.  She possesses a Secondary Science Teaching Credential & Education Specialist Credential. 

Gymnastics & Dance Background:  Danced ballet in Mexico’s most prestigious institute of fine arts, known as the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA).  She practiced compulsory artistic gymnastics for 8 years in Mexico’s Alberca Olympica, which was one of the sites of the 1968 Summer Olympic Games.  She has been involved in gymnastics most of her life, as an athlete, a coach, and a mom to an NCAA collegiate gymnast.  She served as board secretary of the Club Champion Boosters.  She has planned and coordinated USA Gymnastics sanctioned competitions.   Cynthia is also a professional member of USA Gymnastics.  

Director

Ralph

Ralph

 Education & Experience:  Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree, also in electrical engineering, from the University of Southern California (USC).  Ralph worked as a rocket scientist at Rocketdyne, a prominent aerospace company, prior to transitioning to academia.   He is a California credentialed teacher in physics and chemistry.  He has tutored calculus, taught high school physics, advanced placement (AP) physics, and AP and honors chemistry for the Los Angeles Unified School District for 20 years prior to co-founding Manakoa Gym & Keiki Learning Center.  He was nominated and voted "Most Inspirational Teacher" in 2000 by Belmont High School students and given a commendation by the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles.  

Gymnastics & Martial Arts Background:  Ralph is a professional member of USA Gymnastics and has practiced tae kwon do, kendo, iaido, and escrima for over 20 years with the famed Master Rhee and Grand Master Chong in Beverly Hills, California. 

emt & Coach

Joe

Joe

Education & Experience:  Applied Science major and double minored in Human Physiology and Biomedical Instrumentation from the University of Wisconsin – Stout.  While at UW- Stout, Joe played collegiate football and led the UW Stout Pre Health Society as club president.  Additionally, he was a Community Outreach Coordinator at the WI AmeriCorps Farm to School Program and worked as an Inpatient Volunteer at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.  Joe has an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification from the Madison Area Technical College and a First Aid/CPR/AED Certification from the Mayo Clinic Health System – Menomonie (American Heart Association).  He is also a Certified Personal Trainer by the American Council of Exercise.  

Gymnastics Background:  Has trained at Manakoa Gym under the instruction of our head coach.  He is a recreational instructor member of USA Gymnastics. 

Coach

Ale

Ale

Education: Instituto de Bachilleres in Mexico City.  She also has specialized training in macrobiotic cooking from The Kushi Institute.

Gymnastics Background: She incorporates her broad knowledge base and experience when she teaches our Tiny Tots class and when she teaches a fun cooking project for kids in our day camp.  Coach Ale brings a warm gentle spirit to her classes.  She is a professional member of USA Gymnastics.