Oakland Police officers dubbed the gritty but rapidly changing area of West Oakland “Dogtown” apparently because of a large population of stray dogs in the early 80’s. Dogtown Athletic honors this nickname today with a new 8000 sq. ft. gym on the West Oakland/Emeryville border. The only dogs you’ll see wandering around this area of Oakland these days are those owned by the proprietors of Dogtown Athletic, Husband-Wife tandem Dan & Chris Kwon. Dogtown’s massive 8,000 square feet footprint utilizes every square foot of the space by providing a wide range of classes and activities that should accommodate just about everyone.
The Kwon’s took over the former Creative Stoneworks warehouse nearly a year ago and completely gutted the interior, rolled asphalt and added plumbing to accommodate showers. They officially opened last October and have spent the past few months adding equipment and building new amenities to transform the space into a fitness mecca of the East Bay.
Included in the 8,000 Sq Ft Warehouse Gym (and 10,000 if you include their office & retail space) are an enviable amount of offerings including:
- 35 yards of turf for sprinting & agility drills
- CrossFit Classes
- Boxing Training
- HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Classes
- Personal Training
- Weekly Yoga Classes
- CrossFit Kids class
- Free, Secure Parking
West Oakland’s Version of King’s Gym?
Previously, those looking for a competition boxing ring would have to drive to King’s in East Oakland. Not anymore. Dogtown is hoping to establish itself as the boxing epicenter of West Oakland and help reestablish Oakland’s rich history of boxing. Dan, an amateur boxer himself, noticed a void and saw an opportunity to bring something new to the “old school” ways of training. “I saw how the training of boxers hasn’t changed in fifty years. Jump rope, a heavy bag. Training technics have improved so much and we wanted to bring a new element in”. They’re techniques seem to be working and can already boast 2015 WBC (USNBC) Middleweight Championship Tony Hirsch as their head boxing trainer.
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Helping move West Oakland forward
The Kwon’s have embraced the plight of the neighborhood and have incorporated a Social Justice mission into their business model. “Our vision is to get kids off the streets and fight childhood obesity. Every fifty members we get, we sponsor a local kid’s membership” noted Dan. “Maybe one of these kids dedicates himself and we’ll groom the next Andre Ward!” “We’re part of the community and we want to give back” added Chris.
Future plans include possibly offering Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai training. For all that Dogtown offers, their rates are extremely reasonable. Dogtown is currently offering specials including a free week trial membership and discounts for referrals. Check ’em out!
(510) 328-DOGG (3644)