For over the past 20 years, we’ve celebrated the Valley’s best. From the top businesses and professionals to the people who make it all happen, Arizona Foothills Magazine’s annual Best of Our Valley contest recognizes Arizona’s crème de la crème across more than 400 categories. From the best doctors and best resort down to the best cup of coffee you can find around town, each Best of titleholder is chosen by those who know the city best – our readers.
Each week, we’ll be highlighting individual winners from Best of Our Valley 2019, who share their advice, insights and thoughts on what it means to be a part of this exclusive list. Winners will be featured in the April 2019 issue of Arizona Foothills Magazine, a tell-all guide to the best people and places in the Valley of the Sun, as chosen by its residents.
The Best of spotlight is on Kajukenbo AZ, who claimed Best Kid’s Entertainment Indoors. Congrats, Kajukenbo AZ!
AFM: In a brief 2-3 sentences, please tell us a little bit about Kajukenbo AZ —
Kajukenbo AZ: Our kid’s programs start at age 5 and aim to teach not just the physical aspects of Kajukenbo, but also to develop focus and listening skills, teach manners and respect, as well as foster character development and leadership skills. Kids get exercise, learn real life self defense skills, sportsmanship and teamwork. And we do all of this while having fun on and off the mats. We have a lot of families who take classes together and this fosters a strong sense of community or Ohana. We know we have created something special!
AFM: What does it mean to you to be a Best of Our Valley winner?
Kajukenbo AZ: At Kaju AZ, we often use the hashtags #wedohardthings and #nevergiveup when we are trying to set and obtain goals. This is a goal we are proud to have achieved with the help of our amazing Ohana. We are excited to share what we have built for the last 13 years with as many people as possible and this award helps us introduce our programs to the discerning Arizona Foothills readership!
Kajukenbo AZ: Being voted Best of Our Valley’s Best Kid’s Entertainment Indoors allows us to highlight and bring awareness to what we do and how our programs differ from other Martial Arts Programs throughout the Valley.
Kajukenbo AZ: Absolutely. It validates our program for those who are new to Martial Arts and may be deciding between various programs. It also shows that we have a strong community that includes our instructors, Black Belts, and students and families who support us in our goals and dreams for our school. It is something that potential students will see, along with amazing press and positive reviews, and want to take part in.
AFM: How do you put your “best” foot forward every day?
Kajukenbo AZ: We try to create a whole student by being community minded. We give back as much as possible with events like an annual Blood Drive, regular Free Self Defense Clinics, and other charitable outreach. We also make sure we connect with each and every student on their level, no what their needs or challenges so that they know they are an important part of our Ohana and can reach their goals.