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Sam Shima


Our founder Sam was introduced to gymnastics in Seattle at the age of 15. Although this is considered late for most teens to start a sport, Sam was committed to developing his newfound skill. He learned how to do a roundoff back handspring back tuck within a few months and there was no stopping him after that. The high school boy's-team recruited him right away and for the next 3 years, numerous all-around titles came his way, while qualifying for state competition each year.


Sam earned his BA in Philosophy at the University of Washington and AS in Recreation at Seattle Central Community College, while teaching gymnastics at many recreation centers and private schools. He has even coached at the Hollywood YMCA, where he often had a good laugh while teaching 6 ft tall ‘Hollywood’ stunt guys how it’s done.


In addition to his coaching jobs, he has given back to the community by volunteering his time as a coach for three years at the Madera Gymnastic Club and as Executive Director for Rotary Playland & Storyland for 8 years.


Now 67 years young, Sam hardly feels his age. He and his wife Diana, also a former gymnast and graduate from Fresno State exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and meditate every day for good health and well-being.

Sam demonstrating finger tip V-sits and handstands at 25 years of age.

Sam age 57 ( 2014 ) showing off at the US Marine's booth, how gymnasts do pull ups!

Random female also showing up the marines.

8 weeks of chemo and daily radiation appointments by a great staff at Clovis Community (2022)

Sam's family is on vacation, enjoying the Oregon coast in 2023.

Sam's U of WA Pac 12 champs vs. his 89 year old mother-in-law's alumni college- U of Michigan Big 10 champs! Huskies lost for the national title! Oh year!

Instead of Sam kicking the bucket at age 67, he's mastered the bucket! We teach various skills in our adult classes! In other words: Get up and do something!

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