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Discussion in 'Smash City Badminton Club - CLOSED' started by Smash City, Mar 7, 2005.
For those who can only go on weekends and evenings, are passes available?
Post pictures of Howard's visit to smash city.
Smash City (Wayne),
Do you have some pictures of Howard's visit to smash city?
It would be nice to post some of the pictures in here.
Need player for Tue.(10/18) from 11:30 to 1:00pm
Plan to go play @ noon time Tomorrow.
Anyone interested to play with us?
Yonex Bay Area Open Fall 2005 -- 11/19 & 11/20
Smash City is pleased to announce that the Yonex Bay Area Open Fall 2005 Tournament will be held at our facility on Saturday, November 19th and Sunday, November 20th. Come join the fun as the Bay Area's largest and most prestigious tournament featuring top players compete for $1,000.00 prize money in our "A" events.
The Bay Area Open will also feature "B", "C", and "D" events -- so there is something for EVERYONE to enjoy! Entries must be received by November 14th! Entry forms are available at http://www.baopen.com and can be turned in at either Badminton Alley locations (Sunnyvale/Milpitas) or at our Smash City registration desk. Better yet -- you can register online as well!
Smash City will be closed for Drop-in/open play during the tournament and offers discounted tournament entries for our members and students.
Thanks for your support,
Smash City, Inc.
Badminton club a smash
by Rachel McMurdie
Between unassuming corporate headquarters and quiet frontage roads where the occasional freight truck rumbles, you'll find a place where shuttlecocks fly and badminton is king. It's called Smash City, and since its opening in Milpitas in July, the indoor gym has become the largest, underground, unofficial badminton headquarters in the Bay Area. "We're a little hard to find," admits owner and co-founder Jim Todt. "But we're hoping that more people will hear about us and come." Already thousands have flocked to the expansive facility off Montague Expressway near GreatMall, one of only four badminton clubs in the Bay Area. Players have come as far as Sacramento to play on its 12 green courts with custom-designed nets and official-approved professional flooring. What you won't find at Smash City is a slow game of backyard barbecue badminton. You won't find any English ladies in petticoats, for that matter, either. What you will find, Todt said, are people who are intensely dedicated to their sport. "We're sort of fanatics," he said. "In this sport, you kind of have to be." The gym was the dream of Todt and co-founder Wayne Lum, who not only play badminton themselves, but are both parents of top-ranked badminton kids. Todt's children, Andrew and Lauren, now 18 and 17, took their East Bay high school's North Coast Section by storm in 2003. Lum's son, Brendan, recently played in the Pan American games in Peru and won the under-15 junior pro championship. "Our kids grew up on the court and we just decided this was the next step," Todt said. Like many U.S. badminton enthusiasts, the Todts had trouble finding a good location to practice, often playing in community centers and school gyms. Todt said that wasn't ideal. "When basketball season came around we were always on the bottom of the list, and would be last priority for gym time," he said. Susan Lo, Todt's wife and a top badminton player herself, said she often would shuttle her kids from their home in Danville to gyms in South San Francisco two or three times a week. "It's a lot of dedication," she said, "but when I think back to it, it was worth it." Now the pair is hoping their new club will not only give elite players a place to practice, but will help foster the next generation of badminton enthusiasts and encourage people who haven't played for years, to come back to the sport. "Badminton is a lot like soccer was 10 years ago," Todt said. "It's a good model for us. I think badminton is poised for improvements." Badminton promoters are quick to point out the sport's factoids: first, that badminton is "the fastest racket game in the world" and second, that the shuttlecock or birdie, the small rounded object that is hit back and forth between players, has been clocked at speeds of more than 200 mph. Badminton players will also tell you that they cover more ground per match (one to two miles) in half the time (40 minutes) as their tennis playing counterparts and not only does the sport require excellent hand-eye coordination, it also requires good foot speed, and jumping ability. But the sport, the second-most participated in globally (after soccer) has largely lagged in the United States and has yet to catch on the way other national pastimes have. According to one study only 300,000 people in the United States play badminton on a weekly basis, far less than tennis or racquetball. Badminton's top professional players come from China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea, which is why badminton, Todt said, is perceived by many as an Asian sport, "and maybe rightly so," he said. Smash city's clientele is roughly 80 percent Chinese and 20 percent Indian and Pakistani, but Todt hopes to change that. "Instead of badminton being an afterthought, I'd like to see it move into the mainstream," he said. He's not alone in his hope. There are pockets of badminton players across the United States in places like California and New York, who cheered when Anaheim hosted the first-ever world championships on U.S. soil in August. Two U.S players, Tony Gunawan and Bay Area native Howard Bach won. Enthusiasts say it's a start. Milpitas resident Han Cheong, a Smash City regular, said he hoped the championships would help attract more young people to the sport. "For this sport to get popular the only way is to get kids in high school involved. Now it has to be their parents who get them into it," he said. "When local people start to win, and start to win more, we can encourage more young kids to play." For Todt and Wu, getting young kids involved is part of the plan. Already their club hosts an Elite Junior Team which includes top juniors in the United States, three of whom have been selected to represent America in Peru and Canada. They've also hired two knowledgeable coaches, who know a thing or two about competing. Coach Lili Zhou, winner of the 2004 U.S. Adult Nationals singles and doubles tournaments, captured gold again in November at the 2005 OCBC YONEX International held in Orange, Calif. Another coach, Yuan Wang, was ranked No. 2 by USA Badminton in women's singles in 2000. But players come to Smash City at all levels. Joanna Rao, a Milpitas High School freshman, is taking lessons at Smash City with her friend, Jennifer Shieh. The pair said they used to play in the back yard, but Rao hoped, with practice, she would be able to join the school's team in the spring. "It's really fun," Rao said, laughing that this was her first experience playing with a net. Lo, who has raised her own children in the sport, said that kids did well because it was fun and demanding. And, she added, "They like to smash one another." A smash is a powerful overhead stroke aimed steeply downward into the middle or rear of the opponent's court, similar to a tennis serve. It sounds vicious, and can certainly outmaneuver a player, but Lo assured badminton was a very safe "non-contact" sport, despite its fast-paced play. "It is a wonderful game because anyone can play, from very old to very young," she said. "It's as fast a game as you want to make it."
I would like to thank Frank and my friends from Xiyu Badminton for the nice "Goodies" basket I received in wishes for my speedy recovery. Last Sunday at the Bay Area Open, I tore my right calf muscle during the finals of the men's doubles. (I will be out of commission for about 4-6 weeks). Again, thank you Frank, it meant a lot to me.
It was a disappointing injury because it was a very fun match to play up until the injury. I am so proud of Daniel and Chi Weh (not sure of his spelling). They are playing very well and it seems as their training has been going well for them. After playing Bay Area badminton for 30 years now, (yes, I am an old man), it is so nice to see the younger players stepping up to the plate. I think with four beautiful clubs in the Bay Area now, badminton will finally get the attention that it deserves. I hope that all our young players continue to pursue their badminton dreams and get as much from the sport as I have through the years. Trust me, it's well worth all the sacrifices you have to make. As far as all the wonderful clubs in the Bay Area, I encourage you all to continue to support our top young players so we can put US badminton on the world map as Howard and Tony have started us off on.
Thanks again Frank and I will see everyone on the courts soon. (Bet on it)
get well soon benny!
When will the result be posted ??????
get well soon
sorry to heard tat from you, i hope u get well soon.
Where can we find the results of the current BA Open ??
Smash City opens 2 hours earlier on Saturdays!!
By popular demand, beginning March 11th Smash City will open at 9:00am (instead of 11:00am) on Saturdays giving you 2 more weekend hours of the best Badminton in the Bay Area!
Watch for exciting future announcements as we work hard to expand our training hours and programs!!
Training Program Enhancements
Smash City is enhancing our Training Program!
We are holding a Spring Break Camp April 17-21. 3-hour sessions are available mornings 8:30-11:30 and afternoons 2:00-5:00.
By popular demand beginning in April Junior classes will also be offered on Sunday – classes are forming now.
For details, please see www.smashcity.net.
Posted on Wed, Apr. 12, 2006
Grieving family rallies at badminton center
By Lisa Fernandez
People say Wayne Lum is a great dad. When his son, Brendan, 14, had trouble finding a place to play badminton, Lum transformed a Milpitas warehouse into a badminton club to solve the problem.
Today, Brendan Lum is No. 1 in his age group, having won seven national junior titles, and is training for the Olympics. And the badminton center -- Smash City -- is the Bay Area's newest and biggest venue for one of the world's most popular sports.
``Well, he's pretty good,'' Lum, 46, said recently, while watching Brendan smash a plastic feathered birdie, or shuttlecock, over the net. ``And he was always getting kicked off the courts by the basketball team or the volleyball team. He needed a dedicated place to practice.''
Smash City is a focal point for hundreds of young, mostly Asian-American players obsessed with the fast-moving sport. But for Lum, it is one thing more: a pastime that helps fill a void left by the death of his daughter six years ago, in a highway accident while on the way to a badminton match. Ever since, badminton has knitted Lum's family together.
Brendan followed an older cousin into the sport when he was 7, and finding court time was always a challenge. Five years ago, there was one badminton facility in the Bay Area. Today, there are four, in Sunnyvale, Fremont, Menlo Park and Milpitas.
No official numbers exist, but badminton is believed to be the second most popular game in the world, trailing only soccer. The game's roots trace back to ancient Greece and China in the 5th century B.C. The modern-day game was adapted by British Army officers stationed in India in the 1860s. Badminton, which became an Olympic sport in 1992, is to countries such as China, Indonesia and Malaysia what baseball or basketball are to the United States.
In large part, its popularity in the Bay Area reflects the growing number of Asians living here. According to the U.S. Census in 2000, about 28 percent of Santa Clara County's population comprised Asian/Pacific Islanders, up from about 17 percent in 1990.
Badminton at Smash City -- a former warehouse tucked inside a hard-to-find sprawling business park -- is far from a game that critics call ``wimpy tennis'' played in the back yard on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
On a recent Thursday evening, dozens of players put the 12 dark green courts to use. The players, mostly young Asians such as Brendan, who is Chinese-American, worked up a sweat during the fast-paced game against the backdrop of the club's eggshell blue walls. The game is played by smashing the plastic shuttlecock -- or birdie -- over a net with small rackets.
Because there is no ball in badminton -- only a birdie that soars through the air -- there is no bounce and therefore, little time for players to recover between lobs. Each set is played to 15 points. Winners must beat their opponents two out of three games.
``I like the game because it's very competitive,'' said Brendan, an eighth-grader at West Portal Lutheran Church School in San Francisco. ``I like to strategize before each match.''
Brendan and his dad head to Smash City about three times a week, after dinner or early on weekend mornings, so Brendan can get in his training time. Lum's wife, Joanne, a nurse, typically brings their youngest daughter, ``Mickey,'' now 7, to play on the weekends.
Wayne Lum's day job is as an information technology manager at Scitor, a Sunnyvale systems engineering firm. After work, he drives the family's Toyota Prius 50 miles back home to San Francisco to pick up Brendan for the trips to Milpitas. They spend a lot of their time together in the car just talking. Lum usually peppers his son with questions about his school day or lets Brendan finish his homework.
``My dad usually asks how my homework is going and if I need help,'' Brendan said. ``He's very caring. He'd pretty much do anything for me. My friends think he's the coolest dad.''
Lum co-owns Smash City with Jim Todt of Danville, whose son, Andrew, 18, and daughter, Lauren, 17, are also nationally renowned badminton players. Each father said he put in more than $250,000 to build and lease Smash City, which has about 100 members. Membership is $50 a month. Nearly a year after opening, Lum said, the business is just starting to see a profit.
Lum spent 2 1/2 years scouring the Bay Area before finding the 24,000-square-foot club in Milpitas -- it had to be the right boxy size and have high enough ceilings. Before then, Brendan trained anywhere he could. That included, for a time, playing at a Hayward shoe warehouse owned by a Pakistani badminton fanatic who had two courts in the middle of his shop. Brendan also trained at San Jose State University for a while.
Like the bartender
At Smash City, while Brendan trains, Lum works the desk, schmoozing with customers. Especially since his daughter's death, he said he likes to keep busy.
``I like working behind the counter,'' Lum said. ``I see a lot of friends and members who I can talk with. I kind of feel like I'm the bartender where you can hear their problems and they can hear mine.''
It was Aug. 6, 2000, when Joanne Lum was driving the family's Ford Expedition to Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles to take Brendan to a badminton tournament. The passengers: Brendan, Joanne's parents and the Lum's two daughters -- Micaela, then 2, and Kaitlyn, then 5. Wayne Lum was flying to meet the family.
Somewhere near the intersection of Highway 152 and Interstate 5, the car's tire blew out and the Ford rolled over, killing Kaitlyn and Joanne's father, King Choy Chi.
Lum acknowledges that Smash City is a combination of reacting to Kaitlyn's death, as well as making up for what he lacked in his own youth. His parents owned a grocery store, where he worked every day. He was allowed to play Little League for a short time, and can remember his father being in the stands only twice. He wants to be a different kind of father, and so he clears his calendar whenever Brendan has a tournament.
``Half the fun,'' Lum said, ``is just having your parents there watching you.''
Contact Lisa Fernandez at email@example.com or (510) 790-7313.
Smash City, if the blown tire was made by firestone or bridgestone, I suggest you go sue the pants off those companies.
Play on Saturday morning
Are there a lot of people playing on Saturday morning ??
Spring Break Hours & Spring Camp
Smash City will be open regular hours during the Spring Break week of April 17-21. Come play 11am-2pm and 5-11pm!
Smash City’s Spring Camp will be April 17-21. It’s not too late to sign up for the afternoon session. Please see the Spring Camp flyer or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to Sign Up!
We started opening at 9am Saturday mornings a month ago. The first 9am Saturday was of course slow, but there have been steadily more players Saturday morning each week. Stop by & check it out!
thanks for the reply. I did check it out last Sat.
Anyone know if and/or when the BAJO is going to be and if there's any entry form posted anywhere?