Founded in 2014, Four Elements Fitness is run by female martial artists, dedicated to equality and social change - building community strength through martial arts and fitness. Our programs and services enable individuals to realize their potential, offer ways to connect, have fun together, and empower people to be healthier in body, mind and spirit inclusive of all sexual and gender expressions, body types, and fitness levels. 

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  • Four Elements Fitness is founded in Oakland, CA. Both founders Shawn and Sharon are champions of equality and social change.



  • Four Element Fitness officially opens its doors to the public.

  • Four Elements Fitness starts to expands programs and class offerings to include: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Functional Fitness, JKD/Kali, Russian Sambo and Yoga.



  • Four Element Fitness added an LGBTQ+ Jiu-jitsu class at a time when nothing like this existed. Today, more than 20 LGBTQ+ members attend the class weekly, making more than 40% of the gym members.   

  • Four Elements Fitness begins to offer scholarships and financial aid to low income and at risk individuals.

  • Four Elements Fitness continues expands programs and class offerings adding Boxing, Ginastica Natural, and Sanshou Kickboxing.

  • Four Elements Fitness teamed up with curator Melissa Wyman  to create the Four Elements Art Series, a new, vital platform for artists working in a range of media and at different stages of their careers to present their ideas.

  • Four Elements Fitness fundraised over $3,000 for local groups including: ACLU, Trans Lifeline, and Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter.



  • Four Elements Fitness worked with local school districts and youth agencies to create self defense and empowerment programs



  • Four Elements Fitness partnered with Rock Paper Scissor Collective, a non-profit organization, as a fiscal sponsor to help the gym qualify for more funding opportunities.

  • Four Elements Fitness expanded and secured a larger and more accessible space in the heart of downtown Oakland.

  • Four Elements Fitness launched the Queer and Transgender People of Color Fellowship Program providing unlimited classes monthly memberships for at-risk QTPOC to train via the generous funding from the Zephyr Foundation.


  • Four Elements Fitness partnered with the Sweaty Betties launching the Free Women of Color Self Defense Workshop Program which later in the year expanded to the Free Girls & Women's Self Defense workshop program.

  • Four Elements Fitness expanded their regular weekly class offerings to include youth classes.

  • Four Elements Fitness and the Sweaty Betties Girls & Women's Self Defense program was acknowledged by the City of Oakland and Major Libby Schaaf for its efforts to empower girls and women during domestic violence awareness month.

  • Four Elements Fitness officially provided over 30 QTPOC fellowships over the last year.


  • Four Elements Fitness partnered with the non-profit Traction Project to create free self defense and martial arts Friday classes for the LGBTQ+ community as well as subsidized the Transfighters Teacher Development Program.


  • Four Elements Fitness changed ownership and established as a non-profit gym.