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Robert Wolf 09-17-2004 11:03 AM

Coach encouraged me to share some of my experiences here regarding our move to a new location.

A little background: In march of 2003 John Frankl and I decided to open up a facility which offered CrossFit, Bjj, kickboxing, Capoeira and possibly some yoga and other things if interest and space permitted. This plan had some advantages and drawbacks. The advantages involved sharing costs, increased creative input and someone to share the stress with to name a few. Disadvantages were lack of space (difficult to forsee but it happens) challenge of making either venture profitable when folks are not willing/able to pay for both MA training AND CrossFit. Another big problem: John Left!!! The martial arts academy is still there and doing pretty well but with John leaving we decided to move to a larger location and really give things a go.

As an aside- If you are in the position like Jeff or Mike, ie. you already have an established martial arts clientele I think the CF/MA combo is a good idea. If you are just going into this and want to mak CF your primary thing the MA alliance might should happen down the road. You will tend to loose out on space and in the beginning it is challenging to just get out what the heck CF is. Also, Crossfit can and will out grow/eclipse the MA side of things...just more people interested in "fitness" than MA. You end up competing for a bunch of the prime time slots and if you are teaming up with a more traditional MA program they may not be stokked aobut O-bars droping and people grunting while they are doing Kata or whatever.

We first had to find another space. We found some great light industrial which was privately owned. This is significant because Nicki and I really did not have the type of credit most big leasing agencies want. We put together a business plan with reasonable growth projections, resumes, letters of recomendation from some key people. We had this proposal bound and it looked VERY sharp. The people liked us, were impressed by our presentation and took a risk on us. They also gave us a fantastic deal. They tried to get more out of us but we really could not afford it, so they eventually came down to us.

We have a 2yr. lease with an option to re-up for 2-3 years when this first one ends.

Our building is a light industrial structure which is metal. No insulation, no heat/cooling. We have no structures which allow for rope climbs, cargo laders, or even just pull-ups. We comissioned some welders who did work for us at the martial arts academy to build a structure which is 15' square with on end 10' high and the other 15'. The metal comes in 20' pieces so keeping things easy as far as cuts keeps the price down. We had D-rings welded all over the structure for ropes and various rigging. We also had 15' of 1.5" and 2.0" pipe hung at 8 ft for pull ups, JS-bands and whatever else we can come up with.

Nicki gathered as many people together for the move (I have been out of town doing consulting and she has done a fantastic job on all of this) and everyone hauled the gear we had over to our new space.

Getting insurance has been a pain. We had insurance at the old space but getting it transfered has just SUCKED. More on that in another thread.

We are buying more gear: O-bars, bumper plates, squat stands, rubber hex dumbells (we do have ONE set of KB's which we use similarly to sterile fruit fly release....), know, garage Gym stuff!

Ebay- We have aquired a pommel horse and a set of P-bars from ebay. It has been pretty cheap and easy so keep your eyes open. One can go several months and see nothing or you can bid on an item and then the next day have 2 more come available like what happened to us. Do not let that freak you out....just buy the gear and get it going.

Sorry this is a bit of a random sample but this is a bit like the whole process up to this point.

More to follow

Barry Cooper 09-17-2004 11:42 AM

Best of luck!! Keep hammering and it will all fall in place eventually. Almost everything worth doing is a pain in the *** at times, and sometimes most of the time.

Someday you'll look back with fondness on all the aggravation you're putting up with now.

Jeff Martin 09-17-2004 12:25 PM

You got my pommel horse and P bars! I agree with you in general about the martial arts and that more people are interested in fitness than the martial arts. In my case I think their is real synergy between RBMA and CrossFit. When I started offering CF classes I had alot of the Krav Maga students jump into the class. I don't think I had any of our traditional students sign up. On the other side we are now getting interest from people who came in for the CF classes and are now signing up and bringing their family to Krav Maga. (Not to ramble, but we are in a very small community outside of San Diego and we are consistantly having classes of 30-35 in KM and 20-25 in CF.) As stated juggling the prime timeslots can be tough. One thing we have been trying and finding works well is offering a CF class at the same time as our kickboxing. The people who want to do CrossFit come in a little early and warm up. I assgin them the WOD and when Kickboxing starts they do the workout while the kickboxers warmup. When they are done they jump into the kickboxing class if they want or head home. Too avoid the two "cultures" clashing, sometimes I have the kickboxers warm up outside and sometimes the CrossFitters do the WOD outside. If you want to talk more about this give me a call.

Robert Wolf 09-17-2004 02:31 PM


That sounds great!! I think the key is having both programs under one person (you). At our new facility I will start offering some thai boxing classes in a non-contact format. Just pads and bags. I do nto want to compete directly against the folks we just parted with so if folks want real fight training I will send them there. We will be in SD in november for a Mud Run so perhaps we can impose on you for a few days :-)

Talk to you soon

Barry-Thanks! I keep telling myself that!


Jeff Martin 09-17-2004 03:03 PM

Are you talking about the run at Camp Pendelton? We have a group going to the bootcamp challenge here next month and we have talked about doing the mud run. The door is always open to you so let me know when you will be down. I have some seriously funny stories about trying to find our niche. Hopefully I can help you not make the same mistakes I did. One thing I can tell you is that when I offered boxing and kickboxing as fight trainning I had a hard time making ends meet. As soon as I started offering the same training,(bag and mitt work without the contact) the kickboxing/boxing classes flourished. Again, there are probably more people interested in the fitness benefits than there are people interested in getting in the ring.

Robert Wolf 09-17-2004 04:08 PM

Thaks Jeff, it is hard sometime to let go of the "purist" application of this stuff. It still does folks a load of good.

It is indeed the Pendelton Mud Run! I will call you next week when I get back to chico.

Rick Worthington 09-17-2004 06:23 PM

Robb - great post. Thanks for sharing the information! Good luck with the gym.

I think the Vista wrestlers will have a team or two in the mud run as well. See you guys there!

Carrie Klumpar 09-17-2004 10:10 PM

Photos! Robb, we wanna see this amazing welded structure!

Robert Wolf 09-19-2004 12:58 PM

Will do!

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