Building a Legacy

Redemption Martial Arts Academy

I know it’s been a few months since my last post, so I wanted to touch base. I haven’t given up opining—quite the contrary. I have had numerous things on my mind lately, much of which I am eager to share with you in the coming months.

In my last post, I mentioned that I was opening my own martial arts studio. We held our first official class in early August. I have nearly completed the renovation and installation of my mats and flooring system. There are still a few odds and ends before I can claim we are 100% finished, but the doors are open and training is going well.

I love my new mats (Dollamur/Swain hybrid surface) and the subfloor made with 3″ foam blocks. We have around double the mat space from our old location, and the best part is that we have air conditioning. That is a huge plus being in South Ga.

Opening the studio has been much like clockwork. I say that to encourage anyone who might want to one day open a business or facility of his or her own. If you have a little seed money, a game plan, and the ambition to make it happen, you have everything you need.

The most expensive part of my build-out was matting. If you don’t want to use tatami or roll out style mats, there are several more financially feasible options such as puzzle mats, flooring foam and canvas covering, or finding a gym who is closing and willing to cut a deal.

If you want to follow my lead, here are a few items I had in my process. I purchased the subfloor foam from Wisconsin Foam. The plywood came from Lowes. You can see some of the process in the pictures below. Getting insurance was easy through Most of my students followed me from the old location and I am using Square for billing.

I also created a website for my new academy. Check it out at

I am surely glossing over a few details, but transparency is important to me. If you want to know more about how we made this happen, I would love to chat about it.

Out with the old.
Jesse and Matt tear down the wall.
Breaking a few eggs to make an omelet,
Breaking more eggs.
Jason fixing the plumbing.
Applying the foam blocks.
Laying the subfloor down.
More subfloor.
Second layer of plywood going down.
Dollamur/Swain hybrid mats.


My daughter to show how much we had done.
Mats and Matt.
Almost complete.
Intense discussions amid the work.
Our sign.
A class in the new gym.

I’ll close this segment with a couple of questions:

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

What are you doing right now to get there?

If you are interested in supporting the ongoing content here at The Philosophical Fighter, you can check out my shop or simply buy me a coffee. I appreciate any and all support and thank you for reading.

Published by The Philosophical Fighter

I love being on a mat. I've trained in Karate, Kickboxing, Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, and Sumo. I currently teach Jiu Jitsu and Judo at Redemption Martial Arts Academy in Tifton, Georgia. I also love to read, write, and philosophize about life.

3 thoughts on “Building a Legacy

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