On the 18th of December, 2020, I was hanging out with my BJJ instructor after class with a couple of beverages under my belt and we were discussing the current ownership of the gym. Drunkenly I emailed myself the following:
Yo - buy Greenslopes
The discussion was based primarily around the then owner and his practices and my distaste for him as a person, an owner, and my suspicions that he was a fake BJJ practitioner. I’d been gathering evidence on the man regarding his lack of qualifications for a little while until this point and had reached a point where I was close to walking away from the gym.
I’ll probably do a more in-depth analysis of the man in the future because I would like some assistance in confirming, not gathering, but confirming my evidence in a MABS-like (do we still have these) investigation. It is difficult for me to confirm it due to him knowing who I am.
Anyway, the basic rundown of the man was that he was apparently a blue belt in BJJ and a white rope in Capoeira. Later I found out that he also apparently held a “black belt” in a school of “Ju Jitsu” that has its own issues, but I won’t go into that in this thread.
My suspicions were raised when, on a Saturday afternoon a month or so prior, this guy asked the three of us there at the time, “what is the difference between judo and jiu jitsu?”
A blue belt would know this distinction, guaranteed.
The other two in attendance were the man’s recent employee instructors. He’d actually replaced me with them as instructor for the kids classes, and there was an element of sycophantism to both of their flailing answers, agreeing and “of course”-ing to everything the man said after his question.
It was clear they needed education and I, being highly educated in this arena for I am a true student of the game, decided to educate.
I chalked that one up to maybe having an interest in the two styles and wanting different opinions. I couldn’t chalk the next one up to anything but ignorance of the martial art he purported to have mat hours in the thousands.
“What do you think of is MMA?” oh yeah, you gotta do this with a strong Peruvian accent, as he was from Peru.
I said, “Mixed Martial Arts, the blending of the three ranges of fighting, stand up striking, clinch grappling and takedowns, and ground game.”
His reply was the kicker, “so I look like this, MMA is just meeksing the martial art, so meeksing karate and capoeira is MMA.”
The sycophantic parrots in the corner, “oh yes, yes, that’s also it, that is what it is.”
“Hmmm, not really, ay. It’s a specific term for the sport these days, you can’t really call something MMA when it isn’t related to the sport, in my opinion.”
He argued that it was mixing the martial arts and therefore Mixing Martial Arts and therefore MMA, but we’ve all heard these arguments before.
I was suss on the cunt from then on. Little things pissed me off. For starters, he never trained with us. We all know the jokes about Blue Belts disappearing, but if you own a gym, why wouldn’t you train?
You’re saving money each month by getting free tuition!
I was liked and respected by the parents as the kids’ classes I did take were well taught and disciplined, so they were approaching me more and more often about the state of instruction since he’d taken over.
Some of the new instructors he’d bring in were okay, good instruction, legit rank, and provided solid discipline, but the problem was there was no consistency, it all felt thrown together. A new instructor every second week, or at least it felt like it. Even great instructors need some time to settle in to learn individual behaviours.
I had inside information about the club too, the Franchise HQ owned this particular club before they sold it to this man and had employed me as their digital marketing consultant. While with HQ I had begun increasing the membership numbers steadily despite a limited budget. The first month this guy took over, he stopped spending on the advertising that I was doing through Google which halted the measurable increase in members.
According to him he was going to be doing Facebook advertising. If you own a gym, you probably already know Facebook Advertising is like riding a bike without the chain attached to the pedals. Feels like you’re going a mile a minute, but really you’re just chafing your balls. Lots of enquiry, no follow through. What I’m saying is that Facebook sucks dick, at least where I am for putting on new members.
And when you’re not putting on new members, natural attrition takes its course.
So the kids classes level of instruction was in decline, new member acquisition was on the decline, member numbers were in decline, and member sentiment about the gym’s ownership was on the decline as the guy always had this fake, “heyyy guys, good to see you” before fucking off and never training.
The final nail in the coffin for me was when he suggested a new timetable with three very specific changes.
- Due to his White Rope in Capoeira (apparently black belt equivalent) he would be replacing Thursday night Open Mat with “Capoeira MMA” class.
- Saturday’s Open Mat from 11:10am-1pm would be amended to be 11:10am-12pm. How come? Because from 12pm he was going to open the facility to “Kid’s Birthday Parties”.
- Members who would like to try out the Capoeira classes were able to access a HUGE 20% off the Capoeira class fee.
I told my instructor and the Franchise I would walk if the business posted that we provided “Capoeira MMA” and “Kids Birthday Parties”. In my email to them I specifically stated:
Fortunately they agreed with me and a response was put together by my instructor in a much more delicate and diplomatic tone than I could muster that suggested that the Franchise had done the hard yards to shake the negativity of the McDojo label by providing high quality instruction that allowed us to not only compete but win at the highest levels of competition in the country and that these “additions” were not in keeping with our brand.
It was during this time that I discovered his other martial arts business and went online spelunking. As mentioned before, though, that is for another thread. It is only relevant because it increased my disdain for this individual.
It was nearing the end of the year and I’d had enough, I was entirely dissatisfied with how the place was being run, my digital marketing advice was being ignored, he was trying to get out of his payment obligations to Google which jeopardised the entire organisation’s ability to advertise on the platform, and the more I learned about him and what he was doing, the shadier he became.
So when the discussion with my instructor took place, I purged everything I knew and received a like minded response. In fact, he was looking to obtain the Franchise through HQ, having been an original member over 10 years ago and having a good relationship with the Directors.
I offered my full support and said, with no pressure to take up the offer, that I would gladly offer services as a partner, even a minor shareholder, just to show my support.
Earlier in the year we had both individually been offered the club before this douche bought in, but having just got out of the lockdown, me with a freshly minted pregnant missus and a previously full time job now at 60% capacity, the time it wasn’t prime.
I did, however, get the Franchise Agreement, and me with my amateur legal and contract knowledge and interest had gone through it with a fine tooth comb, so I knew that there were many, many breaches that could be capitalised on by way of getting rid of the current owner.
Armed with this knowledge, I mentioned to my instructor (his name is Alex, by the way, I’ll call him that from now on cause saying “my instructor” all the time is tiring) that I could easily point out the breaches to the Directors and we could easily wrangle the club from his grip.
Two days later Alex called me and said he had thought about it and was convinced that together we could make something of this club, and said he wanted nothing less than for me to be a 50/50 partner.
Turns out the Directors were already on board as the guy had resided over a massive nose dive of revenue since he had taken over and there’s one thing that Directors do not like when operating a business, and that is seeing declining revenue.
Furthermore, the GUY HIMSELF wanted out, as he was now forking out money for expenses while the Franchise was limping along haemorrhaging members and the revenue simply not being enough to cover the debts he was accumulating.
I won’t go into too much detail here about the process of obtaining the club, it got a little messy with what I consider highly dishonest business practices bordering on fraudulent, if not flat out fraudulent (and I fucking DARE him to say something), but ultimately we now own it.
I have provided a graph of the revenue since the club has been recording revenue in this system around September 2020 (disregard the current month, this graph was created on the 5th). The previous guy literally took over at the start of the graph.
Anyway, the club is in an area of Brisbane that is gentrifying, but still has some character. It’s the kind of place that, when I moved here almost 10 years ago, I wandered around during the day and wondered what the fuck people were on about when they gave that look like “yikes”. That is until you go into the public toilets and the UV lights are on. Really pissed me off because I needed my heroin fix.
Anyway, I have already encountered some funny martial arts academy things, anecdotes about students, stories about how we got here, and shit that goes on around the place, figured I’d might drop it in a thread here for your perusal rather than keep starting threads with new shit when it relates to the same place.