Hello Internet! Thanks for visiting the blog! It's been a LONG time since we chatted last. I wanted to take the time to chat about Dynamite Kickboxing's past, present, and future! Let's jump right in!
For those who don't know me yet, my name is Raul Diaz. I've been studying martial arts for a decade now. I began training in Shidokan Karate, and began cross training in Muay Thai, Boxing, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I love all martial arts, but I felt that striking was my strength, so I decided to focus on that solely. Peace to all of my BJJ brothers and sisters out there!
I got my first teaching job back in 2014 at a boxing gym called Body Shot Boxing Club. I was there for about 6 months, but things didn't work out. Peace to everyone at Body Shot, and thanks for the opportunity! When I left Body Shot, I decided to volunteer at the YMCA. I was working there already, so it was a smooth transition. I taught classes to Teens and Adults, and the programs were booming! I asked the Y if they could pay me for the classes since business was picking up. They said no because I was volunteering haha. Then I asked if the members could pay me directly and I'd pay the Y rent. They said no because it was a conflict of interest. All in all, that was the best thing that could've happened because it was the birth of Dynamite Kickboxing!
So, since things didn't work out in the YMCA, I moved the newly formed Dynamite Kickboxing team to a gym called Reach Fieldhouse. Reach Fieldhouse was a blessing to me at the time because they had a full service gym, tons of space, and they allowed me to become a better coach and businessman. I'm very grateful to them for that. Dynamite Kickboxing called Reach Fieldhouse home for a year and a half!
As great as Reach was, it was time to expand our horizons. We left Reach in July 2016 and launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds needed to open our own studio. Although we didn't wind up hitting our goal, we were able to raise a significant amount of money which helped us be where we are now! (More on that later.) Thanks again to everyone who contributed, we wouldn't be here today without you!
Since we didn't have all of the capital needed to open our own location yet, I wound up getting a day job working for a large fitness club here in Chicago. The experience was great, but Dynamite didn't have a home! I lost all of my students, and I fell into a pit mentally thinking that Dynamite was over and done with. However, I quickly snapped out of that and remembered that I had a team to serve! I had to keep building and trust that if I worked hard that I could make everything happen! I needed to trust in God's timing. When I stopped trying to force things to happen and let God take over, everything fell in place.
In November 2016 I got laid off from my day job. What I thought was a nightmare was truly a blessing in disguise! I was offered a handsome severance package from the employer, and combined it with the GoFundMe campaign to open the gym! What's really crazy is that I signed the contract to move into our space on my birthday week, and the Facebook "On This Day" feature reminded me that it had been 2 years to the date of the first Dynamite Kickboxing class. Talk about timing!
We opened up again in December 2016 after a brief hiatus. We found a place that we were sharing with another company. Everything was going well, but something was off. The space was great for a start up academy, but it wasn't ours. It wasn't our gym. We couldn't decorate the way we wanted to. We couldn't train at all of the times we wanted to . We were limited, kept in a box. So, I decided to change that, and move into a bigger location! The Dynamite Kickboxing family deserves nothing less than the best, and I will do everything in my power to give them the best! That's my word!!!
We moved into a new space. It's bigger than our previous unit, and we have access to the basement as well. In the near future, the basement will be converted into a functional training space with free weights, cardio machines, and more. This wouldn't be possible without the Dynamite Kickboxing family, I'm forever grateful to you all!!!
You read about our past and humble beginnings. You're caught up with everything going on presently. What does the future hold for Dynamite Kickboxing? That's an easy question. More, more, MORE! More kickboxing. More classes. More programs, such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Fitness Boot Camps, etc. More team hangouts. More low kicks. More seminars. More laughter. More calories burned. More goals achieved. And most importantly, MORE POSITIVE VIBES! MORE LOVE! MORE UNITY! More, more, more. I can't wait, can you?
Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read my blog. I appreciate it. I promise to do a better job at updating this. Have a great day, and I'll see you back in the gym soon!
Raul Diaz, owner and head coach of Dynamite Kickboxing. For personal training packages, click Dyna Shop in the header above!