"I came to a jiu jitsu class, a black belt threw me, I hit the mat, and I was sold."
Now, Josh Campbell is a co-owner and instructor at Yellowknife Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which held its first classes in a new downtown space on Monday evening.
Formerly located at Just Fitness, Campbell says the expanding club needed a space of its own to accommodate more participants at better times of day.
"For the last three years we were at Just Fitness and that was a great relationship but we wanted to expand," Campbell said on Monday.
"We found out about this opportunity and worked with the landlords for about six months to line everything up. We pulled the trigger and said let's gamble on the business and try to expand it."
The new location, at 5007 50 Avenue, is directly beneath Cabin Radio's studios. Asked if they would sign up for programming at the club, Cabin Radio staff hid cheeseburgers and feigned injury.
"Our kid program is blowing up lately," said Campbell. The club has 10 children aged three to five in its lowest age bracket, then 40 participants aged six to 13. Twenty-five adults take part in either a fundamentals self-defence class or a more advanced class in which participants spar with each other.
Classes cost $45 plus tax per month for the youngest children, $75 plus tax monthly for older children, and $100 plus tax each month for adults.
The club says moving to a new space will help it to deal with what was once a two-year waitlist for its children's programs.
"In Just Fitness, where we were renting time, it was tough for us – we don't bring in a lot of money, it was hard to get prime time," Campbell said.
"Now we just need more instructors otherwise my wife is going to leave me, because I'm going to be here twenty-four-seven."