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Richard D -So tell us the name of the gym and location:
Neil -our gym is called grant brothers mma and boxing gym and we are located at 4884 dufferin street at the intersection of dufferin and dolomite. We are on dufferin just south of steeles and north of finch

Richard D -How long have you been open?:
Neil -we had our grand opening on nov 21st but we’ve been officially in business since nov 30th so just over 5 months now

Richard D -what can you tell us about the gym?
Neil -well, we are open from 10am – 10pm from monday to friday and from 10am till 3pm on saturdays. We are closed on sundays for now. We offer over 40 classes a week in various disciplines from boxing, judo, wrestling, muay thai, brazilian jiu jitsu and now combat sambo. Our gym is designed to fit everyone from your average beginner to pro fighters and everything in between.

Richard D -what does the name grant brothers mean and who are the grant brothers?
Neil – the grant brothers are a group of 3 brothers from montreal who have a deep history in boxing. Otis, howard and ryan grant are all former olympian’s and otis is the former WBO welterweight champion. They are an extremely successful family who also own and operate a gym in montreal and they train not only world champion boxers, but they also train some of the top mma fighters in the world like george st. Pierre and others. Ryan aka RG lives in toronto and had been my club mc for years along with baby yu. He was a boxing instructor during the day and it wasent until I trained a couple classes with him that I realized how amazing he was. I’ve been training off and on since I was 13 and I’ve always wanted to open a gym rather than be a pro fighter. So it was only natural to partner up with him. To me, the name could be anything, as long as you have a good product people will come, but being able to use the grant brothers name and partner with them already gave us an edge due to there respect and connections in the industry. That was evident since day 1 when we were given over $5,000 of new gym equipement for free from Everlast just because we had that name in ontario.

Richard D -what seperates you from other gyms?
Neil -well, having trained in over 7 or 8 gyms and visited over 20 gyms over the past 15 years, I got to see what is and isn’t needed, what’s missing etc. Everything from the look, feel, instructors, class schedules, price points etc. My other partners in the gym as well were pretty involved with me in terms of creating the gym. From colour schemes and everything involved. Almost like opening a new club or restaurant. The trainers being the chef, lol, the instructors being the dj’s, the look of the gym being nice and appealing, I even had a friend who does architecture and interior design help me to make moch up’s of the gym based on the size we have so we could layout the space properly. I took some of what I’ve learnt in my club days to build this gym. Having a background in club promoting/owning and managing, I was able to leverge relationships, experience and ideas to help create this gym experience. I’m proud to say its exceeded expectations already.

Richard D -thats good to hear. So what exactly is the gym experience people will get at your gym and why should people train there instead of a traditional gym or another mma gym?
Neil -well there’s lots things. Lol. Firstly, I want people to not feel intimidated to come train. I want them to feel at home, feel comfortable. Feel like part of something. I want people to have a purpose and feel good when they come in. I want them to feel like they are learning something or achieving goals they’ve set. I’m not a trainer there, so I put my faith in our instructors, which to me was the most important aspect of our gym. I wanted to get extremely respected trainers with valuable experience, who are also great teachers and yet very friendly. This is often hard to find. Not all good teachers are great fighters and vice versa. But I was fortunate to find a group of guys to bring together who met this criteria, and I’m proud of our trainers on board. I really believe its them who have allowed us to grow so quickly. I can market it and get people there in the beginning, but its them who keeps them there and gets our students talking about the gym to others. When we opened for business on nov 30th, we had 70 students. Since then, we have signed up over 220 people to the gym and we’ve lost only 2 members for other reasons. Our gym and to me the most important thing, is we have a real attitude free and friendly environment. I want my gym to appeal to everyone, so I take pride in its look and appearance. I want it to look clean, smell nice, be bright, open, fun, etc… So we make sure the place is always up to par in terms of cleanliness and the look of the place

Richard D -is there anything you are known for more than anything at your gym?
Neil -well, not really one thing other than I sell our gym on 2 things. 1, is our trainers. I guarantee you, that you cannot find a group of qualified instructors and teachers anywhere near as comparable to us. I’m not just saying that because it my gym, but look at our coaches. I’ve got the number 3 ranked 145lb fighter in the world who is also a 3x world jiu jitsu champion and known around the world. My wrestling coach is the coach for the mens olympic team whose been to over 20 international tournaments and 4 olympic games. My boxing coach is a former olympian who trains everyone from GSP, to Gray Maynard and over 10 world champions. My Judo teachers are all former national chamipons etc etc…I could go on about our trainers successes and experience. To have that all in 1 gym is rare. Most gyms have 1, maybe 2 world class trainers under the same roof, we have 5 or 6. The other thing I’m proud of is our price points and what we offer for that. Our gym has all the equipement you need to train. Octagon, ring, top of the line wrestling and grappling mats, 8 punching bags, double end bag, speed balls etc etc…we don’t limit people from the amount of classes or days they can train. We offer over 40+ classes a week and if you want to come everyday and take 3 classes a day, we don’t stop you. Moat gyms, if any, don’t allow this. We don’t limit you. We want you to be there more.

Richard D -have you had any funny stories or anything interesting happen at the gym?
Neil -there are already a million funny things that happen, or funny stories etc. Last week a student forgot his shorts so he tried to train in his boxers. Lol. We obviously didn’t let him, but it was funny. But I guess the thing that is awesome is since we’ve opened, we have a pro training session we do that is more private and not open to everyone. We do it from 11am till 1pm 4 days a week. Word got out about our pro training sessions and we’ve had some of the top fighters literally walk in and ask if they can train at our gym. UFC fighters, WEC fighters etc… You have these bug time fighters come into the gym and ask to train almost as if they are asking our permission. Like why would we say no? Lol. Its even funnier when our students walk into the gym and see a UFC guy training in the corner. That’s always funny to see and watch.

Richard D -any last words or something you’d like to add?
Neil – hmmmm, nothing much other than, we’d love to have more people at the gym training. Anybody reading this, we’d love to have you come by. Come try a class or 2 for free, we want you to try out a few classes. Experience it first. Check us out online at www.grantbrothersmma.com or call us at 416.736.7770. We also have a youtube account so you can check out our classes and gym. Go to youtube and type in grant brothers.

That’s pretty much everything.

Richard D -thanks for your time and good luck with the gym
Neil -no problem, anytime. Thanks for the interview.

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