Martial arts centre on a strong growth trajectory
Ignite Martial Arts & Fitness Centre likes to fly under the radar, but its jack- of- alltrades approach is making people sit up and take note.
The Plimmerton-based gym specialises in teaching Zen Do Kai martial arts, but also caters for muay thai kickboxing, boxfit, yoga and boot camp programmes.
Co-owner James Hammond, Ignite’s head trainer, said the club had recently been working with ParemataPlimmerton rugby teams on their fitness and getting plenty of kudos for it.
Ignite has been based in spacious premises in Cedric Place for two years and has loved it.
‘‘It’s great, it suits what we need and what we do,’’ Hammond said.
His business partner, Chris Samuel, has been training in martial arts for 19 years.
He said the fitness and gym market was a tough industry to crack, but Ignite was steadily growing its membership because of its results.
The club does not tend to send athletes to competitions, but nevertheless offers an environment for all ages to get fit, Hammond said.
‘‘This place is for anybody and everybody and we definitely try to get that balance between training and competing.
‘‘It’s not intimidating and we pride ourselves on making people welcome.
‘‘We’ve all been in that position when you walk into a gym or fitness centre for the first time.’’
Ignite pulls most of its members from Porirua’s northern suburbs, but has members living in Kapiti, too.
Hammond said it had 80 kickboxers, 35 children from age 6 and many more clients from within the community, such as the rugby club. Two weeks ago, the founder of Zen Do Kai, Bob Jones, visited from Australia.
It was fantastic to host him in Plimmerton and show him how the club was going, Hammond said.
‘‘This is one of the biggest martial arts in Australia and it’s really growing here in New Zealand,’’ Samuel said.
‘‘Zen Do Kai is quite traditional and is based on balance, movement and selfdefence, but you have to have an open mind for it.’’