There’s a set of store fronts on the south side of Payne Elementary that has always seemed to me like a missed opportunity. For a while there was a laundry mat, then a convenience store that didn’t seem to have any inventory. The current owners make much more of an impression; “Find Your Girlpower” their advertising challenges. Owners Rita Floyd and Nyjah Eason already made a name for themselves on the Hill as an alternative exercise venue with great programs for kids and women where students unique fuse of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Thai Boxing, Yoga and functional fitness. Nyjah took some time off from training and teaching to answer these questions
How did you become the World Champion of women’s jui jitsu?
One of the things that we teach here at Capitol Hill Martial Arts is goal setting. We start as young as age 3 and have students as mature as 60 and up. Our message is consistant to everyone. We must set long term and short term goals. It is a philosophy that I have carried on and off the mat. Once I set the goal to become a World Champion my coach and I set a game plan and I followed it to the letter. Having that clear goal helped us develop a road map to the top of the stands.
And now you’re a small business owner. Are there any skills that transfer well?
Patience and Determination transfer near directly. Facing an opponent we sometimes find ourselves in positions that we’d rather not be in. But remaining calm, assess the situation, and find a way to use the current situation to your advantange. In business we’ve faced our share of challanges. We were attempting to do something that hadn’t been done before. Two women opening the Worlds First Mixed Martial Arts Academy for Women and for Children. So both patience and determination are essential to our continued success.
The building your studio is in seems like a great space, but several businesses haven’t been able to make a go of that location. How are you going to make sure you have staying power in the neighborhood.
Over 80% of our new students are reffered to us by a current student. Our staying power is really rooted in the quality and the level of benefits that our students gain by training with us. We constantly invest in ourselves and our education so that we are able to provide the highest quality martial arts and fitness instruction to our students. So as the number of satisfied students enrolled in our program grows, so will we.
You mentioned your most popular class is the Mixed Martial Arts Boot Camp. Your ads are provocative, say “find your girl power,” and put a female face on martial arts. What do you offer for women that they can’t find at Results or Sport & Health?
The ladies come in looking for a different way to meet either weightloss or exercise goals. Very simular to what they are looking for at a Results or Sport and Health. But what they leave MAFA with is a sence of confidence that they can defend themselves through skills and techniques learned in our MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Thai Boxing style classes. They leave refreshed from the relaxation sessions that follow each of our weekday MMA classes. And they also leave feeling accomplished as our smaller class sizes allows our coaches to personally iteract with members, correcting form and encouraging participants to finish strong.
Tell me about the Tiny Ninjas? Is this an new alternative to Mommy & Me or Gymboree for all kids or just for Bruce Lee-wanna be’s?
In the Tiny Ninja class we are teaching students to become independent, improve coordination and motor skills, as well as discipline and self defense. We have a great time running, jumping, kicking, punching, rolling, and lots of loud Kiyas. All great activities they love to do but with discipline and structured in the right environment. At the request of our parents who work with us either in our inschool martial arts experience or one of our inhouse youth programs, we will be offering the martial arts summer camp experience. It is open for ages 4 to 13 years old. Its lots of martial arts training, tournaments, field trips, reading, and all around summer fun.