Don’t Miss The Arena Summer BBQ!

Arena Summer Bbq Event
The World Famous Arena Summertime BBQ is on once again! See you all August 27th!

The Arena’s Judo Program

Arena Judo Class San Diego

Judo, or “the gentle way” is a system of unarmed combat, modern Japanese martial art, and Olympic sport. The objective of competitive judo is to throw an opponent, immobilize them with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke. Learning Judo will allow you to better understand grappling, especially with regards to takedowns and throws. This is especially important for self defense as using judo techniques will allow you to remain standing or in an advantageous position while you immobilize or throw a potential attacker.


Furthermore, Judo is an excellent martial art for beginners. Judo teaches throws, joint locks, and pins. It also teaches excellent balance and a strong base, both of which are essential for martial arts training as a whole. We currently offer Judo Fundamentals on Monday and Wednesday at 6:30. 


The Arena’s Judo program is taught by Zbigniew Piec. Piec has been training in Judo since the age of 10 and is a 6th degree Judo blackbelt under some of the most respected teachers on the planet.

New Arena Rashguards Available Now

Arena Rashguard Merch Available
The Arena Gym is excited to announce that we have just received an order of our brand new Arena rash guards! If you would like to purchase one of these limited edition items from our pro shop, please see the front desk while supplies last!

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The Arena Gym “Since 1949”

Arena Judo Club Since 1949

Following the launch of our new Arena Boxing shirts last week, many were left curious about the origin of the shirt’s epigraph “Since 1949”. While we are always excited about where our gym is headed in the future, we want to take an opportunity to pay homage to our past. This is the story of how The Arena Gym came to be.

 

Our story begins in Iowa in 1937 with Aloysius “Al” Holtmann. Holtmann enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 21 and later that year, graduated from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. Al was stationed in Hawaii from 1938-1940, where he met Legendary Okazaki Seishiro. Under Okazaki Seishiro, Al began to learn Danzan-Ryu Jujutsu, a Japanese martial art containing elements of Jujutsu, Karate, Boxing, Wrestling, and Judo. Two years later, Holtmann received his Mokuroku from Seishiro, which enabled him to begin teaching Danzan-Ryu.

 

The outbreak of the Second World War in the early 1940s led to Holtmann’s deployment to the Pacific theater. There, he saw combat in some of the bloodiest battles of World War II, including Guam and Okinawa. Upon the war’s end, Holtmann retired from the Marine Corps and attended San Diego State University, all while continuing to teach Judo at the San Diego YMCA. After graduating college in 1949, Al founded his own club under the name “San Diego Judo Club”. Growing intrigue in Japanese culture and martial arts during the 1950s resulted in a surge in membership at Holtmann’s club. San Diego Judo Club was frequently featured in local newspapers and magazines, including the first edition of Black Belt magazine (America’s oldest martial arts magazine) in 1961.

 

Over the course of the next 5 decades, Holtmann taught over 100,000 students at his academy. Following his death in 2001, he was posthumously awarded his 6th degree black belt from Kodokan Judo headquarters in Tokyo. Holtmann’s student, Sensei Gene Mauro, took over the school after Al’s death. A 7th degree blackbelt and former Judo National Heavyweight Champion, Mauro led the school from 2002 until 2005. In 2006, San Diego Judo Club moved from its original location on 30th Street, to its current location at 3350 Sports Arena Blvd, and changed its name to The Arena. Today, The Arena is the second oldest martial arts school in the country and the largest school in North America.

Since 1949

The All New Arena App 2.0

Arena App Releasing Soon

The Arena Gym is excited to announce our All New Arena App fresh for 2022. If you’re reading this, then you’ve already taken the most important step and downloaded the app. The App will allow Arena members to earn Rewards points that have cash value and will be redeemable for Arena Gear, Apparel, and even Membership Dues. The referral feature includes easy access to your contacts using a variety of communication platforms including SMS text, Email, Facebook, IG, and others.
Arena App Coming Soon

About The Arena

The Arena is the largest gym in North America for Combat Sports and Martial Arts instruction.

Our Address

3350 Sports Arena Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110 USA

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