History of The Arena. The oldest Martial Arts School in North America.
Our founder, Aloysius C. Holtmann from Iowa, enlists in USMC at age 21. Graduates MCRD in San Diego and stationed in Hawaii.
Corporal Holtmann trains in Hawaii with Seishiro (Henry) Okazaki, founder of Danzan-Ryu Jujutsu. Receives Black Belt and Mokoroku (teaching certificate) May 5, 1940.
US enters World War II. Sergeant Holtmann fights in some of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific, including Battles of Guam and Okinawa. Receives multiple field promotions.
Sergeant Major Holtmann retires from USMC in 1946. Attends and graduates from SDSU in 1949. Teaches Judo at San Diego YMCA until 1949 when he opens own school. Please note: chevrons to right reflect correct USMC insignia at time of Sergeant Major Holtmann’s promotion.
Sensei Holtmann featured in first issue of Black Belt Magazine. Goes on to appear in Black Belt numerous times over next 3 decades.
Sensei Holtmann dies at age 85 on December 19, 2001. Taught Judo and Ju Jitsu to over 100,000 students during a 7 decade teaching career.
After 57 years, the school moves from 30th Street to 3350 Sports Arena Blvd. It updates its name to The Arena in order to best represent a training center for modern day warriors. Offers programs in Boxing, FMA, Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Kickboxing, MMA, Muay Thai, and Wrestling.
The Arena grows to becomes the single largest Martial Arts school in North America. Its’ continued mission is to be the leading center in the world for Martial Arts and Combat Sports training.