The Oldest Continually Operating 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.
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 at the 30th Street location, the school moves to a much larger facility at 3350 Sports Arena Blvd. School name is changed to The Arena 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.