We are Carlson Gracie Hull. We are a community martial arts club and our aim is to revitalise our area, improve the environment and provide a sports hub for the local community which can help them work towards their aims, whether that is to keep fit, help with their mental health or to go and compete at the highest levels.
After retiring from being a full time Team GB Judo athlete, our Head coach Owen Livesey moved over to Hull to work at Hull Kingston Rovers as their wrestling coach. Not long after this, he decided to open up his own place in Hull (Carlson Gracie Hull) which at the time just offered 2 classes per week. We started off in the back of a warehouse in November 2019 and we ran our sessions alongside working full time.
The aim for Carlson Gracie Hull has always been the same and that is to provide high level training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, Judo and Wrestling at affordable prices. Allowing anybody from any background in our community the opportunity to train for their own individual reasons, whether that be to keep fit and healthy, lose some weight, help with their mental health or to try and compete at the very highest levels, we believe we can help any individual to achieve these things without worrying about the costs of training.
Not long after starting off in our small warehouse in November, we were packed out and had to move. In February 2020 we were to move to our new venue 'The Annex'. As soon as we moved into our new home we started to offer training 7 days per week, for kids and adults and where still running this on top of working full time. In a short space of time, things were starting to get a lot more serious and we were already starting to take some scalps on the competition scene, taking gold medals in the All Stars, Manchester Open and even got a win on the professional grappling event 'Grapplefest' in Liverpool.
Unfortunately, We had to shut our doors in March 2020 due to covid regulations. We were very lucky to have so many supportive members that stuck with us and helped us keep our building so that we had a place to come back to once everything went back to normal.
During this time, Carlson Gracie Hull did not qualify for any government grants at all. We are a brand new club and we do not have a lot of the evidence needed in order to apply for governmental financial help. As well as this, due to issues with the landlord, we cannot secure a long term lease which would also see us have a chance of being given a grant. We had no choice but keep the place 'open' by the support of our members who never left us and our own personal money from our full time jobs.
During the First lockdown, we wanted to keep bettering the place so that our members had an even better place to come back to. We bought lots of gym equipment, we re-decorated the entire building and we were always looking at adding more things to the club.
During the Pandemic, we also kept in contact with our members and everyone else who wanted to get involved through Daily Youtube Videos teaching different techniques as well as Zoom Classes
We were able to open our doors for a very short amount of time for Solo Drills, where we managed to gain lots more new members who were keen on being part of our team. We also started up our Women's only classes. Unfortunately, we had to shut again shortly after those successful classes started.
After having to shut our doors once again for a third lockdown, we have now been informed by our current Landlords that the future for our building is uncertain and that we are not sure whether they will be able to keep open in the future for our use.
This is why we are currently looking into relocating to a new building where we will have a 10 year guarantee/lease for our use and stay at the facilities. The vision at Carlson Gracie Hull has now changed completely since we first started out. We have now quit our full time jobs and everything is going into this gym to provide a sports hub for our community.
This has been our whole lives and we do this well. The gym on re-opening will now be a full time centre (the only one in Hull) meaning we will be offering double classes early morning and triple classes in the evenings Monday to Sunday as well as providing our members with a place they can use for their strength and conditioning through the day. We are currently offering classes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, Judo and Wrestling as well as helping Hull FC First Team with their wrestling. Long term, MMA will also be added to the schedule, so we will really be providing anyone, adult or child, male or female, from any background the opportunity to better their lives through training with us. Whether that be personal/fitness goals or aspirations of being a professional athlete and all of this training will also be offered at a very affordable price which again i believe is very important in a community such as ours.
We are currently looking to raise 5000.00. This will just go towards our new building insurance, our legislation completion fee, a new mat cover for a bigger space and wall padding to ensure safety when training. If we manage to secure these funds, we will be moving into our new building the next month and will soon have the building ready and equipped to welcome our current members and new members to our new place after what has been such as tough time for everyone.
Moving buildings will secure the future of our club and the future for many people who can have the option to train Full Time in Hull, regardless of what their aims are.
Your help would mean more to us than you can imagine, as we have already put a lot into our club and we have a big vision for this place long term.
We appreciate you taking your time to read this. Keep well and safe.