September 29, 2007 in Business

Owner gears Hit Pit toward mixed martial arts competitors

Jason Shoot Correspondent

The first rule of R.W. Pegau’s fight club: Talk about R.W. Pegau’s fight club.

While most gyms have members, clients or customers, anyone stepping into Pegau’s club – The Hit Pit – had better be a competitor. The Hit Pit will feature training in myriad disciplines for mixed-martial artists, including boxing; submission grappling techniques from judo and jiu-jitsu; Muay Thai kickboxing; wrestling; and cardiovascular training.

Pegau, a co-owner and manager, has scheduled the gym’s grand opening for Monday and MMA training will begin the next day. The Hit Pit is in the basement of Spokane Boxing and Martial Arts, and Pegau said athletes will be able to use both facilities. Pegau hopes to attract athletes interested in amateur and professional bouts.

“We were pretty realistic with what we intended,” said Pegau, a former Marine who has been involved with mixed martial arts since the late 1990s. “We’re trying to hit a specific niche of the market. … The crowd we’re going for either is interested in competing or is already competing and needs an atmosphere to bring it all together.”

Pegau noted that mixed martial arts undergoes perpetual change that requires competitors to adapt and cross-train. Whereas mixed martial arts competitors once could thrive by specializing in one discipline, Pegau said, fighters today must have a bevy of skills they can implement. The gym will provide coaches from various disciplines, rather than one coach trying to teach every wrinkle of mixed martial arts.

“It’s great if you’re a great wrestler, but it doesn’t cut it anymore,” he said. “What we plan on trying to do with people is give them base resources and basic skills to help them develop into something usable in competition.”

While securing an eight-sided cage still is a work in progress, Pegau said, The Hit Pit has everything else necessary to train for competition.

“We have mats down and ready to roll, and people can work on getting pinned and getting out of positions,” Pegau said. “We have MMA-style gloves, boxing gloves, a lot of medicine ball training … we have enough definitely to get started. There’s something to be said about technology and new fandangled equipment, but you go into any boxing gym and what do you see? A punching bag, a speed bag and a jump rope. There’s a lot to be said about bringing it back down to old school.”

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