Started in Woodland Hills, California, The Pit now operates in 9 states and has almost 20 locations across the country. Opened by John “Pit Master” Hackleman, The Pit is known for being both fun and difficult: combining discipline and conditioning with real-world skills and confidence building. As a renowned trainer with over 25 years of martial arts experience, we were eager to learn a bit more about John and The Pit and to share a little bit about him with the ChampionsWay community.
Here is our conversation with John “Pit Master” Hackleman:
CW: How did you get your start in martial arts? When do you decide that you wanted to turn that passion into a career?
JH: I started martial arts at 10 years old to protect me from "haole bullying" and it was my passion, from the second I took my first class, circa 1970. I trained daily and it was my passion through pro fights, the army, college, kids, jobs...I made it my career in 2001.
CW: What is the ideology or philosophy behind The Pit? What brings kids and youth coming back and helps set it apart from other schools?
JH: The Pit's philosophy is very simple: live very clean, train very hard, and don't ever let anyone take your lunch money. We are a very friendly and family oriented gym, but we have old school values and training methodology. I think our hardcore yet very friendly and upbeat training, along with our fun yet serious attitude and training sessions are very effective. Everyone sees results and that is why we have been so successful, to date.
CW:Where do you see The Pit, in 5 years?
JH: I see the pit in the exact same place in five years…only twice as big and busy!
CW: What brought you to choose ChampionsWay? Which features do your team members use the most and what do you like best about the platform?
JH: The front desk management system of ChampionsWay is what first got my attention as being, without a doubt, by far the best in the business. When they added the billing component and websites, it was a no-brainer. To me, it is a one-stop management and billing platform, with a built-in website, social media, and management consulting, that is top-of-the-line.
CW: How has ChampionsWay helped The Pit grow, over the past few years?
JH: They have helped us mostly by streamlining and systemizing the front desk software, combined with our billing. This one-stop approach has turned into a seamless platform. It really frees us up for more important things like training hard.