Archive for the ‘Business Spotlight’ Category

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I recently had the privilege to sit down  for my first Business spotlight and interview local MMA Trainer John Hackleman who heads up The Pit in Arroyo Grande, CA. John has many athletes in his camp and spoke to me about why he lives here on the beautiful Central Coast, some of his favorite places he visits, what’s ahead at The Pit and his efforts to help kids against bullies.

Jeff:  John, thank you for taking the time out of your day. First off, you’re extremely successful and could live anywhere. Why here? What keeps you here and what is the appeal for you?

Pit Master: You know, I’ve spent a lot of time in Hawaii and have a house there. I have spent time in Utah, in Vegas and have homes in both Vegas and L.A.  I have been to a lot of places and spent a considerable amount of time in those places and it still comes back to the Central Coast for me. I love it here. I love the atmosphere, the people and what this area provides me. It’s absolutely beautiful here and there is no other place I’d rather be.

Jeff: That’s awesome. I completely understand, I grew up in Seattle and did my “hard-time” enduring all that rain. I’ll never leave. What are some of your favorite places to visit here on the Central Coast? Restaurants? Hiking Trails?

Pit Master: It’s funny but I really am a creature of habit. I tend to visit my regular stops. I love CJ’s Café there on Grand Avenue. I love Taj Palace in SLO. (San Luis Obispo) Firestone’s in SLO is another favorite place of mine. As far as hikes, I love the outdoors. I hike up Madonna Mountain weekly. I love the beach and definitely love running on the beach and the workout that comes with it.

Jeff: What about Starbucks? You are the check-in king there on Facebook!

Pit Master: Well that’s a given. Gotta have the coffee. (laughs)

Jeff: Definitely. Switching gears: Most people know you from seeing you on T.V. and your association with Chuck Liddell. However, The Pit is doing a lot of great things in this community as well as your affiliates. How do you feel The Pit has impacted the Central Coast? And tell me a little about your anti-bullying classes.

Pit Master: You know I hate bullies. Nothing irritates me more than a bully and we are definitely doing a lot at The Pit to help kids protect themselves, build up their self-esteem and not become bullies themselves. I think today’s era of schools telling kids “not to fight back or you’ll be in trouble” is really hindering kids and protects the bullies. Who’s protecting the one that’s getting bullied if he isn’t allowed to fight back? Back in the day when I went to school you would sock that kid in the mouth and it would be over. Teachers would come out and break up the fight and send the kids on to their classes. Times have defiantly changed.

Jeff:  Times have certainly changed. So at what age can kids start coming in and begin learning?

Pit Master: You know we have a lot of kids come in at 5 and 6 but we have a few as young as 3. It’s all about getting them in here. We really are one big family. I love the family atmosphere we have.

Jeff: Before we close, what’s ahead for The Pit this year?

Pit Master: Well Ramsey (Nijem) just fought and fought hard. Obviously it didn’t end the way we had hoped but he is a tough kid who will bounce back. The UFC loves him and how he continues to move forward in his training and his fights. Glover Teixeira fights next in May and is a beast. Of course there’s Court Mcgee who just fought in February and won and Richard Parra who is another young fighter in our camp. But our bread and butter is definitely with the kids and adults that we have in the many different programs we offer. Whether you want to be an MMA fighter, get into peak physical shape or learn Martial Arts, The Pit is where you can accomplish dreams.

Jeff:  If people want to get more information on the programs or contact The Pit, where can they go?

Pit Master: They can check us out at www.ThePit.Tv call, email were here.

Jeff:  Hey thanks for your time John and I wish you continued success in 2013.

You can also scan the link below with your phone to follow all of The Pit’s news and links on Facebook.


Paso Robles Children's Museum

A great time for kids of all ages. (Click on the picture for more information)