A Ballarat mixed martial arts gym is moving into a bigger home, despite the pressure placed on the fitness industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a planning permit application currently out for advertisement, Brawl MMA is looking to move from its current Delacombe site to a CBD location at Dana Street.
As part of the move, which the business also hopes will capitalise on additional foot traffic, the facility will expand to include a 24-hour gym and a cafe.
The business plans to be open for martial arts and self-defence classes from 6pm to 8.30pm Monday to Friday. The cafe is planned to be open at the same time with the possibility of expanding to 9am to 5pm.
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The new facility will include two matted areas for judo and MMA, along with a five-metre wide MMA octagon cage, circuit and weights training areas and a children's training area.
While the business has been closed due to lockdowns, the move has been in the works for months after Brawl MMA secured a seven-year lease on the site and began moving to their new Dana Street site in June.
Co-owners Clinton Vermaak and Daniel Quiddington also own the Bodyconnect and Brawl Boxing gyms in Norwich Plaza.
Brawl MMA co-owner Clinton Vermaak said the business was focused on self-defence for both adults and children.
"If you get 50 people into a gym and 50 of them are training as MMA fighters, you would be lucky to get one or two that are competitive fighters, so the market is mainly just for individual self-defense," he said.
"More importantly, for self-confidence and ethics for our children and for our youth, that's where our market is and that's where we focus."
Mr Vermaak said the pandemic was tough for gym owners, but he was hoping to hit the ground running in the new year.
"We're getting ready for the new year and there will be a big rush, I believe, when we're back to normal in the new year," he said.
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