Owner’s Name: John Rallo

Location: Baltimore, MD

Style/Discipline: BJJ, MMA, Muay Thai, Boxing, and Wrestling

How did you choose your school name?

It is exactly what Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu does…allows you to control the ground fighting exchanges.

How long have you been in business?

18 years.

Who or what inspires you?

Trying to provide my students with the best facility and instruction possible. That is why we have made the investment we have made in the school. From the design to equipment, to software, etc we want to make the Ground Control experience one people will come back for again and again.

What is something special or unique about your school and/or students?

We are the only school in the DMV where the lead instructor has a direct lineage to Renzo Gracie. Renzo personally gave me all of my belt promotions from blue through black.

What made you choose FUJI Mats for your facility?

FUJI has done all of the top academies including Renzo’s NYC Head Quarter Gym. His referral was all I needed.

What is the most rewarding part about working in the martial arts field?

Seeing someone with no experience achieve their goals and become empowered.

If you could give one piece of advice to other martial art school owners what would it be?

Invest in the school and your students. They will pay you back with their hard work and loyalty. 

Owner’s Name: Master Justin Scarsella

Location: Birmingham, AL

Style/Discipline: Tae Kwon Do

How did you choose your school name? I grew up training under Grandmaster Sun Ki Chong who is the founder World Class Tae Kwon Do and former US National Team Head Coach.

What is your school’s mission statement or student creed? Teach the highest quality martial arts, empower our students with valuable skills for life and contribute to a safe and peaceful community

How long have you been in business? 20 years since I was 14 years old. I became head instructor at age 19 and owner at 26.

Who or what inspires you? The impact Tae Kwon Do and the instructors that taught me have had on who I have become. My passion hasn’t wained in 20 years because of how grateful I am of what TKD has done for me. It’s my duty and passion to give back to those that are shy, need focus, better relationships, etc. It’s my duty to build a system and school that people and students feel is their home. It’s my duty to build a system that can take care of students from training to teaching to career and future.

What is something special or unique about your school and/or students? With 450 active students in one school, we teach 55 classes per week. And we only teach Tae Kwon Do. No kickboxing, MMA or anything else. We divide our classes by age and experience level plus have family classes where parents and kids can train side-by-side.

What made you choose FUJI Mats for your facility? I shopped around and have used other mats in the past. The pricing and people that I spoke to were the difference. I had a poor experience in the past and like we treat all of our business interactions, I wanted to develop something long-term…and FUJI seemed like the right fit.

What is the most rewarding part about working in the martial arts field?The results of your students outside of the dojang. As much fun as it is to see students excel in class, when you here about the emotional, mental and physical benefits that are happening in daily life; that the true success.

If you could give one piece of advice to other martial art school owners what would it be? Always do “Business” in a way that benefits everyone long-term; from pricing to events to relationships.