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Meet Rad Durousseau of Rad Muay Thai Fitness in Aurora

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rad Durousseau.

Rad, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started training in martial arts with my son when he was ten. At that time I had been exercising and doing triathlons and other races. I had done martial arts as a kid and wanted to try it again as an adult especially since I thought my son and I could bond over it. He eventually moved on to High School Sports, but the training had reignited a fire within me to train and compete.

Soon, while competing, I began instructing and I came to really enjoy it. Due to injury and medical restrictions, I stopped competing but became more and more involved with teaching. I begin training in many forms ultimately being an MMA coach as I trained in BJJ, Boxing, Muay Thai, Submission Grappling, and Kickboxing. I trained heavily, learned, and taught my classes.

My passion became my calling and I decided to branch out from the gym I was teaching at and open my own school that was more family oriented. I wanted a safe family environment for the average person to come into and learn and train.

I opened my doors to four students with no idea how I’d make the next months rent. Through my drive and the growth of a strong, dedicated community that we built, we grew into a new facility with just about 100 members.

Has it been a smooth road?
It certainly was not a smooth road as I had to navigate being a small business owner for the first time and deal with all the headaches that come with that. Landlords, licenses, insurance, paperwork, taxes, marketing, etc. Then you have the needs of your students and clients. Both business and personal as you want to maintain a family environment so you try to be there for them personally where you can as well.

I also had a severe injury two years in that left me blind for a while. I didn’t know how I could sustain my business with no vision. Soon, I regained vision in one eye and a little over a year and a half later I was able to get vision back in both eyes through multiple surgeries and an experimental procedure with a prosthetic. All the while our community of members just continued to grow and at the end of year three, we had to expand into a larger location. Since then we have just continued to grow.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Rad Muay Thai Fitness story. Tell us more about the business.
We are primarily known for Muay Thai. That is our flagship program, but we are growing a strong Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team, and we have great fitness classes that include Boxing, Cardio Kickboxing, and Functional Fitness Bootcamps that help members exceed their fitness and weight loss goals.

What we pride ourselves on is shaping what I refer to as a Martial Athlete. We teach our students martial arts but we have a heavy emphasis on fitness to ensure they are in the best possible position to be great martial artists, and of course, they get in great shape as a bonus.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
As for the industry I see it steadily growing as it has. Obesity rate just went up again, and people are tired of big box gyms cause they do not know what to do when there and feel judged and ultimately, alone. Many can’t afford a trainer to teach them, so boutique style gyms, martial arts fitness classes and so on provide an enthusiastic and encouraging environment for people to thrive in. Also, you don’t have to plan or think when you show up for classes. You just come and train with everyone else. We do that thinking for you. You just have to get in here and work.

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