CORE Combat Sports is known for Western boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu and self-defense courses. Owner Rolando Haddad says doing things his way throughout the pandemic was the key for his gym to survive.

“A business that I’ve nurtured for the past 20 years, that employs about 6 or 7 people, that my sons also are going to inherit, that really provides a lot of benefit to the community and no one is going to take that away from me and I’m going to give you a fight,” Haddad said.

Haddad even closing his gym before the governor announced statewide restrictions. When those restrictions eased and it was time to finally reopen, Haddad said he was able to reassess.

“I didn’t think working out with a mask was really that healthy so we didn’t do it, so we did it that way for a while. We did not do jujitsu for a month after we were allowed to open because there’s no way to distance, social distance grappling,” Haddad said.