Alive and kicking
A new gym has risen from the ashes for Jerrick Hodge.
Hodge watched in horror nike air max 2015 as his business, the Double Dragon Kickboxing Muay Thai gym on Portage Avenue went up in flames early Thursday morning. The blaze destroyed and damaged six other businesses in the area, with total damage estimated at $3 million.
After a few days of searching for a space to house his members, Hodge has found a new spot for his students, just two buildings away from his old location.
“We’re probably going to start it up sometimes next week,” the optimistic nike air max 2015 martial arts instructor said.
“We have to clean it up a bit, give it some new paint, but hopefully we can get going.”
The journey back to normalcy is far from over for Hodge, though.
Police are still investigating the fire, an arson which is believed to have started as the result of an break in. According to witnesses, a person was seen fleeing the scene moments before the fire was called in.
To make matters worse, the Double Dragon did not have insurance.
“I have no idea why someone would do that to the gym it’s not a personal attack,” he said. “I have no problems with anyone. Nothing like this has ever happened before.
“I still can’t picture this,” he continued. “I went there (Thursday) afternoon and some of my guys were sitting there, tears in their eyes. They feel it more.
“So many guys look at that place like a home away from home.”
Hodge, 56, said the martial arts community has reached out to him and his members, offering space and old equipment to help with the transition for his 100 members. He’s also opened an account for donations at CIBC under the Double Dragon name.
Double Dragon member Chris Molloy said the gym had a unique vibe and very welcoming atmosphere.
“It’s a very welcoming place for everybody to come down and work out,” s nike air max 2015 aid Molloy, an amateur kickboxer who trains at Double Dragon four to six times a week.
Molloy said the members and staff are a tight knit bunch.
Recently, members chipped i nike air max 2015 n a few bucks each to buy new equipment for the gym, including heavy bags and pads, as a gift to Hodge, or “Master Hodge” as he is referred to by his students.
Those gifts, along with other equipment, were destroyed in the fire.
Molloy said he was stunned when he found out about the blaze on a local radio station and in a text message from a friend.
Molloy drove by on his way to work to see the destruction for himself and stopped to chat with other members who gathered in front of the gym’s burned out shell.