The Hit Squad in Granite City, Illinois, was originally founded by UFC veteran Matt Hughes as a for-fighters-by-fighters gym. But, after the gym changed hands, it morphed into a more family-friendly operation.
A full-service gym, The Hit Squad offers a multifaceted and foundational approach to martial arts training that is time efficient. Its individual disciplines are Muay Thai, boxing, Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, in addition to a featured MMA class. Members also have the option of training alongside amateur and professional fighters in a safe and fun setting.
“The goal is to get the whole family training together, and we’ve got several families that box and take Brazilian Jiujitsu together,” said Andrew Schmidt, the general manager of The Hit Squad. “It’s a lot of fun, and definitely the way to workout and train differently.”
According to Schmidt, The Hit Squad stands out in a variety of ways, with the main sticking point being its programming. The club offers a robust kids program that has kickboxing, Judo and Brazilian Jiujitsu. And for the adults, Judo is a major draw as an uncommon offering in the area.
When a member joins The Hit Squad, Schmidt offers them a basic trial, and from there structures a program around their interests, fulling disclosing the options. For Schmidt, transparency and honesty are keys to success. “I believe people are capable of making the most informed decision for themselves when they understand all their options in simple terms,” he said. “Otherwise, that’s just business that falls off the books.”
And, being invested in the local community is important as well. “We are our area’s local solution to the corporate gym,” said Schmidt. “With a focus on customer service, expansive programming and incentive programs that our members actually want, we are positioned to be the clear choice for people of all fitness levels to get the best workout they’ve ever had, while building a life skill and being part of our family.”