What is Power Built?

After reading our article “What is Fight Built?”, you might be wondering what The Arena’s other strength and conditioning class, Power Built, is. 

Power Built is our beginner friendly weight lifting class. The main focus of Power Built is on compound movements, such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, bench presses, and numerous other multi-muscle exercises. Built coach Jason Salazar works with members on these movements to increase muscle function, strength, and mobility. Power Built classes are an excellent option for those looking to add a high quality weight training session to their training regimen. Check out the schedule tab on The Arena App for Power Built class times.

What is Fight Built?

Arena Members are encouraged to take full advantage of our extensive facility, training, and resources. Part of an Arena membership includes access to Built, our weight room and conditioning facility. Built head coach Jason Salazar offers excellent strength and conditioning classes, such as Fight Built, to supplement your martial arts training. But what is Fight Built? 

Fight Built is a strength and conditioning class that combines multiple types of training, all of which are geared towards getting you ready to fight; however,  these classes are not just limited to fighters. They are open to any member of The Arena who is looking for a high quality strength and conditioning session.

The classes feature various forms of strength training, high intensity interval training, cross training, and bodyweight exercises. With Fight Built you can expect to build lean muscle mass as well as improve your cardio, all while focusing heavily on the legs and core. These classes are a great option if you are looking to make continuous gains or prepare yourself for upcoming competitions. If you are looking to attend a class, the Fight Built class schedule can be found on the schedule page of The Arena App.

The Arena Gym “Since 1949”

Following the launch of our new Arena Boxing shirts last week, many were left curious about the origin of the shirt’s epigraph “Since 1949”. While we are always excited about where our gym is headed in the future, we want to take an opportunity to pay homage to our past. This is the story of how The Arena Gym came to be.


Our story begins in Iowa in 1937 with Aloysius “Al” Holtmann. Holtmann enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 21 and later that year, graduated from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. Al was stationed in Hawaii from 1938-1940, where he met Legendary Okazaki Seishiro. Under Okazaki Seishiro, Al began to learn Danzan-Ryu Jujutsu, a Japanese martial art containing elements of Jujutsu, Karate, Boxing, Wrestling, and Judo. Two years later, Holtmann received his Mokuroku from Seishiro, which enabled him to begin teaching Danzan-Ryu.


The outbreak of the Second World War in the early 1940s led to Holtmann’s deployment to the Pacific theater. There, he saw combat in some of the bloodiest battles of World War II, including Guam and Okinawa. Upon the war’s end, Holtmann retired from the Marine Corps and attended San Diego State University, all while continuing to teach Judo at the San Diego YMCA. After graduating college in 1949, Al founded his own club under the name “San Diego Judo Club”. Growing intrigue in Japanese culture and martial arts during the 1950s resulted in a surge in membership at Holtmann’s club. San Diego Judo Club was frequently featured in local newspapers and magazines, including the first edition of Black Belt magazine (America’s oldest martial arts magazine) in 1961.


Over the course of the next 5 decades, Holtmann taught over 100,000 students at his academy. Following his death in 2001, he was posthumously awarded his 6th degree black belt from Kodokan Judo headquarters in Tokyo. Holtmann’s student, Sensei Gene Mauro, took over the school after Al’s death. A 7th degree blackbelt and former Judo National Heavyweight Champion, Mauro led the school from 2002 until 2005. In 2006, San Diego Judo Club moved from its original location on 30th Street, to its current location at 3350 Sports Arena Blvd, and changed its name to The Arena. Today, The Arena is the second oldest martial arts school in the country and the largest school in North America.

Since 1949

Arena Member Maggie Got Hooked on Day One

Another member profile, letting you hear straight from the members how their experience has been at The Arena. Check out Maggie Duarte’s story about her journey in Coach Joe’s Boxing class and Coach Jason’s Fight Built class.


Maggie Duarte:
I have been coming here for about a year and a couple of months. I’m born and raised here in San Diego and I’ve been to a few other fight gyms and everybody who’s from here knows The Arena’s at the top. I said I’m just going to go and check it out. I was a little bit intimidated, but everybody was very friendly here. I’ve never felt any bad vibes from anybody. Ever since then, I’ve pretty much been here every single day that it’s open.

I do the boxing class, as well as I lift on my own, and I also do the fight build class with Coach Jason. I noticed a lot of improvement not just in my physical fitness, but also my mental as well. Being a better person. And what that includes is having discipline, being committed, and also being consistent. The environment here, it helped me be accountable for myself. It makes me want to come in here every day. I don’t know about anybody else, but at least that’s how I feel.

Arena Member Discusses the Benefits He’s Received from Training

Arena Member Dillon Levy discussed his journey with us and how the atmosphere we have cultivated amongst our members has greatly benefitted his life. Lots of places can teach you techniques, but the culture of the gym really decides what kind of people feel comfortable.


Dillon Levy:
I’ve been a member of The Arena since, I think 2016. Me and a good friend came here, started training. We were doing boxing, but then I kind of slowly transitioned over here to mainly the Fight Built class with Jay. Recently, I’ve kind of come to discover just a lot of the benefits being a member has brought to me, the discipline, the mental toughness, and it’s translated to my life outside of the gym.


I work in mental health and that’s sort of a profession where you kind of need to have discipline and kind of resilience and the ability to stay motivated. So I’ve really appreciated a lot of the stuff that this gym has cultivated for me. It’s a really friendly environment. There’s no egos here. Everyone’s here to get better. That’s really honestly what I’ve loved about this gym more than anything else is how friendly everyone is. If you come in here with the right attitude and the willingness to be humbled and learn, you’ll get a lot from it.

Coach Jason Shows Backward Sled Pull for Stronger Knees

Have you ever tried the sleds on our turf area? If you’re not taking advantage of our 10,000 sq ft Strength and Conditioning facility or attending Coach Jasons classes, then you are not really setting yourself up with the best chances of success. Here coach Jason works on building knee strength, give it a try or ask him for more details if you need his help!


Coach Jason Salazar:
Jason here at The Arena. Today I just wanted to go over a little knee strengthening exercise we can do, with a nice Torque TANK sled that we have here on our nice turf that we got in our gym. If you haven’t been over here yet, come check it out. The most important thing when we’re doing this, maintain that seated position, and make sure that foot goes past the knee every time, driving through the toe. Straighten that leg all the way out, and we pull that other foot all the way back. It’s important to do this if you want to have nice strong knees, preventing injuries. Also, to strengthen our knees, if we’re in knee rehab and trying to rebuild our knees.

The All New Arena App 2.0

The Arena Gym is excited to announce our All New Arena App fresh for 2022. If you’re reading this, then you’ve already taken the most important step and downloaded the app. The App will allow Arena members to earn Rewards points that have cash value and will be redeemable for Arena Gear, Apparel, and even Membership Dues. The referral feature includes easy access to your contacts using a variety of communication platforms including SMS text, Email, Facebook, IG, and others.
Arena App Coming Soon

About The Arena

The Arena is the largest gym in North America for Combat Sports and Martial Arts instruction.

Our Address

3350 Sports Arena Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110 USA