“I tell all my fighters right before a fight, getting in the cage is not the hard part,” says Cor Fitness MMA owner Tony Boncore. “It’s the walk to the cage. Walking to the mat. That’s the hard part because you’re in your head.”
Conceptually, says Boncore, setting foot in a new gym is similar to “getting in the cage.” To ease the anxiety many people feel walking into a new gym, Cor is offering a unique promotion: one entire month of classes free of charge.
“Free first month is a big deal because once people get past the first three weeks they generally see the benefit,” says Boncore. “Then they want to stay. A lot of gyms offer one free week, or three or four free classes, and it doesn’t do anything besides make you sore, make you scared.”
Cor Fitness MMA is the longtime dream of Boncore, who has been practicing martial arts since he was young. “Most martial arts schools are very small and quaint, but I wanted something that was big and offered a variety of different martial arts, a variety of different fitness classes.”
Tucked away in what appears from the outside to be a small store front in the Lawyers Square shopping center, Cor Fitness MMA is actually nearly ten thousand square feet. “We’re one of the largest schools in the nation in terms of square footage,” says Boncore.
That much real estate provides space for a remarkable variety of martial arts and fitness classes for both children and adults. Youth classes range from Kenpo Karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to Kickboxing. For adults, Cor offer Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts.
But there’s a whole other dimension to Cor: bootcamp-style fitness classes. Boncore offers a full schedule of morning and evening HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes for adults. Moreover, Cor Fitness recently teamed up with DXF Training, a Mint Hill-based outdoor bootcamp started by trainer Daniel Beaupre.
Beaupre and business partner Heather Hinson were running exclusively outdoor camps at Queen’s Grant Elementary School and Mint Hill Veteran’s Park when the opportunity rose to utilize space at Cor Fitness MMA’s large facility. The partnership was so successful that Boncore and Beaupre quickly decided to merge their businesses, resulting in sixteen different boot camp options every week for their clients.
“It’s been awesome so far,” says Beaupre. “Tony’s an awesome guy, and he’s so easy to work with. It’s just a great atmosphere to be around. This has been one of the best experiences thus far in my fitness career, teaming up with Tony. I’m really looking forward to the future.”
The sheer variety of offerings and styles customers have access to at Cor Fitness MMA is the gym’s biggest strength. “Some places have fifteen or twenty different trainers, and they’re a little different, but here? They’re very different,” says Beaupre. Jiu Jitsu instructor Paulo, for example, is a pan-American world champion and the highest ranking black belt in the Southeast. Professional MMA fighter Juan is a fourth degree black belt in Kenpo Karate with experience in boxing and Kickboxing as well. “From our members perspective, variation is important,” adds Boncore. “You don’t want them to get bored.”
Cor Fitness MMA also takes pride in being a family-focused gym. In fact, their schedule offers several adult fitness classes that coincide with kids’ martial arts classes so children and parents can come to the gym together. Every week day, bootcamp is offered at 5:40 while children’s karate or jiu jitsu begins at 5:45.
Another advantage that separates Cor Fitness and DXF’s fitness classes from a more traditional gym is its strong community. “I know my members,” says Boncore. “I know what they’re struggling with. I know their eating habits. From a martial art perspective, I know what their goals are. They’re not just coming in with a fob on a door, hitting a machine for twenty minutes. There’s an accountability. When I say I’ll see you tomorrow, that’s different than when you leave one of the other centers.”
“I think we make a phenomenal team,” says Beaupre. “I want the whole community to know we’re here, to know what we’re doing.” On Saturday, April 27 at 10:30, Cor Fitness MMA and DXF Training will do just that. Starting at 10:30, the gym, will host a Family Fun Day featuring a free bootcamp-style workout, martial arts demonstrations, free t-shirts and drawings, and food. Vendors and sponsors like Compleat Rehab, Mint Hill Roasting Company and Pour 64 will be present.
Cor Fitness MMA offers all-inclusive martial arts membership plans and fitness-only membership plans. Learn more about Cor Fitness MMA’s offerings and trainers on their web site: http://www.corfitnessmma.com/. Beaupre urges anyone interested in a different kind of gym to come check them out on the 27th and take advantage of a free month, and remember: “The hardest step is walking through that door.”