Kayle Quinn was teaching martial arts under Hawaii's pioneer when he decided to start his own company.
Quinn, speaking to Pacific Business News, said that it was an organic start. 'I was teaching under Relson, who brought Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to Hawaii in 1986. I was just helping him with the classes.' Quinn told Pacific Business News that when his main academy closed, he let him teach alone and opened various schools. That's how we got started, around eight years ago.
Quinn opened his Jiu-Jitsu School in Kahala in 2015. He stayed there for three years. Jason Takemura was there when he first met him. Quinn explained that the two had been practicing self-defense for over 20 years and decided to work together and create a'streamlined' and 'official' business. The two opened an academy in Hawaii Kai, but a Covid-19 pandemic hit a year later. The duo relocated to Aina Haina Shopping Center when the lease for that location expired in 2022.
Quinn stated, 'This is the place we'd like to remain'.
HNL Jiu Jitsu Academy is open six days a weeks and has five coaches that provide Jiu-Jitsu self-defense instruction to children and adults. The academy offers private lessons to those who prefer more one-on-one time. It also aims to promote healthy lifestyles among its teachers and students.
What is the most recent challenge that your business has faced?
Quinn: We definitely had supply-chain issues when we built out this place. The cost of many supplies was triple what it usually is. Shipping was a factor and delayed the opening of this facility.
Takemura: Covid-19 was definitely the biggest, even if indirectly.
What are the latest trends in the self-defense sector?
Quinn: There's definitely more crime than in the past. That's something that people who are out and around should be concerned about. Many news articles are about the increase in crime. I believe that this is what attracts people to Jiu-Jitsu, but not always. Self-defense is easy to learn and pretty quick to master, but the intricacies and nuances of the sport and art are more complex. Self-defense may be what brings people to the school, but it is usually the training and camaraderie that keeps them there. It's almost like a family.
Takemura: I'd say anti-bullying. We have seen a lot of bullying in schools, and are seeing younger and younger children come in to build their confidence.
Quinn: I believe that part of it is also due to the Covid-19 lockdowns. It was because of the lack of socialization that these young children were not able to develop. Our biggest classes are actually those between 5 and 9 years old. For a large part of their childhood they did not get the [socialization] they needed because they weren't in school for two years. This creates some problems and parents want their children to be more socialized. It's a great place to do that.
How do you intend to grow HNL in the future?
Quinn: We have always grown by offering quality products. We enjoy our work, so we strive to provide the best possible product. Our students are mostly referred by word-of-mouth, and I believe that our reputation for providing high quality services and a quality establishment has been the key to our success. If we need to, we may expand our advertising in the future. But, the focus on quality has been our key to success.
HNL Jiu Jitsu Academy
Jason Takemura, Kayle Quinn and co-owners
Address: 820 W. Hind Drive #1227, Honolulu, HI 96821