Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex & Caity Ocasio.
Hi Alex & Caity, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
It’s been quite a journey, we met training Krav Maga in 2014; and in his words, I punched him in the throat and caught his attention while training to be certificated instructors, soon afterwards we started dating and discussing our future dreams of opening a studio together. We both have a martial art background – Alex has trained since he was young in karate, taekwondo, judo, Muay Thai before finding Krav. I was training Limalama before wanting something more practical in college.
After teaching at a few local schools, we found ourselves at a roadblock and decided to take the leap and open up our studio a few years ahead of schedule. We started the planning shortly after leaving the last school while we were on vacation (which actually was an engagement surprise – thanks Alex), we picked a name, a color scheme and immediately began the prep work of starting a business (all that boring admin/paperwork stuff). At first, we didn’t have a place to teach so we started in the park with some students who followed us across multiple schools (We appreciate their diehard commitment to our styles). After several months of search with no luck, a small place popped up in Oak Park Shopping Center and we knew this was it; all of or nothing. After getting all the paperwork squared away, we renovated the space into what it is today and we couldn’t be more proud. It’s been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to develop our programs, learn (and still learning) how to properly run a business, and continue to improve ourselves (Alex is pursuing multiple cross-training opportunities and recently got his NASM-CPT and Caity just got her RYT-200 and pursuing BJJ as a secondary) and our team, Maddie, Shelly, and Lisa (Yoga and Fitness instructors who are always looking for new and exciting ways to make fitness and their practices fun).
Our passion is empowering our community through a holistic approach to wellbeing and toughness – by targeting a bottom-up approach which uses physical discipline to improve our emotional and mental fortitude. We believe this is the best path in rewriting our internal processes to better manage conflict in all situations and provides the tools and support to navigate through it.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Not smooth at all, there’s so much going on in the background that people don’t see or hear about. Just to list a few: launching a new brand in a saturated and often misleading/uninformed market, Finding effective ways to reach out and connect with potential clients (especially ones who have been burned in the past), navigating some rather aggressive competition, and of course the big elephant in the room, COVID-19 shutdown/lockdown and heavy restrictions. The lockdown and subsequent scare/fear caused us to lose over 80% of our client-base within a few weeks. We appreciate and love them, but it was hard to manage such losses. We stuck with it and found a way to pinch pennies where we could, and are starting to see confidence in people coming out again, which is nice but there is now a new challenge of everyone vying for their attention at the same time.
As you know, we’re big fans of Rogue Studio. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We are a self-defense and fitness studio focusing on providing realistic and functional training. All of our classes and programs are designed to be picked up by anyone (regardless of background, experience, knowledge, age, sex, gender, etc.). Our purpose is to facilitate our student’s journey towards improvement; whether it’s for self-protection/self-defense, competition, fitness, yoga, and/or wellbeing.
Outside of our main offerings, we are truly proud of two elements of our studio and team. 1. We create the Urban Dynamics program to provide a safe and realistic training environment that people can relate to. What we do in this class is discuss real violent encounters (from new articles, police reports, captured videos, etc.); we recreate situation, walk through what happened, and then we apply Krav Maga principles to show how to better handle the encounter. We’ve covered Mass Casualty events (active shooters, stabbings, etc.), Armed robberies, Car jackings, Jogger attacks/attempted kidnappings, Sudden Acts of Violence (our current theme this month), home invasions and more. 2. We have built and continue to build a community of people who support one another in each of our pursuits regardless of our differences. We have students from all walks of life and with various backgrounds/experiences and in several cases traumas. We are honored to walk beside them and support their journeys.
Our main focus on the fighting side is Krav Maga, an Israeli fighting system used by the IDF and designed by Imi Litchenfeld to teach people within a relatively short time span principles and techniques that will improve their chances of survival. Over the years, the system has evolved (as designed) to manage all sorts of difficult situations (violent and the potential of); by incorporating proven/battle-tested techniques, principles, and tactics. The only rule in Krav Maga is to get home safe [for you and your loved ones].
For our Fitness/Yoga side of the house, we really put an emphasis on functional/practical training and practice that improves the body’s overall health. Cardio, calisthenics, mobility, strength building and more can be found in all of our fitness and yoga classes and personal training sessions. Especially if you’re a fighter, there’s so much tension built up during training, we need a healthy way to release it.
We offer evening group classes for adults during the week and weekend morning classes. We also offer 1-on-1 training and private/semi-private lessons to fit your schedule. We also host and travel to teach seminars, workshops, and private events.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Being transparent and genuine in both our passion to help others and our insatiable need to learn and grow ourselves. We’re students/practitioners as well as instructors; and this is a journey we wish to share with others.
- We have a multi-tiered membership option starting at $85 a month
- We also have small 5 and 10 class packages for those wanting to just try out a few classes
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.roguestudionc.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roguestudio.nc/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roguestudio.nc
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogueStudioNC
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/rogue-self-defense-raleigh
- Other: https://www.pinterest.com/roguestudionc/
Caitlyn Nicole | www.caitlynnicole.com