Mixed martial arts star Nick Chapman hopes to turn his Aldershot-born Fight Science business model into a worldwide empire
Cage fighter Nick Chapman is planning to turn his Aldershot-born Fight Science business model into a worldwide empire, with four new gyms set to open around the UK.
The mixed martial arts star started the business, at Maida Gym in Queens Avenue, from scratch by buying £500 worth of training equipment and opening the gym in 2009. He now helps other combat fighters get in peak condition using his state-of-the-art machines.
However, due to its success and interest from elsewhere, Mr Chapman, 36, has decided to take the concept a step further by franchising Fight Science, enabling other gyms to open. These will initially be within the UK but there is potential to expand overseas.
The News & Mail can reveal that one of the gyms will open in Guildford, as Mr Chapman is keen to compete with rival gyms in his home town.
He had kept his plans under wraps for months, claiming he was instead looking at Horsham, in West Sussex, but decided to spill the beans this week. He is yet to confirm where the Guildford gym might be located.
Mr Chapman is busy attending meetings, pushing ahead with plans to also make the franchise a success in Staines, Bristol and Leeds. Finances have been secured from Lloyds Bank and additional staff will be taken on but he is still in talks to identify who will run some of the new sites.
“I built it from nothing so I am really pleased with the progress,” he said. “I want a national brand.
“I want a gym in every city in the UK and plan to open 100 sites in the next 10 years. Then, who knows? It could go international.
“I’ve always got a new goal to set for myself. I will not stop, I am incapable of stopping.
“It’s a dream of mine. I love martial arts and I love the science behind improving athletic performance.”
Despite his success as both a businessman and sportsman, Mr Chapman has remained committed to helping the community in Aldershot.
The Academy of Hard Knocks, an initiative that helps young offenders turn their lives around, runs its sessions at the Maida Gym, while other schemes aimed at encouraging social cohesion with the Nepalese community are also regularly held there.
Mr Chapman said: “This isn’t just a business, it’s also about the community. I love Aldershot and I am indebted to the community so wherever I can, I want to give something back. I am making a point that all the franchises being set up do the same for their communities.”
Although he has back-to-back meetings scheduled this week, and plans to travel to Trinidad and Tobago in April to discuss a Fight Science franchise there, Mr Chapman still finds time to keep himself in top shape.
“I make time,” he said. “I’m up early and probably get more done before 10am than a lot of people do in a day. I love the challenge.”