Aug 26, 2020
Shannon Hudson grew up in the
Martial Arts Industry. As a child, he picked up amateur boxing and
kickboxing and did Karate tournaments, which led to a professional
career in 2003 as a kickboxer and boxer.
He got the opportunity to fight
on Chuck Norris’s World Combat League in 2003. Hudson has managed
to fight all over, he has fought in France, the US, and
Switzerland. In 2011 he received an opportunity to fight for the
IPF World Title, where he won the title. His experience and love
for Martial Arts led him to open 9Rounds.
What do you think attributed to that fast growth - when
you got 100 members in 30 days - to?
is no class time tied to the classes, so the members can never be
late. They can just come in and get started in a class when they
session is a full-body workout in 30 minutes.
workouts change every single day, this meant members did not do the
same thing every time they came in.
- People enjoy having someone there to instruct
them and help them through the sessions.
Do you think there is a flip side to this model - some
challenges that come along with it?
- Hudson says that there are definitely a few
challenges that they face with this model, during COVID they had to
switch to a schedule to keep the capacity low.
- Everyday Hudson comes across complaints
surrounding the introduction of the schedule, people are not happy
What was your mindset to approaching 9Rounds and
building it from a bootstrap method?
- Hudson says when they reached 40 locations,
they took on a partner and a minority partner.
mistake entrepreneurs have the tendency to do is to try to raise
capital too early, instead, they should be disciplined with the
money and grow their business through that.
- Hudson says that the difficult times they went
through living on a budget taught him valuable lessons that he
would not replace for anything.
How many locations do you have globally
- 9Rounds has 750 locations across 19
What markets have you picked up growth on that you did
not see coming?
- Hudson says that Saudi Arabia and the Middle
East locations were the most surprising to him.
are locations in Middle Eastern places that have 600
What has been one of the more challenging markets for
was found to be difficult as most people do not speak English, the
culture is very respectful and conservative.
- Opening locations in Japan were slower than
Are there any competitors you run into the
- Secondary competitors are Orangetheory and F45
- which are growing rapidly.
- Primary competitors to Hudson would be anyone
that punches and kicks for fitness.
- Mayweather Boxing, Title Boxing,
iLoveKickboxing, and Beachbody are amongst the names Hudson keeps
his eyes on.
What are the dimensions you are looking for
- 1500 square feet is the desired size, the room needs to be
dimensions make it possible to keep sessions
How do you put people through on ramping so they can get
- 9Rounds created an online training system that
has a test behind it, it is over 6 hours of training modules to get
a trainer certified by brand standards.
- 9Rounds has taken their Kickboxing program and
have turned that into an accredited course.
How are you adjusting and coping with
- Hudson found the transition to be challenging
but believes it ultimately brought people closer.
crisis forced 9Rounds to think about the different types of
customers in the marketplace - the old fashioned, the homebody, and
the retail customer.
business model had to be shifted to accommodate these customers and
shifted to an online program - with over 140
- 9Rounds’ goal is to get more people, and
helping all three types of customers.
Are you looking at any solutions to how people may get
equipment at home?
is a shortage of kettlebells, but not boxing gloves, 9Rounds is
looking at designing a workout bag for home.
- Hudson says the required equipment is not
disrupted for them.
How do you think the fitness industry will be different
with this new normal?
- Hudson believes that 20 - 25% will not reopen,
9Rounds has even lost a few locations.
offerings to consumers will be different, catering to a wider
variety of customers.
What has been one of the biggest personal challenges you
face as an entrepreneur?
are not many people Hudson finds that thinks as he does, therefore
it can be lonely.
communication is a big cause of Hudsons
What is one of the biggest needs do you have as a
business right now?
- Hudson is in the search for talented
- A new
VP of ops is desired.
Are there any last thoughts you would like to share with
an entrepreneur can be very stressful.
and move around, exercise, change your state
Facebook: 9Round Fitness