LAS CRUCES – Mesilla Valley Mall is reportedly working on a new initiative to expand the range of businesses in the mall, including more local businesses like Guzman Martial Arts.
At the end of August, the local company moved to a 4,000 square meter rental area opposite the food court.
“We want to involve the community more,” said General Manager Loretta Pina. “So we welcome Guzman Martial Arts as one of the newest members of our mall family.”
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Pina said that while a martial arts dojo may seem like an unlikely tenant for a mall at first glance, it acts as a catalyst for a variety of benefits such as increased self-confidence, self-defense skills, physical fitness, and improved mental stamina and social skills.
“One of my main goals as Mall General Manager is to bring people together. A welcoming environment for shopping, socializing and growing. A martial arts dojo is a great way to help our residents of all ages grow physically and mentally, ”Pina said.
Pina said she researched potential tenants who meet the community’s needs and wants, and found that a martial arts studio would be a great addition. Then she reached out to Eli Guzman, President and CEO of Guzman Sport Karate and Kickboxing, Inc.
“The establishment of a second location in the Mesilla Valley Mall appealed to me because of its central location and its popularity as a meeting place,” said Guzman.
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Programs on offer at his new mall include youth martial arts, muay thai kickboxing, take-down sparring, self-defense, and birthday parties. He also runs free self-defense classes for women on Thursdays at 7 p.m. Timetables and other information are available in the dojo and online at guzmandojo.com.
The annual Guzman Martial Arts Tournament is slated to take place at the Mall on October 23rd.
During the grand opening in August, Guzman held a belt ceremony where he received his eighth black belt and nearly 100 students were promoted to their new belt level.