LAURINBURG — With Scotland County wrestling with the lack of positive activities for young people, Nick Kee thought wrestling itself might be a solution.
The 2013 Scotland High School graduate and wrestling champion has opened Nick’s House of Brawlers in downtown Laurinburg. The gym will specialize in wrestling and mixed marshal arts offering classes in both.
Kee sees the venture as one of the ways to help youth in Scotland County find a healthy way to out of trouble. Classes began in December.
“The biggest reason I opened the gym is to come back and give back to my community,” the 23-year-old said, “I want to create a legacy of youth wrestlers.”
The owner of the gym is 2013 Scotland High School graduate and wrestling champion, Nick Kee.
During his time at Scotland High, Kee was in the 170-weight class and was a four-time conference and regional champion, three-time state champion, as well as a five-time All American holding an overall record of 210-4.
He went on to attend Appalachian State where he was signed as a member of the Mountaineer’s wrestling team at the 174-weight class. In 2015, he was named Southern Conference freshman of the year. In 2016, he qualified for NCAA championship where he made it to the second round falling there to Iowa.
After a knee injury sidelined Kee, he had time to consider the lack of wrestling or mixed martial arts gyms in the area. So he decided to open his own.
While youth is the main focus, all age groups are welcome. From 4 to 9 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, Kee hopes to offer workouts for every age group.
He has specific classes during the weekdays, starting at 5:30 p.m.with wrestling for elementary and middle school-aged students. Following that class is another wrestling class at 6:30 for high school students, and the last class of the day is at 7:30 and is MMA for adults.
Kee is also offering private lessons as well for those who want one on one classes or cannot attend the class times.
There are also memberships and discounts for those interested. In addition to the classes now being offered Kee hopes to start a female martial arts class.
“I don’t want people to think that we are all in here beating each other up,” Kee stated, “We are here to learn new skills and to help people learn to protect themselves if they get into a situation.”
Kee is running the gym by himself but is looking for volunteers to help him with the classes and the gym. He is also looking for a striking coach as well as a jujitsu coach to put on the staff to help with the MMA classes to teach more skills.
Daniel Walters, downtown Laurinburg development coordinator, called the gym a great addition to business district. He expects the business to have a positive impact on the community.
“It adds a variety to downtown and it’s something to bring people together,” Walters said, “It will be good for kids to have somewhere to go after school.”
Nick’s House of Brawlers is located at 106B South Main St.
To inquire about a private lesson or pricing contact [email protected] or Facebook.