Blues Gym is a place that has a very simple motto: The best way to help kids is to be proactive, not reactive.
The non-profit gym specializes in both training and saving. Instructors teach MMA, boxing, karate and kick boxing while giving kids a positive message to encourage them to stay in school and stay out of trouble. Boxing is free at the gym on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m until noon.
Grand Rapids native and former kick boxing world champ Dino Newville is fighting to keep Blue's Gym open, one of Grand Rapids few boxing gyms.
The gym will hold another open house this Saturday in house on Kalamazoo ave just north of 44th street from noon to 5 p.m., just two weeks after their last fundraiser in another effort to keep their doors open. Former pro fighters will be on hand, food will be served, a bounce house will be provided for the kids and there will be live music as well.
Blues Gym believes they can be more beneficial to the Grand Rapids community by trying to keep kids off the street by teaching them life lessons with a positive message.
"this gym sees over 300-400 kids a week," said Johnny Ortiz, a gym volunteer. "That's 300-400 kids a week who are staying off the streets. The bottom line is that we're saving a lot of kids, so if we can keep just one kid from being incarcerated then the gym paid for itself."