Last week we discovered that Ultimate Self Defense received a notice that the dojo needs to vacate their space at 12 B Street. For the past 18 years, Andrea Muccini and Ultimate Self Defense have been teaching more than 100 kids from South Boston and the Greater Boston area not only martial arts but the important message of striving to be the best you can be. “It’s important for my students to learn the value of hard work and discipline but also the “you can do it” mentality is just as important for confidence,” says Andrea.
The Ultimate Self Defense & Performance Center offers three forms of martial arts discipline including Karate, Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu designed for all levels of fitness and age. They have even a valuable and beloved small business in the community that will now to have to leave its home on B Street. Why is that? Development is the cause for displacement.
“I have been notified by the landlord that the building will start construction after March 31st. Our lease officially ends a few months earlier. When construction is complete we have been offered a space to return but this will obviously take some to complete. In the meantime, finding a place in Southie at this point has become quite challenging and so expensive. I had a chance to look again at our last location (416 West Broadway) but because the building has been recently rehabilitated the rent now is 5 times, yes 5 times what I paid 3 years ago,” says Andrea.
Unfortunately, that seems to be the sign of the times for South Boston. Real estate and rent is just so expensive it makes it hard for small business to stay. It’s a very slippery slope.
“We are doing are best to look around and because we run the dojo as more of a community based program for families and kids this is not my full-time job. I work as a physical therapist during the day so running around trying to look for space is not idea,” says Andrea.
Andrea’s fear is that she would have to wrap it up and close Ultimate Self Defense but she feels responsible to the families she serves. “We still have so many families participating, kids on scholarship, and two making a run for the Olympic Judo Team. We also have a Muay Thai program running and the teenagers really like it and if they like have a chance to compete locally (maybe Olympic level someday)! Our adult Muay Thai team has won 5 championship belts within the last year. All in all just seems like a shame to stop.”
So we shall see Southie. It would be great is Ultimate Self Defense could find a home in the neighborhood and continue to be a vibrant part of our community!