CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — Jiu-jitsu is now more than a passion for Kimo Anderson.
"After a good roll, you feel you're alive," he explained.
The black belt opened the doors to his new martial arts academy, Heritage Jiu-Jitsu, last week.
"To be honest with you, it still hasn't registered that this is ours as a family. So, I'm still waiting for that to solidify with me right now. When I opened that door, I almost felt like I was opening it for someone else," said Anderson.
The road to get here wasn't expected.
He lost his job in the aerospace industry three months into the pandemic.
While many people would feel down on their luck, Anderson just switched mindsets.
"I wasn't too worried about losing my job at that time because I felt like I had something to fall back on. Whether or not it's going to pay the bills was not irrelevant. I have this hot passion for jiu-jitsu," he explained.
He started off with four students and ran the business from his garage.
"I felt like if I can just be my private lessons and my students there, to something bigger, I'll take the risk. I put my own money into it and my dream came true," he said.
Anderson now has 24 students, and his classes are continuing to grow.
But if you ask him if he's "Making It in San Diego," he'll say this: Not by a long shot.
"I won't feel like I've completed my dream until I've seen young kids' faces — smiles — and older people that felt like they couldn't do something and they learn something new," he explained.
Anderson holds classes at his academy every day except Sunday. His gym is located at 251 Palomar St., Suite D, Chula Vista, CA 91911.