Bellaire resident and Paradigm Training Center owner, Reed Shelger, talks about how his love for wrestling led him to open a successful Martial Arts Training Center.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Originally from California, I moved to Houston in 2008 and settled in Bellaire, where I live with my wife Abby and our two daughters, Nina (4) and Vera (2).
I was a state champion wrestler in high school and went on to wrestler for the University of California at Davis. After completing my collegiate wrestling career in 2005, I began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is another form of grappling that involves using positional control, joint locks, and choke holds to force your opponent into submission. I am an active competitor in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and coach youth wrestling at Paradigm.
More recently, I became a certified instructor in the Wim Hof Method which involves breathing techniques and gradual cold exposure (ICE BATH) to strengthen the cardiovascular system, boost the immune system, and enhance mental focus, among other benefits. I have been teaching these techniques to our students at Paradigm Training Center and also in workshops that are open to the public. It sounds extreme, but the benefits are undeniable!
How did you get started in your business?
I was a graduate student at Rice University when I was approached by my friend Dr. George Parker (also a Bellaire resident) with the idea of starting wrestling club. Initially, we began by offering wrestling lessons out of the abandoned YWCA on Memorial and Waugh. Shortly after, we signed our first lease on our location on S. Rice.
As former collegiate wrestlers, we understand the positive impact that martial arts can make in one’s life. We must be challenged if we are to grow as individuals, which means having dreams, developing goals and learning to work to attain those objectives. Towards that end, in 2009 we opened Paradigm to fulfill our mission “To enrich lives, build community, and equip our athletes to become champions in life”.
Today we have three Houston-area locations and employ 15 fitness and martial arts professionals. While we began as a wrestling club, we have expanded our programs to offer fitness classes and other martial arts disciplines including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Kickboxing, and Judo.
How long have you been in the community and why did you choose this community?
Paradigm has been serving the Bellaire community since 2009. Our original facility on S. Rice sits on the border between Bellaire and the Galleria area. We love the central location with convenient access to the Houston inner-loop.
We opened a second studio in the Bellaire Triangle shopping center in 2017. This satellite location gives us a presence in the heart of the community and is the perfect space for kids classes and private lessons.
Bellaire is the ideal community for us because there are so many kids and families that support sports and athletics. If you look at Bellaire baseball, we like to think we could recreate some of that success by building a strong youth wrestling tradition in the community.
What sets your business apart from others like yours?
Our people are our most important asset. When someone joins a martial arts gym, access to the instructors is what they are really paying for! It has not been an easy road, but over time we have been successful in building a culture that helps us attract and retain good people.
Our dedicated coaching staff brings world-class expertise in a friendly and supportive environment. Our gym is home to many of the top professional martial arts competitors in Houston. However, the majority of our customers are hobbyists that enjoy training martial arts as a fun way to stay fit. In either case, everyone benefits from world-class coaching.
We are also known for our superb youth wrestling program. Many of the wrestlers that have come through our program have gone on to compete at the NCAA Division 1 level.