News / People / Start-up Culture
Jamie Droeske started at SACA, a local kickboxing club, in 2006/2007 for fun and immediately fell in love with the sport, leading her to participate as a competitor. SACA was originally started by Shane Morgen in 2003 for those looking to add to their fitness routine or push to the limit in competition. A few years after she first stepped into the gym, Jamie began coaching. Her first class “Little Kicks” was for children aged 4-9, setting her down a path which eventually led to her buying the business in 2017. SACA moved to their new location in 2019 where they currently reside on Clay Avenue and delivered in-person classes up until it was no longer viable due to the onset of COVID-19.
When the gym was forced to close, Jaime knew she had little choice but to find other ways to share her knowledge with her clientele. As all classes were delivered on site before and with nowhere for clients to go, she had to find out about how to continue without a facility. Although she never considered herself tech savvy before, Jaime knew that turning to digital delivery was her only viable option.
With this in mind, Jamie began offering classes for free through her Facebook page. When some clients still wanted to pay to help the business and keep it afloat, she felt compelled to give them more value than what the public was receiving with her free videos. Jaime then created a private Facebook group for paying members where she posts technique videos, workout videos, and a core workout three times a week. She also has rented equipment out to members who wish to train at home.
For a minimum of $30, any member of the public can join the SACA kickboxing group. Anyone at any technical level can join the group and start from scratch. By honing in on basic skills, Jaime will have new members prepared for when the facility opens if they wish to join the in-person classes. The workouts are bodyweight workouts that anybody can do, and the classes are appropriate for all ages.
Unsurprisingly, Jamie has received great feedback from her returning clients. Not only that, but she has even picked up new clients along the way from people who have found it to be a great way to get in shape or try something new while not able to get to the gym. As of this week, the group has 40 active members and counting and is currently accepting new members.
Jaime is very thankful for the support of the community through this crisis. “It has been a learning curve. I should always be filling my toolbox with everything- whether it be the skills of kickboxing or how to present kickboxing to people in cases like these. Now in the future, I will totally be prepared if the facility has to close for whatever reason.”
Although keeping positive, the changes have brought their fair share of stress. “It is worrisome- rent is still due- always trying to find and follow the ever-changing programs and keep up with the eligibility criteria that goes with it coming from the government. It’s survival right now” says Jaimie.
As for the future of competitive kickboxing in Medicine Hat, Jaime remains hopeful. They postponed their annual event, Fists of Fury, which is in its 16th year in 2020. It was a hard decision to make, but it had to be done to ensure the safety and health of competitors.
“We have a really tight knit community, and all martial arts have that family feeling to it.” says Jamie.” It’s not a big box gym where you walk in and you don’t know anybody around. It’s a personal environment, it’s a very community minded great group of people. I just want to keep it alive and even through online videos, we don’t have much of a choice. You have to do what you have to do.”
And getting it done any way she can is exactly what Jamie is doing.
To check out SACA, visit their facebook page at or reach out to Jaime at (403) 580-6085. SACA’s new training facility can be found at #3 602 Clay Avenue SE, Medicine Hat, Alberta.