FLORENCE, S.C. – A ribbon cutting was held Monday at Carolina Kickboxing Academy, 1717 W. Palmetto St. to announce the opening and recognize a new member of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. Chamber ambassadors helped to celebrate the occasion.
Chief executive officer and head trainer Walker Vivian said his academy has been open for approximately three months.
He has been teaching kickboxing for roughly 12 years. Before opening his own establishment in Florence, Vivian taught in Las Vegas at Syndicate Mixed Martial Arts.
“I wanted to move back home,” Vivian said.
“I started when I was 17 years old in Myrtle Beach,” Vivian said.
He said he moved to Thailand for approximately five years between 2010 and 2015 to fight and train.
Vivian said he likes the competition aspect, but he started kickboxing for health reasons. He said he is a Type 1 diabetic and needs to stay healthy.
“That is why I got into it,” he said. “It is a good challenge mentally and physically. You learn a life-long skill.”
He said it is a lot of fun, too.
Vivian has taught his 10-year-old son, Brody, to kick box. His son helps him teach classes. Vivian said his son is the West Coast kickboxing champion for his age group.
Vivian teaches Muay Thai, kickboxing, self-defense and anti-bullying classes.
“I have about 25 students, but I want 125 students,” he said.
He said he teaches ages 5 to 100.
“People can come and try their first class for free,” he said.
Hours are 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 4 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
To sign up, stop by or call 843-380-3037.