What does it take to overcome personal struggles and find success in the world of boxing and martial arts? Former boxer and current gym owner Keith Keppner shares his story of triumph over Lyme disease and the importance of cultivating a positive culture in combat sports.

Triumph Over Adversity: Personal Growth and Business Success in Boxing and Martial Arts

From opening a gym to balancing business and physical well-being, Keith’s journey is one of growth and determination. Discover the challenges of scaling a martial arts business and the rewarding aspects of coaching self-reliant athletes. Join us for an insightful exploration of personal growth and business success in the world of boxing and martial arts. Tune in now!

Episode Highlights/Notes

(0:00:02) – Boxing Background and Personal Growth
(0:02:02) – Boxing Gym Owner’s Business Journey
(0:11:22) – Positive Culture in Combat Sports
(0:17:34) – Scaling a Martial Arts Business
(0:27:18) – Balancing Business and Physical Well-Being
(0:38:21) – Winning Attitude in Fighting, Business
(0:45:43) – Coaching and Building Self-Reliant Athletes
(0:51:44) – Grow Martial Arts Business on Instagram

(0:00:02) – Boxing Background and Personal Growth (2 Minutes)
Keith, a former boxer from Georgia, discusses his background, parents’ escape from Chicago, and his father’s entry into boxing for personal growth. The similarities between boxing and other martial arts are explored, with insights on approaching the sport and finding personal growth through physical activity.

(0:02:02) – Boxing Gym Owner’s Business Journey (9 Minutes)
A coach and gym owner shares his journey from amateur boxing to clinical psychologist and opening his own gym. Personal struggles with Lyme disease led him to boxing, the “field of diamonds” in his backyard. Transitioning from one gym location to multiple locations and franchising, he emphasizes the importance of balancing fighters’ and clients’ needs and avoiding focusing too much on talented fighters at the expense of a sustainable business.

(0:11:22) – Positive Culture in Combat Sports (6 Minutes)
Cultivating the right attributes in combat sports individuals is important, as poor character traits can negatively impact elite fighters. There is a gap between fitness kickboxing and gritty boxing gyms, and a need for a gym that fills this gap in a friendly way. The questionable culture in combat sports attracts two main types of people: those who want to better themselves and those who enjoy hurting others or themselves. Setting up fighters for success while avoiding human exploitation and scamming is a challenge. Opening a gym requires dedication, as one example involves opening a gym with no previous work experience besides working at a Subway restaurant.

(0:17:34) – Scaling a Martial Arts Business (10 Minutes)
Keith Herman, founder of Title Boxing Club, transitioned from a technician mindset to understanding the importance of marketing and systematizing his business. He discusses the challenges of opening a second location and having the right people in the right seats. Motivated by the gift of work after years of illness, Keith emphasizes not taking life for granted and using it as motivation to achieve goals.

(0:27:18) – Balancing Business and Physical Well-Being (11 Minutes)
Meeting one’s potential after death can be true heaven or hell. Balancing physical and mental well-being is crucial when managing a business, and integrating health and fitness into daily life is essential. There are differences between boxing in Mexico and America, and technology has impacted the sport by exposing different styles and aiding in marketing and franchising. Avoiding negativity is important when discussing the quality and art of boxing.

(0:38:21) – Winning Attitude in Fighting, Business (7 Minutes)
The importance of not relying solely on toughness or work ethic in combat sports and business is discussed using examples from boxing and martial arts. A combination of skills, knowledge, and drive is emphasized, along with the rewarding moment in coaching when a student successfully applies their training in challenging scenarios.

(0:45:43) – Coaching and Building Self-Reliant Athletes (6 Minutes)
Coaching brings joy and satisfaction from seeing clients succeed and empowering them to make their own decisions. In the competitive world of martial arts, it’s crucial to avoid ego-driven behavior and create a positive, supportive environment. Focusing on doing the best job possible rather than accolades is important. Maturity often leads to an appreciation for fathers later in life.

(0:51:44) – Grow Martial Arts Business on Instagram (1 Minutes)
Various services are offered by the guest’s business, such as curriculum development for martial arts facilities. Listeners are encouraged to reach out for tips and advice, and to check out the guest’s Instagram account for boxing-related content. Motivational and philosophical content can be found on their respective Instagram accounts.

About Keith Keppner





Keith was raised on 40 Acres in North Georgia by a mother who was a painter and a father who was a PHD in neuroscience, clinical psychologist and professional boxing coach. At age 12 Keith’s health began declining dramatically for no apparent reason. After 5 years of severe mental and physical decline he finally received a blood test that showed he had contracted Lyme Disease and he began extensive antibiotic treatment which took many years. Keith began boxing because he was determined to not be a weak and sickly young man. He began training with his father and fell in love with the sport.

During Keith’s training he boxed in the United States and Mexico and spent countless hours mentoring under his father, learning the science and art of Boxing and Boxing Coaching. On July 4th 2010, Keith suffered a serious neck injury in Mexico and shortly afterwards retired from Boxing. Quickly he began Coaching fighters and moved back to the United States where he would meet his future wife and business partner, Lissa Braverman. Lissa had competed in multiple combat sports including kickboxing, muay thai and MMA, and also managed a successful gym for many years. In 2013 Keith and Lissa founded the Keppner Boxing Brand because they saw a need in the fitness and boxing market.

At the time there were authentic Boxing Gyms that were dirty, dangerous and not appealing to the general public and on the other hand, there were over simplified fitness boxing boutiques where clients mindlessly punched a bag to get in better shape. There was nothing in either industry for the person who wanted to get in amazing shape and actually learn something in the process. After they identified this large gap in the market, they aligned their brand to be the perfect solution to the consumer’s needs and built strong systems to support the model. They created a service that not only has mass appeal to new clients, but also keeps those clients 4-5 times longer than the leading fitness boxing boutique. Because of this, Keppner Boxing & Fitness has grown at a phenomenal rate since its founding, which forced Lissa and Keith to relocate their prototype two times in their first 5 years of business.

Over time Keppner Boxing’s curriculum has produced multiple Golden Glove Champions from scratch, created many amateur champions, has prepared pro fighters to fight on national television multiple times and was awarded Georgia Boxing Gym of the year in 2018 by The Georgia Amateur Boxing Association. In response to Keppner Boxing’s continued growth and the company’s mission to “Positively impact as many people as possible through the discipline of Boxing & Fitness in a safe and supportive environment.”

Keith and Lissa Keppner are now giving others the opportunity to become franchise partners and share in the positive impact that Keppner Boxing makes in the physical and emotional health of communities. They are also determined to share the fulfilling feelings and financial rewards that come with owning a business which has strong returns and simultaneously creates a deep and meaningful impact in other people’s lives.

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