GIBSONVILLE, N.C. -- The blows keep coming for a family-owned martial arts gym. After dealing with the financial fallout from the pandemic, their building was damaged in a storm over the weekend.
The Canup family is now picking up the pieces of what's left of Gracie Burlington Jiu Jitsu after a storm on Saturday destroyed their facility and almost everything in it. The Gibsonville gym is now unrecognizable, as the roof collapsed, most of their equipment is water damaged, and a gas line and water pipe broke. The building was condemned, leaving the family feeling broken inside.
“This is my life, you know, not so much just jiu jitsu, and teaching and watching people grow and develop, watching kids, not knowing how long it’s going to be before we can get that started back, it’s crushing me," owner Spencer Canup says.
His wife, Karen Canup, told us they had a family here, this was a second home to them and for a lot of their members. Her four children were involved, and she said they're devastated.
“It means so much, not only to my four kids, but all of the kids that are in this program, they love to come here," Karen explains.
The martial arts gym has been there since 2017, and not only was it used to teach jiu jitsu, but it was also a platform for community service and fundraisers.
“A good friend of mine told me a little jiu jitsu saying today because I was struggling, he said, 'just imagine someone is mounted on you right now and what do you tell us? Stay calm.' And that’s what I’m trying to do right now, but it’s hard," Spencer adds.
They are hoping to eventually open the gym in another location.
A family friend has started a GoFundMe page to help support the Canup family and their business. The family only had liability insurance, which will not cover all the costs associated with the damage.
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