A glimpse inside Vancouver's new $5M downtown martial arts studio (PHOTOS)

Oct 19 2020, 4:28 pm

A new multi-million dollar martial arts studio backed by MMA fighter Ryan “The Lion” Diaz is poised to bring world-class instruction and facilities to downtown Vancouver.

Coined ‘DCS’ (Diaz Combat Sports), the massive 11,000 square foot facility is intent on making martial arts accessible to the surrounding community with its state-of-the-art equipment and inclusive environment.

From children’s and women’s only kickboxing and jiu-jitsu, to wrestling, MMA, and conditioning classes, the studio has something for everyone. Those curious to dip their toes into new waters and challenge themselves are encouraged to try a free class.

We recently got a first look inside the facilities and caught up with Diaz to get the full scoop on the inspiration behind the studio and the blood, sweat, tears that went into creating this colossal institution.

When it came to building a “truly world-class facility,” it was integral to Diaz that people be wowed from the moment they walk through the doors. For that reason, every element of the studio — the fixtures, door handles, and even toilets — were hand-picked and treated with the utmost care.

“The facility was also optimized for functionality to ensure members get the best experience possible,” Diaz explains.

The dedication and attention to detail employed in creating the space are evident as soon as you enter the space.

The three-floor Chinatown heritage building turned modern martial arts gym is equipped with individually curated spaces for each sport, including fully matted jiu-jitsu and kickboxing areas, a boxing ring, and conditioning floor complete with squat racks, custom dumbbells and plates, a turf area, push sled, and assault bikes.

As if that weren’t enough, visitors can also expect to find a full smoothie and juice bar to refuel at after unleashing on one of 16 new punching bags. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can count on the tunes blasting from the top of the line Sonos surround sound system to keep you energized.

Not to be overlooked are the gender-neutral washrooms, an important feature in the studio’s edict to be an accessible and inclusive space for all.

Speaking to this, Diaz reveals that the number one reason people love DCS is the “unparalleled vibe” they’ve been able to achieve. “The welcoming, non-intimidating, fun, friendly, and positive atmosphere we have is unmatched in the city.”

As such, instructors and guests alike can check their egos at the door so as to create a space that’s open to anyone that wants to learn. Diaz understands that starting a completely new sport, like martial arts, or even just walking into a new gym “can be very intimidating.”

Diaz attributes this to some of the more harmful facets of mainstream gym culture and the “misconception that to be tough, you have to act tough.” He completely rejects this notion in favour of promoting an ethos of mutual respect and consideration.

“We all want to better ourselves and help each other get better and achieve our goals through martial arts,” says Diaz.

When it comes to what first inspired him to found the new facility, Diaz says,”I opened a place because if I didn’t have martial arts in my life, I don’t know where I’d end up. I owe everything I am and have to martial arts and my mom. The martial arts are not about fighting, they’re about gaining confidence, hard work, dedication, and honour.”

From that point on, he resolved to give Vancouver the true world-class martial arts facility it deserves. Indeed, it’s a true feat — one that’s on par with Diaz’ two MMA world titles.

A big part of upholding DCS’s values are its instructors, who Diaz affectionately refers to as “the nicest in the city.” On top of that, they are also among the most qualified and experienced in North America — many of whom are legitimate world champions that have competed and learned at the highest level, according to Diaz. He also personally trains and coaches high level professional competitors including current UFC fighters.

In light of ongoing health concerns, the studio has also gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of visitors by investing in a $250K HVAC system. The custom-made air filtration system will ensure the constant flow of fresh air while exhausting old air through ducts in an effort to keep people safe.

When we inquire as to what people will enjoy most about the new facility, Diaz responds with a resound and enthusiastic “everything!”

“That’s like asking a parent who is your favourite child,” he adds, comically. 

Join the fun and check out what all the hype is about by signing up for a free trial. Those who sign up for a membership within the first two weeks will also be able to lock in the studio’s old rates; the same applies to those who continue their memberships.

After the two-week window, rates will increase to reflect the additional amenities and space, so sign up now.

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