bejj

BEJJ, a jiu jitsu and yoga studio, will open in the space that recently housed a tattoo studio at 426 Jefferson St. 

The latest tenant to join downtown Lafayette: a jiu-jitsu and yoga studio.

Cutter Kates, who owns CK Construction, will join co-owners John Jordan and Julian Smith to open BEJJ (Be Jiu-Jitsu) at 426 Jefferson St., possibly as early as the end of November. The space was previously occupied by Ink Gallery Tattoos.

Kates said he and his partners were trying to find a location for their business idea when they were walking downtown and noticed most of the merchants had reopened following the coronavirus pandemic, but the tattoo shop was closed.

They inquired about the space, and Downtown Development Authority CEO Anita Begnaud connected them with the owners to iron out a lease to become the latest business to move into the 400 and 500 blocks of Jefferson Street.

“As far as the location, I think that was an untapped market,” Kates said. “I don’t think there’s anything like it. Downtown is really developing nicely. I think it’s a good community to be a part of.”

The three have been working on the 2,300-square-foot space in recent weeks, he said. A 30-foot-wide space — which been a wig and jewelry store — will be eventually used to store mats for sessions, but currently electrical and plumbing repairs are underway before it will be up for final inspection.

Jordan will be the lead instructor, said Kates, who has practiced jiu-jitsu for about 10 years.

“Our goal is to try to enable the community — men, women and children — to learn how to defend themselves,” Kates said. “Not so much in a violent way but to disarm a situation and get home safely. (Yoga) is a good complement to the services we provide. It’s just a good, healthy exercise that we feel anyone can enjoy.”

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Email Adam Daigle at adaigle@theadvocate.com.