The Fight Shop Guam
Agana Shopping Center
302 Route 4, Suite 214
By Jessica Rohr
Robin Reyes Eclavea, originally from Hagåtña, has been training in mixed martial arts since he was 12 years old. He practiced the sport in a variety of gyms, both in Guam and in Thailand. His store, The Fight Shop Guam, is a mix of jiu jitsu and muay thai accessories, apparel and equipment for men, women and children.
Items available at the store include gis, kimonos, various guards and mitts, ointments like Thai Oil, T-shirts and accessories. The store imports products from brands including Fairtex, Venum and Training Mask.
Eclavea said that his store is dedicated to promoting safer training by using quality equipment. “We try to carry better products — things that are handmade, genuine leather, odor-repellant — that really do work for the sport.”
In May 2015, Eclavea moved the store from East Hagåtña, where it had been since 2013, to a 1,600-square-foot space on the second floor of the Agana Shopping Center.
Who is a part of The Fight Shop team?
My sister, Danielle Eclavea, is my graphic artist and designer. She makes our logo, our Guam T-shirt design — she designs everything on the computer. I just tell her my idea and she makes it. The other local brand we sell is Jits Life Brand, which is owned by two of my good friends, Ceelo Nededog and Anthony Limtiaco, who is also our HyperIce vendor.
What inspired you to go into business?
I’ve been in the sport for a long time. I fight in [Pacific Xtreme Combat] and I train. I’m just trying to promote the sport. We’re basically trying to promote training in a safer way. It’s better — for your protection and the other person — if you have good-quality protective gear.
But it’s really about my son, Damian, more than anything. I want him to be proud of me because I’m doing my own thing. I’ve tried to join the military, and when that didn’t work out, I found another route, and I give back in my own way.
How competitive is the market for fighting apparel and equipment in Guam?
It’s a big sport here. Within the last five to 10 years, it’s blown up. I remember doing it when it wasn’t even a big thing, when I was 12 years old.
Does your store sell any products or brands exclusively for Guam?
We make our own products to cater to tourists or anyone who wants to contribute to promoting Guam. We have custom Guam patches, shirts and Guam gloves. We made our own Guam logo. Jits Life Brand is also local.
We are the main distributor of Fairtex. It’s a muay thai brand. Fairtex is actually a family name, from Thailand. They’ve always been in the sport. They started manufacturing gloves, shin guards and other stuff. They perfected the way to make it: They only use genuine leather. They hand-make all their stuff. I went there and trained at Fairtex sports complex. People from around the world go there to train. I wanted to promote it on Guam because we don’t have that quality. They have a passion for it there. It’s a national sport, and that’s why they make such great quality products.
We also have the rights to Venum from Singapore. It’s a world-renowned brand. You’ll find it in [the Ultimate Fighting Championships] and any other contact sports or events. They’re a big company that started recently. We’re just trying to promote better quality all around.
What are your most popular products?
Training Mask is our most popular product. Everyone’s trying to get in shape. It’s a brand that a lot of famous people from different sports — from fighting to biking — use because it simulates high-altitude training, so it forces you to take deeper breaths, so your lungs expand, and it builds your cardio and endurance.
How would you describe your customer base?
Whoever is willing to come in and needs the product. If they know the brand, they know they can come here to get it. The product speaks for itself. Because of where we are, there’s a lot of impulse buying. Curiosity makes people come in. If they can appreciate the product, they get it. Some people don’t like the fact that there is a fight shop. We’re not trying to promote fighting in a bad way. We just want people to do it safely.
What has been your biggest challenge as a small-business owner?
Figuring out the right things to bring in. I’ve been using the brands that I sell my whole life. I couldn’t sell something I didn’t love to use myself.
What has been your proudest moment in owning this store?
Whenever I see someone come in, and they find what they need, and they smile and they’re excited because they can’t wait to use what they bought when they train. I know that feeling, too. When I see people come in and smile, it makes me smile too because it shows me that I did something right.
What new products or changes can your customers look forward to in 2017?
We’re going to have a greater variety of items — more colors and more sizes from my brands. I’m also working on promoting events with IFit, like kick-boxing tournaments.
We’re also thinking of opening a shop on Andersen Air Force Base.
Photos by Jessica Rohr