Lights out for Suitela Fight Club in Newton

Father-son gym, established in 1970, is set to close on Oct. 1

Andy Suitela

NEWTON — It’s closing time for Suitela Fight Club.

The long-established martial arts and boxing gym will close on Oct. 1, owner Andy Suitela told the Now today.

The last classes taught there will happen on Wednesday evening (Sept. 28), he said.

“My father, Henri Suitela, turned 74 yesterday,” the younger Suitela noted in an email. “He wants to retire. He opened his first dojo at the George Vanier Elementary school in Newton in September 1970.

“I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 11 years ago,” he continued. “My health has been on a slow but steady decline. So my father and I both have our reasons for wanting to retire.”

Suitela listed some of the champs the club has developed over the past couple of decades, including “Dave ‘The Butcher’ Stewart, Grayson Wells, Leonard Tam, Myles ‘The Cowboy’ Merola, Inderjit Bisla….”

The club is located on 82nd Avenue near 124th Street in Surrey.

Suitela has run his club in Newton for more than 20 years, offering courses in boxing, kickboxing, MMA, karate and jiu jitsu. He started in martial arts at age five, training and his dad’s karate school at George Vanier.

“I remember I wanted to quit when I was 11,” Suitela told the Now in 2015. “He said, ‘That’s fine, but you’re grounded until you’re 18,'” Suitela recalled with a laugh. “That was motivation to continue training.”

Suitela trained under his dad’s watch for 22 years, entering his first tournament at five and retiring from in-ring competition at 27 — arguably before his prime, but as he put it, “Sometimes the preparation for the fight can be more brutal than the fight itself.”

Late Monday, Suitela said an “exit strategy” to close the club has been in the works for close to four years. He’s now pursuing a career in the local movie business, on the security side of things.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

 

 

Just Posted

South Surrey mother didn’t have the intent to kill her daughter: defence

Closing submissions in case of Lisa Batstone underway

Surrey woman plans to travel after winning $500,000

Frances Jarvos bought her winning ticket at Willowbrook Mall in Langley

Crime in Surrey dropped by four per cent in 2018 from 2017, city’s top cop says

Surrey RCMP OIC sharing the news with council Monday as city transitions to city police force

Child struck because driver didn’t clear ice from windshield, say Delta police

The child wasn’t seriously hurt and the driver was ticketed for driving with an obstructed view

MINTY: ‘Opening the Doors’ at Surrey gallery with local artist Joanne Dennis

Also, a called for submissions in Arts Council of Surrey’s ‘Just Gates’ exhibition

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Most Read