Darlene Pallay’s passion for kickboxing changed her life both personally and professionally. Pallay was an overweight stay-at-home mom with three children when in 2009, she ventured into a CKO Kickboxing facility near her house in Franklin, NJ. Today, Pallay is 50 pounds lighter, and she and her husband, Joe, are owners of two CKO Kickboxing franchises.

“I make sure I explain my journey to members,” Pallay says. “A lot of the franchisees have been a member, have gone through a journey and then come to own a franchise. Sharing that story really touches people.”

The transformation of boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) studio members into franchisees is not just happening with CKO Kickboxing, Hoboken, NJ, but with franchises such as LA Boxing, Santa Ana, CA, and Title Boxing Club, Overland Park, KS. Their growth is creating a stir in the rest of the fitness business, causing some traditional fitness facilities to look more seriously at offering this type of programming.