In 1983, the Black Belt Martial Arts Supply started after traveling to Canada to compete in the First World Canadian Jiu-jitsu Tournament in 1977. I met with a martial arts uniform and equipment supplier, and I was able to learn firsthand how to start a Martial Art Supply business.
Upon my return to Trinidad from the world tournament, the work began, and a few years later, the Black Belt Martial Arts Supply store was born.
Black Belt Martial Arts Supply was the first to introduce this type of business in the country. No one trained or competed with safety gear back then.
I stocked safety equipment, all types of uniforms, and books to develop the Martial Arts knowledge in Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean islands. It was a big boost for all the Martial Arts Schools in the ’80s.
For the first five years, the business filled its orders through what was known as ‘suitcase-style trading.’
However, some manufacturing of uniforms and belts were also done locally but found out it was easier to import from Taiwan and the USA in those days.
It was different back then, there were no internet, laptops, or cellphone services in Trinidad and Tobago like it is now.
No established business owners wanted to share with anyone their secrets on how things were in the business in Trinidad and Tobago. Those who had the monopoly on the island vigorously kept new businesses from starting, primarily if it’s owned and operated by a black person.
The BBMAS store has come a long way from then to now.
We did everything possible to find out and stock whatever the martial arts school needed in the country, e.g., Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Aikido, Kung-Fu, Taekwondo, etc. We took pride in giving our very best service despite the martial arts politics and rivalry.
Since then, the Black belt Martial Arts Supply store has expanded. Its services are to sell a wider variety of equipment, jigsaw mats, folding mats, designer uniforms, safety gear, heavyweight canvas uniforms (polyester and cotton), a variety of colored belts, and traditional type uniforms.
We also offer reading material that will help educate, grow, and increase students’ knowledge and safety in combat Sport.