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Taekwondo coach celebrates a decade selling martial arts gear

Jun 3rd, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

MARTIAL ARTS fans are “like kids in a lolly shop” when they enter Brooklyn’s Fuji Mae shop.

Owner Rene Kunz, 42, right,  is celebrating 10 years in the business, which he says has become a destination shop for martial artists all over New Zealand.

“When people walk in they go ‘wow’- like kids in a lolly shop,” Mr Kunz says.

Mr Kunz says martial artists are willing to go out of their way to visit Fuji Mae for its 2500 product lines.

“We have people who are often in Wellington on business or travelling down here for the holidays who will make it a point to come and meet us,” he says.

Fuji Mae, based in Barcelona, is a brand of martial arts gear worn on the world stage of martial art competitions.

Mr Kunz is the only Fuji Mae representative in Australasia.

“It’s important we max out our customers in New Zealand and get good reach here before we try take on Australia,” he says.

As well as running the business, Mr Kunz also works full time in another job and teaches children and adults taekwondo classes at the Miramar Bowling Club.

Finding time in-between these commitments has led Mr Kunz to take the business online.

Last year he released an app for shopping the products.

Mr Kunz says Fuji Mae works directly with clubs.

“We do branding for some of the big clubs, getting them specifically made for the club rather than them having to go to the embroiders themselves and spend a pack of the money.”

The store represents every style of martial art in Wellington.

“Until you get into the martial arts community, you actually wouldn’t have any idea how many clubs are out there,” Mr Kunz says.

He says Brooklyn’s community centre runs karate and kung fu classes, and Seisado karate, ITF taekwondo and Kyokushin karate are a some of the clubs available in the area.

While the business is growing online, Mr Kunz says Fuji Mae is committed to staying in Brooklyn and catering to the local martial arts community.


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is a student journalist studying at Whitireia in Welington. She is keen on keeping up with the news and writing stories that will have impact in the community. She is currently reporting stories within the Brooklyn area. She is interested in using multi-media in the news room.
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