Jason Heit, of the Island MMA Training Centre in Victoria, moved back to the Island in 2007 after spending four years as a security guard for various A-list celebrities in Los Angeles.
The journey started in the boxing ring, where Heit demonstrated his prowess as an amateur fighter, winning a Canadian national championship and representing Canada at the 1995 Pan Am Games.
Heit eventually pivoted to working as a security guard, which he said was a good fit with the physical skills and discipline he learned in the ring.
He had moved to Los Angeles to pursue a professional boxing career and began doing security work on the side. He started meeting some famous faces (his manager was Burt Young, who played Paulie in the ‘Rocky’ movies.) Around this time he got offers to work in close protection security.
The highlight was working a two-year, around the world concert tour for singer Robbie Williams.
“The experiences that we had were incredible,” said Heit. “the places I got to see, the scale of what we were doing was incredible. One tour we did was 22 shows and they had sold over 2.2 million tickets. We did three days with 135,000 people per night.”
He stopped working security full-time in 2006 and moved back to Victoria the year after. He’s since been undefeated in mixed martial arts competitions, opened his own gym and successfully pitched an MMA fighting competition (the Armageddon fighting championships) on TV’s ‘Dragons’ Den’.
In June, Heit travelled to London for the Haringey Box Cup in London in June. B.C. won best team at the competition and as a whole won four gold medals and two silver medals.
“I went over there with the B.C. team,” he said. “To see them come home with that many medals against that high level of competition, I was so very pleased with how they did.”
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