Boxing, Podcasting and Fire in the Shire

Luke Thompson at Sydney Fight League

Our resident heavy fella Luke “T-Bone” Thompson who only this year made the switch to amateur boxing, stepped into the ring for the 6th time since the start of the year (not including his muaythai fights) at Norths leagues club a week ago Friday. He was matched up with Christian Balzar of Boxing Works who used to do Muaythai himself, funnily enough Christian (like Luke) injured his knee and made the switch to boxing as well. The fight itself was contested mainly up close, where you saw Christian trying to use his size advantage and bussle T-Bone around, while Luke was shifting his angles and capitalising on small openings with short hooks. At the end of the 3 round affair Luke had his hand raised and on Oct 19th these two are set to match up again, we’ll see who did their homework and if this rematch will be a repeat or an entirely different fight.

Get to know our coaches through the Podcast

If you don’t know already we have a podcast that is run by Head coach Shane, BJJ coach Trent and juniors coach/pro fighter Hugh. It’s called “Enter The Double Dragon Podcast”, they have been getting a lot of guest on lately, but in particular they recent had Coach Steve Austen on where they talked about coaching the younger students and how doing something like martial arts promotes better not only better physicality but self esteem that will transfer into life by having the mental fortitude to achieve goals and be more out going. Then only this past weekend they had the OG Mick Spinks in with one of his most talented fighters from back in the day, former K1/MMA star Ian Schaffa. They shared stories from their many travels to Japan to fight Mega stars like Kid Yamato, Masato and Genki Sudo, and also how Ian transitioned from being a Pro fighter to now running his help feed the homeless drive “Street Buffet” and owning his own cleaning business while being a family man. Click the iTunes links below for each episode and be should to subscribe, rate and review them, but also check them out on Spotify and all other podcast platforms that suit you.

Coach Steve Austen Interview click here

Mick Spinks and Ian Schaffa Interview click here


Less than two weeks left until return of Fire in The Shire

We are in count down mode for our great local show “Fire in The Shire”, officiated by Muaythai NSW this event is guaranteed to be a night of action pack Muaythai with our team consisting for John Devine, Kate O’neil, Jordy Khalil, Laura Cave, Ben Branch in the amateurs and making their pro debuts we got Jonothon Towers and Hugh O’Donnell set to make waves on Saturday Oct 13th. We have tickets at the front desk so please support the show and get you and your friends a few and be prepared to have a cracker of a night!


Fights nights at Hurstville and Albury

JNI fight night at Hurstville

last weekend we had two fighters fight in two different codes. First we had Dion “The Detonator” Beattie matched up in a Muaythai fight against SRG’s Edimar Teixeira with coaches Rowan, Hugh and Steve out there to get him ready. Both fellas had came into the fight with great records and also both know to bring the heat each time they hit the ring. The fight itself was thrilling right down to the wire, with Edimar using a strong switch kick game and Dion falling back on his handskills and power, at the end of the bout it was a split decision win to Edimar. We’ll more than likely see this boys get matched up again down the line and be treated to another fun fight.


ABA tournament at Albury

Luke ” The Tomohawk/T-money/T-Bone” Thompson and Coach Shane travelled down to Albury for an ABA boxing match against Owen for Riverina Boxing club. This would be Luke’s 7th boxing match and now he is fully dedicated to the sweet science putting Muaythai on the back burner. He went in with the game plan to be more composed in the ring, even though he has lots of Muaythai ring experience (which helps), but boxing is a completely different game with a lot less tools at your disposal compared to the art of 8 limbs. When the bell rang Luke came out and measured the distance well with his jab and his opponent answering back by coming over the top of it with the overhand right, Luke caught wind of this tactic after a couple times and started to change the game into finding the body rip to the Liver which started taking devastating affect, as Owen started to get away from that liver shot it opened up the chance for Luke to land the right hand taking Owen off his feet and his coach to smartly throwing in the towel. Luke wins by 2nd round TKO.


Fire in the Shire Oct 13th

Be sure to grab your tickets soon for our home town muaythai show “Fire in the Shire” at Sharks Leagues club, last time was a hit and we are expecting a much bigger event second time around with about 13-15 fights and 8 of those fights having Double Dragon fighters in matched in them. It’s an family friendly event and the bar will be open too. We will be stocking tickets at the gym soon to buy, so save the date and support the team!

MNSW development day at the Gym

MNSW Development Day

We held another MNSW development day in the gym on Saturday. For those of you  doesn’t know what that is, it’s a day of entry level fights to get valuable ring experience in the sport of Muaythai. Each competitor wears shin pads, 16oz gloves, head gear, elbow pads and a light chest protector that is quite similar the gear used in the IFMA world games (check back on our blog post of Luke’s IFMA silver medal run HERE). These development days have been paramount to the ever building NSW scene of Muaythai and from these padded fight events they have help create solid up and coming fighters, like our Pros fighters Luke Thompson and Hugh O’Donnell have gotten their start here.

On this day we had Kate O’neil, Kai Weate Jones and Chris Meyers jump over the ropes for Team Double Dragon. Kate had a solid fight with a girl from SRG with a size advantage, it was a back and forth affair with a lot of the fight done in the clinch trading knees, in the end the judges saw it in favour of Kate and it was a good win to have after a bit of a lay off from her last bout.

Next we had Kai who is now competing pretty regularly, this marked his 4th bout this year. He was pitted against another experienced junior from Nova martial arts, the fight was a very technical as Kai was managing the battle while on the back foot and used a stifling clinch game and his opponent used good boxing and forward pressure, this fight was super close but the judges saw it in favour of the Nova representative and Kai takes away valuable experience on keeping the score up on his side in this close one.

Up last for our team was Chris, this also was another junior bout with his opponent hailing from Shirudo Martial arts. Chris was in the same position as Kate as his opponent had a bit of a size advantage but on these padded events it tends to be not too steep of an advantage compared to not padded fights. Both fellas went at it landing big shots throughout the fight, Chris was working a solid right hand and Rib kick game, while his opponent put together great combinations and had handy trips in the clinch. At the end of the bout the boy from Shirudo had his hand raised, but the fight itself was very competitive and Chris did himself proud  having his 3rd bout of the year taking his 1st loss on this day.

Overall the whole event ran well, with 17 total fights. We may have even beat the fastest event run, held previous set by PTJ! But we’ll wait for the offical call later on. This couldn’t of happened without the volunteer work of  the Karinas (Laurance and Cardenas Salazar) who worked the front door ticketing and time keeping, Steve Austen for being the backstage Marshal making sure all fighters had their gear on ready before their fights and the kept them to schedule without delay, Hugh O’Donnell for warming up our fighters and cornering the juniors as well. Please keep support these events, the next one is going to be held at VT1 gym in chatswood August 25th.

If you want to hear a more detailed breakdown of the MNSW event listen to Enter the Double Dragon podcast’s latest episode either HERE on desktop or subscribe to them on iTunes, Spotify or any mainstream podcast platforms

Updates since June

It’s been a while since the last blog post, but we did have a few things go on since then

Knees of Fury recap

We had Dion and Hugh go down to Adelaide to one of Australia’s most established fight shows, Knees of Fury. Dion took on SA big player Trent Spacie over 5 rounds of Muaythai action in the co-main event, in the end Dion Beattie took a dominant points decision which included two knockouts from our boy. In the main event Hugh O’Donnell was up against  Matthew Stevens for an Australian title, unfortunately Hugh didn’t come away with the win this time, congrats to Matthew for a bringing his A-game. We hope to back on this show August 25th.

MNSW Development Day at PTJ

in June our Junior team of Kai and Chris signed up for another Development day, which is a great way for novice Muaythai fighters to gain great ring experience in full pads to limit serious damage in the infant stage of their career. Both boys had matches with over 18 year old opponents and both showed great skill and kraft in their fights. Chris won a decision with a solid kick and right hand game, Kai took on an experienced competitor and showed great composure but barley loss on points. Both boys look to have great potential in this sport and learn it all from our teens kickboxing & self defence classes.

WAKO national titles

On the same day as the MNSW development day we had Ben “the Executive” Branch step back into the ring after a little layoff in QLD for WAKo nationals, this is a Kickboxing style event. Ben took on the Melbourne WAKO state champ Kim Luk, the fight itself was entertaining with Ben taking a bit of damage in the first round, but in the 2nd round Ben found his boxing range and took back some control, the last round would be the decider and it was a tooth and nail affair. The judges saw Kim taking the fight by the narrowest of margins, but it was great to have Ben back in the ring and look forward to him getting a few in this year.

Ribeiro In House comp

In July we have some of our BJJ team go to Ribeiro Sydney’s In house comp, which gives us a great opportunity to roll with new people under competition scenario. We had Eddie, Steve and Flinn jump in, Eddie ended up winning a gold after a few matches and Steve got the Bronze in the white belt division awesome effort from the boys who only started a few months ago and Flinn got the gold in the Blue belts, Our main coach Trent has done some fantastic work for our Jiujitsu program which is going stronger than ever.

NSW Boxing Novice Titles

Last weekend we had Alex frame go into Boxing NSW Novice title in the masters division, Alex has been training with the gym a long time and at the age of 50 years old he decided to train with a goal to fight, his would be his first venture into boxing. His first fight was on Saturday, Alex found success early with his right hand and used it smartly, this earned him the points win. On Sunday was the finals, he put up a very respectable performance but lost the decision. This is a great example that age is just a number and you can achieve what you want with the right team behind you.

Fight Fitness Team

Every 6 months we hold our Fight team fitness test, where people who wish to compete under the Double Dragon show us that they are capable of being fit enough to endure the training camps, it’s also a great test for people who don’t aspire to fight to see how they stack up and use the end results to guide them in to better athletes. We test explosive capabilities, Strength, general Endurance and Sports specific work capacity. Anyone can look to join in and benefit from it. We also are the end of the test recognised a few people that had been training hard consistently such as Chris, Kai and Rick, all have taken on the challenge of competing in Development days and doing the fitness test but also importantly have training non stop so they received their Muaythai Level 1 shirts, also we handed out our first Level 3 Muaythai shirts to Hugh and Karina who have been in the gym consistent for 6+ years.


Next events the Fight team are going to be at: Muaythai July 21st MNSW development day/Double Dragon gym, Boxing July 28th King of the Ring/Blacktown, Muaythai 25th Aug Knees of Fury/Adelaide.

Luke’s IFMA run & Upcoming Fights shows in Adelaide and QLD

Luke’s IFMA Games Campaign

Luke “the Tomahawk” Thompson recently went over to Cancun, Mexico to represent Australia at the IFMA games, also our own head coach Rowan was also able to accompany as an assistant coach for the Australian team. For those who doesn’t know what the IFMA games are it’s held in a different country every year and is Muaythai’s version of the Olympics where experienced professional and amateur competitors are selected through regional and national competitions to represent their homeland on the world stage. There is B-grade and A-grade levels at IFMA, B-grade is use headgear, cotton shin pads, elbow guards and chest protector, while A-grade just don’t use the chest protector, both levels are done under Full Thai rules. Even though they are padded events, you get some of the world’s best professionals fight here, like this year’s 71kg A-grade final was Andrei Kubelin of Belarus  who is listed on Wikipedia has having 95 pro fights and 115 amateur fights versed Yodwicha Por Boonsit of Thailand who is listed as 225 pro fights on wikipedia also, Yodwicha walked away with a classy win.

This will mark Luke’s second time at IFMA, his first time was was 2017 in Belarus where he walked away with the bronze medal, he won against India by TKO in the quarter finals and lost against turkey (and the eventual Gold medalist) in close points decision. This year was a smaller bracket as Luke was set to go straight into the Semi-finals, his first match was Lucas Allsina from Argentina who holds a respectable pro record that spans globally. Luke won the match by dominant points decision, but in doing so sustained a bad injury to his knee from a not quite by the rule book throw from Allsina, Luke still wishing to continue in the tournament and was confident he could still be competitive for the Gold medal match decided to battle through. In the finals, it was Oscar from USA who beat Mexico in the semis to get the opportunity to contend. The match was close with Luke showing better hand skills and active clinching, a Oscar countered by using teeps and pot shots, in the end Oscar got his hand raised and Luke’s knee held up the whole fight only for it to give away once he thanked his opponent for the match. Luke is now back home with a Silver medal and his leg seems to be ok but needs further looking at. Also, our friends at Phoenix gym we there too with Zoe, Daniel and Jared making the team selection. Zoe also Silver Medaled beating Finalnd, USA and then losing on points against Russia in the finals. Thank you to Anthony Manning, Corey Impelmans and Peter Boyd for looking after the Australian team and also thank you to A-tech Australia for sponsoring Luke and Rowan to go to Mexico.

If you want to hear about the breakdown of Luke’s fights by the Enter the Double Dragon Podcast crew click on this link: Episode 18


Adelaide: Knees of Fury

This Saturday we got Hugh O’Donnell and Dion Beattie fighting at one of Australia’s most established shows, Knees of Fury run by Ethan Shepp. The boys are the main event, with Dion taking on Trent Spacie in a Full thai rules affair over 5 rounds and Hugh face off Mathew Stevens for the IKBF Australian Mod Thai title. The lads have both been in good form and are more than ready to represent NSW Muaythai in the City of Churches. it’s going to be a 70’s theme to celebrate their 70th show to date, look out for the our coaching staff to be dressed up in the corner.

Queensland: WAKO nationals

We are racking up these frequent flyer miles as we are heading to the Goldcoast for WAKO nationals June 2nd, Ben Branch with be looking to get back in action after having a bit of a break. WAKO is similar to IFMA where Professionals and Amateurs compete together in padded event, but they use K1 style of rules, Which is kickboxing with knees allowed, no kick catching or elbows permitted and limited use of clinching. They also hold a World games each year in a different country, you find a lot of the competitors that fight in IFMA also fight at the WAKO world games and this is how many of the European countries especially have gigantic records and are super formidable opponents just through sheer volume of competition. With the inclusions for MTA States and Nationals for IFMA selection, hopefully WAKO can get a NSW states event in conjunction with their Nationals event happening soon and all fighters can benefit from getting more fight experience.

New Classes added to our Kids/Teens programs & Luke in Mexico at IFMA games

New Little Dragons Kung fu class and Parents express boxing

We are few weeks into the 2nd term on this year, The kids and teens classes are constantly growing and producing very competent martial artists. Our Little Dragons KungFu class (5-8 year olds) we have added a Friday 4.15pm class to help accommodate for the growing numbers in the classes and also for some of the keen students more days to come in and train. So with Little Dragons now on Mon/Wed/Fri we have also added a Parents express boxing at the same times as Little Dragons this gives the Parents an opportunity to train while the kids are in class! It’s only 30 mins long and you get to learn the basics of boxing while getting fitter, no fitness level or previous boxing experience required and we supply the gear if you need.


New After School Kung FU Class

Afterschool Kung fu (8 year olds and up) has also got a new class added too, we are starting a Saturday class at 11am. The beauty of Martial arts compared to other sports your children may play on the weekend is training is on rain, hail or shine, it also holds a far lower injury rate than other contact and ball sports with all the benefits of learning coordination, building confidence, getting fitter and interacting positively with people. Below is statistics from the Australian institute of Health and Welfare study in to Australian sports Injury hospitalisations in 2011-2012, we fall into the Combative sports category lumped in with boxing, MMA and other martial arts. As you can see we only make up 1.8% of the total injury rate compared to the top five sports injuries that result in hospitalisation AFL, Soccer, cycling, motor sports and football sports is a whopping 40.4%. We pride ourselves in our thorough kids/teens martial arts curriculum which progresses students systemically into more contact work (always done with padded personal protection) when they show the skills necessary to be able to do it with control and no excepts before that. Please ask our coaches for a run down of the curriculum if you have any queries.


The Tomahawk goes to Mexico

Our Cruiserweight fighter Luke “The Tomahawk” Thompson and Coach Rowan have landed safely in Cancun, Mexico with the rest of the AUS team for the IFMA games. These world games in the Olympics of Muaythai where the best amateurs and pro thaiboxers around the world are invited to compete against one another to see who ends up on the winner’s podium after 10 days of fighting competition. Luke got to represent AUS last year and got the Bronze, plus he was the only Australian to medal that year. This year after getting gold at the MTA nationals he gets to represent again and looks even better this time around with a solid year of top level fights under his belt, we would like to take this opportunity to thank A-Tech Australia for sponsoring Luke and Rowan to go to this prestigious event, even though Luke earned the right to participate each athlete has to fund the trip/accommodation on his own money. So having a great sponsor like A-tech is the only way we can live this opportunities. Luke’s first fight is on May 16th and hopefully we will have a link to post on our facebook of the bout.


Upcoming coming events for Team Double Dragon: May 26th Knees of Fury/Adelaide, June 9th Jez fight night/Bonnyrigg

Play by plays from the Muaythai team’s outings at MTA development day and War on the North Shore

Development day at VT -1

March 24th we headed out to Vt-1 gym in Chatwoods with a team of 3 fighters to take part in another MTA development day. We had Karina Laurance, John Devine and young Kai weate-jones matched up for Muaythai action. First up was Kai (16 year olds) versing an heavier 18 year old from Langes’s MMA, which was agreed upon in advance which is all good, Kai had a great show in composure and scoring well with damaging Thai techniques but not with out having to deal with barrages from his opponent, in the end Kai won on points. Next up was John Devine (who is actually a teacher at the same school as Kai), he was matched with a solid fella from Carioti MMA and it turned out to be one of the most entertaining fights of the day, John showed a strong kick and sweep game and both men traded lancing right hands throughout the bout, John got the nod from the judges. Karina was up last and was set to fight a girl from VT-1 on her home turf, it was a back and forth battle of kicks and clinching, after the final bell rung the judges saw it in favor of her opponent, but everyone that trains up and jumps in on these development days are winners in our eyes as it takes a lot of courage that a majority of people don’t have to step in the ring and try out your craft against an resisting opponent. MTA again produced another great day for novice competitors to cut their teeth in competition without sustaining major damage.

War on the North shore

Friday April 6th was were on one of Sydney’s most established fight shows War on the North Shore, run by Nick Stone. It’s always a well run show with good match ups. Karina Cardenas Salazar was set up in a 4 women tournament with other NSW standouts in Lara Aloha from Bulldog Manly, Jennie Sung from PTJ and Tylisha Turner from UTC. After a random draw Karina got Tylisha first up (both have fought each other before, Karina took the win then), This fight went the distance, the first round Tylisha looked sharp while Karina was figuring out her range, second round was a toss up but Karina was finding her hands and clinch distance and Tylisha slapped a few kicks here and there, then the third round Karina owned it with a boxing combos and a stifling clinch game. The judges saw it for Tylisha unfortunately and she advanced into the finals. On the other side Lara took a close decision against Jennie and in the finals Lara completely shut down Tylisha with excellent clinching and knees, making her the champion of the night. Also this night we also had Dion Beattie against a the big unit Dan from Bulldog Manly, it was a lively affair with Dion putting together nice combos from head to body and vice versa and this opponent getting a few huge throws, Dion got the unanimous decision win. Last up was young Jack Moses making his amateur debut against another young gun from Machai Fairtex with 1 fight under his belt, Jack used very nice kicks and piercing knees in the clinch to steal away a split decision win.

Upcoming Events for the team: MTA development day at SMT Campbelltown April 28th, Knees of Fury Adelaide May 26th, WAKO nationals Goldcoast June 2nd.

Teams results from Siam 2 Sydney

Siam 2 Sydney: Hugh’s title defence & Laura’s big show debut

March 10th we had Hugh and Laura on one of NSW’s premier Muaythai show’s Siam2Sydney. This show is actually where Hugh made his leap onto the big show stage and now it was Laura’s turn to do the same. Even though she has fought in Thailand, it’s a different ballgame seeing your friends and family in the crowd supporting you, plus the tempo can be a lot more frantic and high pace in the west compared to local stadium shows in Thailand. Laura’s Opponent (Sarah) from CKO where meant to meet at Fire in the Shire but CSA problems lead to it being cancelled on the night, luckily the girl were matched up again on this card quickly.From the start Laura came out strong and the girls got to trading big right hands straight away, in the later half of the fight Laura changed the game up to getting the kicks going and this cinched the decision in the end, as damage on both ends was pretty even, but Laura’s use of Thai techniques is what got her over the line. It was a competitive fight and these girls will no doubt meet again at some stage.

Headlining the amateur card before the pros was Hugh defending his MTA state title against Dan Marshall from Phoenix gym in ACT. Phoenix and Double Dragon share a long history as their head coach/owner Anthony Manning trained and fought under Mick Spinks for a time and we go there for sparring often as they always raise elite talent. But we had to postpone any training with each other for a while as these two had to meet at MTA nationals (Dan won a split decision in January) and now again at Siam2Sydney. Not ideal for us to be match up with Phoenix on the regular but this is to be expected from two of the best schools on the east coast of Australia. The fight itself was high paced and showcased by Hugh’s low kicks and lead leg feints versus Dan’s Rib kicks and forward pressure. In the end Hugh took the win which splits them both 1 win each against each other, will there be a trilogy? Time will tell.

Overall Siam2Sydney always puts a great production getting eyes on NSW’s best talent and also bringing in legit contenders for interstate. We are always excited to be on their shows.

Boxing this weekend

This Saturday we have split duties in amateur boxing, with Luke Thompson going to Goulburn to an BANSW boxing event and Karina Cardenas Salazar of an league boxing exhibition match as we could not get a proper match after 3 opponents dropped out. An exhibition match is pretty much getting in front of a crowd and sparring which is good to do to get comfortable in front of crowds fighting but the result will be always a draw with controlled contact.


Next events for the Team: March 17th Goulburn BANSW boxing/Kemps creek league boxing, March 24th MTA development day at VT1, April 6th war on the North shore Muaythai.