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Wednesday, 31 December 2008
goodbye to 2008...
Mood:  celebratory

Wow, what a great year for Team phoenix. The gym goes from strength to strength literally every week. 

we have a stable core of people who seem like they have been here for ever and are part of our hearts and furniture but this year we have had a whole load of new crazy folk joining us and settling in quickly and very well and adding even more atmosphere to the gym.

its always been a fantastic place to train and 2008 has been no different, everyone gets on so well and its just a great laugh training together.  

summing up 2008:

competitions: northeast of england grappling champs, 2 IKF/AKA kickboxing shows/1 total combat/3 strike and submit championships/2 battleground shows/lee hasdells combudo show/bad company novice show.

thats not bad considering we dont make fighting our priority here.

seminars held at Team phoenix in 2008: Ron balicki/Jeff Espinous/Johan Skalberg/Bad company/Eddie Bravo (promoted by combat base northeast)/Karl Tanswell

gradings: 2 kickboxing gradings, 1 Muay Thai grading, 1 Kali grading 

places i (matt) have taught at and trained at this year: Belgium, Poland x 2, Germany, Thailand, Chicago...the perks of martial arts!!! 


we have also managed to paint the gym again and get the curtains up, that was more stressful than anything else!!!

thanks to all team phoenix members for helping us to make the gym the fantastic place is it and thanks to all of our assistant/apprentice instructors for always being able to count on you. thanks also to all of my own instructors and friends in the martial arts world for all your support and help.

roll on 2009...... 

Posted by ballisticbear at 12:01 AM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 11 January 2009 1:36 AM GMT
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Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Team Phoenix Christmas party at Floritas!
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Social events

we decided to be posh this year and have our christmas party at Florita's miami bar in word pretty much sums up the night



Posted by ballisticbear at 12:01 AM GMT
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Sunday, 7 December 2008
battleground mixed martial arts show, middlesborough
Mood:  bright
Topic: Mixed martial arts

well done to team Phoenix fighter Stuart Wells who had his first mma fight under amateur rules at the battleground show in boro. Stuart went the distance to win by unanimous decision. well done Stu.


Posted by ballisticbear at 12:01 AM GMT
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Saturday, 6 December 2008
Bad Company novice show, Leeds
Mood:  bright
Topic: Muay Thai

Team Phoenix travelled down to Leeds to support Gary beckingham in his first muay Thai fight on the bad Company novice show at eastend park club in Leeds. all bouts were thai boxing, 5 x 1.5 min rounds.

we have been to watch the novice shows before and its a cracking little venue (and only £1.15 for a smirnoff and coke eh!!)

Gary was Fighting Rob milner from Bad Co so we knew it would be a hard fight for him (although it was Robs first Muay Thai fight too) and gary was caught with an extremely well placed and timed kick across the chest at the end of round two and was unable to make the count. Gary needs to move down a weight catagory, possible even two before his next fight as he is always very small at 75-77kg.

we were looked after very well by Richard and the lads at bad co and it was an extremely smoothly ran show. we like the bar there too!! 

Posted by ballisticbear at 12:01 AM GMT
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Friday, 21 November 2008
IKF kickboxing championships, manchester
Mood:  bright
Topic: Kickboxing

Well done to team phoenix fighters Mike Dalglish, Craig Jackson and Simon fox who represented the club at the international kickboxing federation championships (in association with the AKA)

mike was first up winning rounds 1 and 2 but loosing by 8 points in round 3. It is olympic style scoring rules so every kick/punch/knee counts and mike just got pipped to the post by a very hard-hitting warrington fighter. Mike looked 100% better than his last fight in february however and was using his kicks well instead of boxing as much but he was just a little too comfortable in the last round. 

Simon was up next and didnt look his usual self to begin with and looked a little tired but soon got rid of that and won by demolishment!

Craig was last to fight. this was his first fight and he lost by tko but Craig's style is Muay thai and he found the pace of osr rules hard to deal with. different rules would have been a different story but he enjoyed himself which is the main thing.

well done all three of you for your gutsy performances and training so hard in the run-up to the fights. 

Posted by ballisticbear at 12:01 AM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 11 January 2009 12:55 AM GMT
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Sunday, 16 November 2008
wicker camp clinch seminar in sheffield
Mood:  happy
Topic: Muay Thai

maz and myself were invited down to Wicker Camp Thai boxing school in Sheffield for a 4 hour seminar on clinch and knees to the head.

Wicker camp is one of the longest running thai boxing schools in the uk and home to established fighters such as Christian Di Paulo, Daniel Hudson, Trix March and (one of Maz's idols) Helene Garnett. the seminar was ran by head coach Mick Mullaney who went through lots of different ways to knee to the head form clinch. it was exhausting and very technical and we learnt a hell of a lot. They seem like a really nice bunch of guys down there, everyone was really friendly and it was a pleasure to meet Mick and learn from him. Many thanks to helene for the invite and we will definatley be at the next one. 

Posted by ballisticbear at 12:01 AM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 10 January 2009 11:31 PM GMT
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Friday, 7 November 2008
Johan Skalberg Seminar

Posted by ballisticbear at 11:25 AM GMT
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Saturday, 1 November 2008
new Team Phoenix blackbelts
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Kickboxing

A huge well done to John Hendry, Dave Holliday and John Hodgson who became blackbelts in Kickboxing at the weekend, after 6 hours of solid work and sparring they certainly earned it.

John Hodgson has been with the gym since 2002 so its been 6 years in the making. he trains for 2 hours a night (sometimes more) mon, tues, wed and thurs and also trains on a saturday and is an extremely hard-working and well liked and respected figure in the gym, he is a bit of a father figure, especially to the new-comers and is loved for his friendly and approachable nature.

both John hendry and Dave Holliday have been with the gym since 2003 and again, train for 2 hours per night (sometimes more) mon, tues, wed and thurs and they also train on a saturday.  both guys are incredibly technical and set a very high technical standard within the kickboxing classes but more importantly, they are great guys with huge hearts and more than capable of setting the type of example you would expect from a black belt.

as you all know, fighting is not a top priority at phoenix, we never push people to do it and it will never be our main focus and concern but all of the above guys have fought and fought well, in particular John Hendry who has had a very good year with his fights.

well done to new assistant instructor in Kali, Ben Creichton who has more than earned this position. Ben is a world champion finalist in stick-fighting and his bright, energetic manner is always hugely popular  not just in Kali but in the gym in general.

another well done to Jo and Ross Dean on gaining their apprentice instructorship in the art of Kali. They have both proved themselves more than capable of this role and often assist in teaching the Kali classes when Matt or ben aren't here and everyone enjoys watching these two extremely skilled kali practioners at work. they are the mr and mrs smith of kali...although if Ross was brad Pitt no women would be doing any work!!!

and last but by no means least, well done to Pete 'peaches' Robinson on gaining his apprentice instructorship in kickboxing. Pete really deserves this, he is always at the gym, always puts in 100% and more importantly, sets an amazing example to everyone that walks through the door. Pete, at 45 years old shows us day in, day out that age means nothing in martial arts..he has more guts and determination than the average 20 year old and we love him to bits.


well done all of you.


Posted by ballisticbear at 12:01 AM BST
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Sunday, 26 October 2008
strike and submit
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Mixed martial arts
once again, Team Phoenix fighters Gary Beckingham and Chris Douglass represented the club at Strike and Submit at the fed brewery in gateshead. Strike and Submit is a very good promotion and one of the most up and coming mixed martial shows in the UK.  luck wasn't on Gary's side this time as he lost to leg lock specialist dave jenkins, but Gary looked extremely fit and strong with much improved stand-up. Chris won again by submission in the first round and he has been offered a semi-pro title shot in february. well done both of you. thanks to Mickey Dryden at goodkickin as well for his sponsership, 

Posted by ballisticbear at 12:01 AM BST
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Wednesday, 17 September 2008

well we have reached the halfway point in our trip! i hope the rain i have been hearing about hasnt stopped your training!! had a great day yesterday! we went with rungchai and other to the east side of the island to roll down a hill in a big ball! it was one of those jackie chan style things, the ball is about 12 foot tall with another smaller one inside which you climb into. they then pour a bit of water in so you dont stick to the sides, and off you run down the hill! bit like a hamster in a wheel! that is untill you lose your balance and go ass over tit on the inside as it plumets down the hill! after my go, myself and Dave from Darlington assessed from the thai operator that it was ok to lay down under the ball as the next person came down! now the tricky part is in the translation! i was a little nervous as i wasnt sure if he was nodding and smiling to say it was ok or if it was cause we were crazy! but as the ball was coming down he dived under it too and we all got crushed in a hillarious manner! cool day all in all! training is still going well, even though the trainers have their work cut out for them with all the kazikstan team there, and the classes are a bit busy, but its all worth it for that few horrible rounds on the pads at the end! still never know 10 minutes to last so long! getting to train privatly with Naan this week, who is a great pad feeder. he has a very tricky style and puts me on my ass very regularly! and laughs the whole lesson while doing it!

all for the good though!!

 take it easy


Posted by ballisticbear at 7:37 AM BST
Updated: Sunday, 11 January 2009 12:57 AM GMT
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