Meet Ashley White. He has put Guyra on the world map by winning several world titles in Muay Thai Kickboxing. Ashley has chosen to take his competition gloves off for a while to concentrate on teaching others.
Tell us about your family and where you live …
I live in Guyra with my wife Rebecca, and 20-month-old son, Riley, and we are currently waiting for our next one to arrive.
I am also fortunate to have my parents here and both my sisters and their families. It’s nice for all our kids to grow up together.
What trades do you have?
I am a qualified butcher, and I am currently in my third year of a painting apprenticeship.
When and why did you become interested in Muay Thai Kickboxing?
I first started Karate when I was 8, but for as long as I can remember I always wanted to be a boxer. At the age of 14, I had my first fight in amateur boxing. After 32 boxing fights, I went back to martial arts. I began training in a freestyle Karate called Zen Do Kai and after 5 years of training, I received my black belt.
After watching John Hallford win a World Kickboxing Title on Fox Sports, I decided to start competing again. After meeting him a few times, I started Kickboxing training with him. At first I travelled from Guyra to Tamworth to train with him, until eventually I moved to Dubbo to train and fight full time.
How many fights and titles have you fought?
I have had 69 fights, 56 wins, 11 losses, 2 draws and 23 wins by KO.
During my career, I acquired the following titles:
• Professional WMTA World Muay Thai Title
• Amateur WKBF World Kickboxing Title
• ISKA South Pacific Title
• ISKA East Coast Title
• WKA NSW Kickboxing Title
• ABL State Boxing Title
• Silver Medal for North Coast Boxing Titles
Some of the highlights of my career have been fighting world class fighters, training and fighting in Thailand and representing Australia in K-1 max in New Zealand, where I fought the number 2 ranked fighter in the world.
I had my last fight 2 years ago and then decided to focus on being a trainer and also to promote Muay Thai in the New England area. I promoted my first show in November 2009 at the Armidale Race Course, which I was really happy with. I guess I’ve been waiting for the right time to promote another one, and hopefully I’ll have a lot more local fighters ready by then.
I am currently teaching at the Guyra Adult Learning centre two nights a week. I teach kids’ Kickboxing class and Muay Thai Kickboxing for adults. My classes are graded and certified under the ProRoughy Muay Thai system, which was founded by myself. Classes include learning traditional Muay Thai techniques and doing partnered pad work, as well as cardio and strength building exercises. Students receive a certificate and coloured prajeat (armband) relative to the grade they are receiving. Grading isn’t compulsory; it’s for students who like to gauge how their technique and fitness are improving. Children receive a coloured shirt when they grade, which they wear as part of their uniform.
Hopefully in the future as my classes continue to grow, I’ll be able to open my own Muay Thai Gym that I can run full time – obviously with more classes available and more variety. I already have a few students interested in mixed martial arts, which has become very popular since the rise of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). In fact, one of my students (Nick Browning) has already competed in an MMA fight last year.
Tell us about your students?
Well, my students vary from children to adults, men and women, all levels of fitness. I have a couple of students who are fighters, but it’s not all about fighting. Most of my students train for fun and fitness. Martial arts are a massive self confidence booster, and that’s also another reason why people choose to take up this type of exercise.
Children’s classes are good, fun fitness, but learning a little bit of discipline at the same time. I have several students who have been training with me for the past 5 years. They are an asset to the classes, because they display loyalty and respect and also are experienced mentors to help with some of the newer students.
How can one join your classes?
Classes are conducted at the GALA centre located in Bradley St, Guyra. The kids’ classes are held on Mondays at 4.30 to 5.15pm and adults’ classes are on Mondays and Thursdays, 6 ‘til 7.30pm.
Anyone wanting more information can contact the GALA centre on 6779 2132 or by ringing me on 0438 414 023. All levels of fitness are welcome!
Thank you Ashley.