The Armoury provides the ultimate boxing and functional fitness experience. Those who can, do, and Team Armoury box. All of us. We’re not talking trainers who come to the gym to worship their beautifully buffed bodies, check their texts and sell you protein shakes. We’re the real deal, done the 10,000 hours and mastered the craft. Our Boxing Coaches and Physical Training Instructors are highly qualified, proudly distinctive and second to none. But it’s not about us – making you the best you can be; that’s what we’re about.
The Boxing Coaches
Boxing is serious, not a game, and shouldn’t be taught by people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Our coaches are, or were, serious boxers and are formally qualified – which makes them technicians, tacticians and physical trainers of note. Team Armoury is proud of the boxing records of its coaches, many of them ex-professional, but they’re all humble nice guys and the club isn’t built around their egos.
Aladin is the original Armoury coach who goes all the way back to our Harrington Street roots. Known respectfully as ‘Coach’, Aladin hails from Bukara, Democratic Republic of Congo. He started boxing aged 13 with a local professional and African title holder and developed a passion for the sport. Seeking new opportunities, he moved to Cape Town and built his reputation for excellence at the former Harrington Street Boxing Gym. Believing in the life transforming value of discipline and daily training, Aladin has helped make boxing more accessible to the local community and even took two lads from the street to silver medals at the provincial championships.
In addition to his formal boxing coaching qualifications, Aladin is a trained Personal Trainer and combines the best of both to deliver awesome results for his loyal one-on-one coaching clients. White collar, Amateur, blue collar, hipster, whatever, he’ll make you a Champ.
Chomonorwa Gonorenda “Sting”
“Sting” came to The Armoury the hard way, working his way up through the ranks of amateur and professional boxing. Born in Gweru in Zimbabwe, he started boxing aged 7. At 19 he was the Zim national champion and competed in the All Africa games as a light-heavyweight.
He turned professional in 2006, won the national cruiser-weight belt and fought internationally against the likes of Danie Venture, Zack Mwekasa and world champion Isaac Chilemba. He joined The Armoury in 2014 but will continue to fight as a pro. He’s the real deal. With Sting, you don’t play boxing, there’s no nonsense, you just know he will make you great.
Dweyn Finidi Dodzo
Dweyn, known in the gym as “Tyson”, came to The Armoury from Harare, Zimbabwe. His father was a General who got Dweyn into boxing training from a young age with Army instructors. The formal instruction and his natural aptitude meant that he never lost a fight, progressing from Provincial to National amateur championships, always winning Gold.
He is a qualified boxing coach and personal trainer who combines the art of boxing with sports science. He has a positive mental attitude and his training style is encouraging and motivational. Dweyn feels that he belongs in a boxing club, and in the ring in particular, where, he says ,“my life makes sense, it makes me happy.” He wants his clients to feel the same and feels that you can be serious about boxing training while having fun at the same time. “Don’t take yourself too seriously,” he says, “in boxing, you feel the pressure for sure, but you can love it!
Lillian Gravell Karygiannis
Lillian started out as a personal trainer at the exclusive Virgin Classic gym in Melrose Arch. The she saw the light and went on to run the “Boxing Zone” at Planet Fitness before getting properly serious as conditioning coach and Pro Assistant Boxing Trainer to Cassius Baloyis (six times world champion) and Osborne Machimana (Pan Africa heavyweight champion). Lillian helped set up, and managed, the Cassius Baloyi Boxing Academy, training amateur and Pro boxers out of Johannesburg.
Lillian is available for one-on-ones and small group sessions for guys and gals wanting some serious skills and pads training, but also for those individuals that need someone to coach them sensitively through weight loss. She can ease people into a training programme if that is what their bodies require and is just as sensitive as she is stern!
Richard, from the Midlands Province in Zimbabwe was a champion gymnast who got into boxing aged 16. He won his first amateur fight two weeks later and was the national bantam weight champion six months after that. He turned pro in 2003 and had 26 fights (15 wins: 10 losses: 1 draw), many internationally. Since retiring as a pro he has been a coach and sparring partner.
For Richard, boxing is a way of life. A fitness fanatic who loves to share his passion, he says, “Pain is temporary but pride is forever.” A great motivator, he’ll keep you on your toes and present in the moment: waiver, and he’ll remind you why you need to be training!
Sibo, From Welkom in the Free State, Sibo started boxing for fitness at her high school but was encouraged by her coach to box competitively and represented the Northern Cape at the national youth championships where she won silver. Now taking boxing seriously, she won gold at an international championships in 2014, before moving up to the senior elite level and winning silver at the national amateur championships. 2017, Sibo was selected to represent South Africa and won the fight, in Angola.
Sibo is a keen athlete who was the national indoor rowing champion. At school, Sibo coached a boxing team of 20 learners. Now in Cape Town, Sibo was a trainer at Virgin before following her passion for boxing to The Armoury. Disciplined, respectful and hard working, she sets an example and is motivated to get people healthy in mind and body through fitness and boxing. “Believe in yourself and see changes”, she says.
The Physical Training Instructors
The Armoury’s Physical Training Instructors are similarly distinguished. While highly qualified as personal trainers, they draw on techniques that are true to the fundamentals of exercise that have proven to be effective through the ages. Revolving around movement patterns, such as the push, pull and squat, these guys will give you a good understanding of these basic moves with good technique, posture and body alignment. Their style is highly motivational, planned and progressive, to ensure measurable success. And, as strength and conditioning trainers to boxers, they’ve prepare guys and gals for the ultimate test of functional fitness – the fight!
Chris Landman is a qualified exercise specialist and nutritionist who came to the Armoury by way of an impressive White Collar fight. A highly regarded trainer, his emphasis is on smart training that ensures the best results whilst minimising the risk of injury.
These days Chris heads up our Armoury Academy offering and “trains the trainers” to deliver ArmourMe and CrossBox functional fitness classes both in the Armoury and beyond, through schools and sports clubs around the Province.
Whether you are a professional athlete or you are training for health benefits, Armoury Academy will get you into shape
Brandon Jones, from Durban, moved to Cape Town seeking a new adventure and found it at The Armoury. A former paratrooper with 44 Parachute Brigade, he has worked and trained with top coaches and instructors – including a world canoe marathon champion, an ex Springbok rugby strength and conditioning pioneer and a Russian ex KGB and special ops instructor – in a variety of movement disciplines and close quarter combat techniques.
Brandon certified as a personal trainer through the International Sports Science Association and continues to study leading practices in human movement science, to adjust exercises and movement so that his clients avoid injury and achieve their goals. His style is functional and he believes that, ‘endurance is a physiological phenomenon’ and that a great team around you produces greater results. An advocate of the old military maxim, ‘Train hard to fight easy,’ he’ll help get you ready for whatever life has to throw at you.
The Armoury was born out of Steve Burke’s passion for White Collar boxing and good old-fashioned Para style physical training. There wasn’t a gym that could give him that so he started his own. And check out Ailsa, the Manager, if she’s not behind the desk you’ll find her sparring in the ring.
Steve was formerly an officer in the elite Parachute Regiment. While commanding his company on counter-terrorist operations, a ceasefire was called so he raised a boxing team to keep the men busy. They were soon the Army champions and Steve was asked to manage the British Army boxing team, experience that he draws on to position The Armoury as a boxing centre of excellence.
“Boxing is tough,” he say’s, “you have to dig deep – physically, mentally, emotionally – and you learn about yourself. But when you’ve been in the ring under those bright lights, endured and finished with a warm embrace, a smile on your face and your gloved fist held high – that’s awesome. The Armoury gives regular guys and girls that extraordinary transformational experience, it changes lives”
A 100% Capetonian, Ailsa is the unsung hero of the Gunshop, combining a passion for sport with keen management acumen and a strong sense of customer service. Her interests range from diving, hockey, horseback riding and hiking. Qualified in Sport Management, she interned at various sporting facilities and was a personal trainer and manager of a gym for a number of years; but from the moment she stepped into The Armoury she had to make the managers job hers. With her wake-up-shake-up personality and tenacity to get the job done, she’s helped steer the club in exciting new directions. With a keen interest in women’s health and fitness, she getting more girls into The Armoury.
You won’t necessarily see Ailsa at Fight Night where she’s behind the scenes making everything work to perfection – but you will likely see her training and trading punches. Ailsa Ramsey – 100% Armoury.
Not your stereotypical boxer – but then who is at The Armoury? Isabella is half British and half Italian, was raised in England and Australia but is staying put in Cape Town, her favourite spot of them all. An investment banker by trade, she came to boxing by way of the Financial Services Fight Night – and by being married to the guvnor. Fight Night made her the hero of her own lunch hour. Just ask and she’ll be delighted to tell you; don’t ask and she’ll tell you anyway!
Isabella is the administrative machine behind the Armoury’s special industry events (financial services, professional services) and, with Ailsa, ensures that everything is planned and executed like clockwork. She takes absolute care of her charges, fussing over every stage of their wonderful journey to Fight Night.
Don’t mess with the ref. Mark was boxing competitively before most of us could pee in a straight line. He was the schoolboy champion of Zim when Zim was still Rhodesia and he toured SA conquering all. Then he took time out as a paratrooper. ‘Old and bold,’ maybe, and a bit slower too, but he has a wise head.
Not that he ever needed to win his spurs, but he’s done an Armoury Fight Night anyway. Sparring with him is a learning experience but don’t get too cocky or he’ll nail you with a punch that you’ll never see coming.
Mark is the Armoury’s resident ref and his calming influence and attention to safety is always appreciated. He enters the ring with a knowledge, appreciation and sensitivity to the sport that far surpasses that of the average boxer or fight fan. With Mark, we’re in expert hands.