The Armoury provides the ultimate boxing and 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 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.
Coach Dom, from Gweru in Zimbabwe grew up around boxers and boxing trainers. It was providence that he would follow in their footsteps and he started boxing at 10 years old. His passion for the boxing stayed with him as he went on to compete in the youth games taking gold. With the support of his surrounding boxing community he went on to have a long and successful competitive career. 35 Fights – 32 Wins and 3 Loses.It was not long before he was approached by newbies and experienced boxers alike for training tips and sparring sessions, he soon discovered a new found passion as a full time trainer.
He has perfected the ability to shape boxing lessons in a way that suits any individual needs you may have. His coaching is precise and instinctive, learn from him the essential nuances needed to thrive inside the ring.
Lu, from Eastern Cape, is a local lad with a broad smile and an infectious laugh who is big into his boxing and fitness training. At school, he was decorated as the ‘best sports achiever’ but his passion lay in boxing. A keen amateur, he has bagged five Provincial gold medals, three silvers and a bronze in the junior welterweight division.A qualified Personal Trainer who also has a diploma in Sport Development and Management, he comes to the Armoury from stints at Virgin Active and Zone Fitness.
He has a history of volunteering with community programmes, where he provided sports & recreation instruction to children and the elderly, and also with the Vukuzenzele youth boxing club. He believes that boxing gives us self-discipline and the confidence to succeed in life, and he walks the talk!
Coach Mdu affectionately known as “Mandela” was born and raised in Gauteng, where he started boxing as a teenager. He very quickly started competing on the amateur circuit completing 20 fights- all wins. At 18 he decided to move to Cape Town where his older brother was building a stable of his own. Fighting regularly on the Cape Town circuit and competing in SA Champs, this is where he did up a bad shoulder injury but kept fighting and took 4th in the light welterweight division. He then went on to the pro-scene but after a couple fights his brother past away and Mdu decided to take a break from pro boxing and this break would give him the chance to attend to the proper recovery of his shoulder and time to thinkg about his boxing career. Whilst in recovery he purseud studies in fitness, after his first qualification he decided to devote his time to being a full time trainer and continously furhter his studies in the fitness industry.
Today he is a qualified personal trainer, specializing in boxing fitness and resistance training. Training is what brings him motivation and joy and it shines through in his training every day.
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 British 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, when you’ve 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.