AKA Thailand is AKA’s first global gym. Owned by original AKA team member Mike “Quick” Swick, Internet magnate Blair Speers, and AKA founder, Javier Mendez, AKA Thailand is continuing to build, train and promote another formidable team of fighters in Asia and expand on the success they have already achieved internationally. AKA Thailand is a global super gym that not only caters to fighters, athletes and training enthusiasts, but also to the “average Joe” looking to lose weight, get fit, or make a lifestyle change while training alongside a diverse and motivated group of students.
Mike and our hospitable staff at AKA Thailand are dedicated to providing you with more than just top tier training alongside well-known fighters and athletes; we are heavily focused on providing the best experience to all students and guests right from the booking process until the conclusion of their trip. A gym that was built like a family and holds true to it’s values is one you can count on to ensure that your time here will be unforgettable.
This is just the beginning for AKA Thailand. Some of you reading this will one day be mentioned on the AKA History page of our website. You will come to train and be one of the few who are ready to sacrifice and work hard to obtain your goals. You will be the story we use to inspire others with future pictures, videos and website highlights. So the question is: how bad do you want it?
Contact us today and tell us about what you are aiming to achieve. Our friendly Inquiries & Reservations Hostess will be happy to answer any questions you have, assist with planning your trip, and ensure you feel confidant about your choice to train with AKA in the Kingdom of Thailand.
The American Kickboxing Academy was established by Javier Mendez in 1985. Just as Mendez was starting his pro career, he held training sessions at the Capital Glass Shop during after hours with a small contingency of students. Mendez later started training at the West Coast Institute Of Tae Kwon Do facility run by Strikeforce founder, Scott Coker.
Mendez officially opened the first San Jose AKA in 1995. In 1996, after Mendez helped him improve his kickboxing, Brian Johnston became the first fighter out of AKA to enter the UFC. Frank Shamrock then joined AKA in 1997 and would be under Mendez’s tutelage all they way through to his first retirement. Soon, AKA would see more and more interest from others who, through the attention of Shamrock, were interested in greatly improving their striking. This included BJ Penn, who would go on to win his first three fights by knockout; Bobby Southworth, Josh Thomson, Mike Swick, Paul Buentello, Jon Fitch and Mike Kyle.
In 2005, Mike Swick and Bobby Southworth were picked up for a new reality TV show from the UFC called The Ultimate Fighter, which brought major exposure to the sport of MMA and the AKA team. Through the partnership of manager and trainer of Team AKA, Crazy Bob Cook, and DeWayne Zinkin; a collegiate wrestler himself, AKA saw an influx of wrestlers joining the team, notably starting with Josh Koscheck. Eventually, the stable would grow to include Daniel Cormier and current UFC Champion, Cain Velasquez.
When long time MMA fan and former NFL star Herschel Walker decided to train full-time and become a pro MMA fighter, he went to AKA. After joining the team and attending every session, Herschel went on to win 2 consecutive pro MMA fights in the Strikeforce organization before retiring. Walker credits MMA as the world’s most difficult sport and AKA as the place to train should you choose to pursue a pro career.
In 2008 a second AKA facility was created in Sunnyvale, headed up by Bobby Southworth and Alex Khanbabian. Then in 2011, the new 27,000 square foot AKA Headquarters opened its doors, featuring weight training, a cardio facility, dedicated BJJ, MMA and Kickboxing areas, lap pool, racket ball and an onsite chiropractor and rehabilitation specialist. 2014 will bring the biggest and most ambitious project for AKA, as AKA Thailand opens its doors in Phuket, Thailand.
Currently Team AKA consists of: Josh Thomson, Jon Fitch, Cain Velasquez, Mike Swick, Daniel Cormier, Luke Rockhold, Mike Kyle, Gray Maynard, Phil Baroni, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Noad Lahat, Davin Clark, Ron Keslar, Gabriel Carrasco, Tyson Griffin, Trevor Prangley, Kyle Kingsbury, Paul Buentello, Bobby Southworth, Herschel Walker, Justin Wilcox, Nate Moore, Riki Fukuda, Todd Duffee, Rich Crunkilton, Germaine de Randamie, Marius Žaromskis, Travis Johnson, Derek Yen, and Billy Evangelista.
Fighters that have previously trained at AKA include: Frank Shamrock, BJ Penn, Fedor Emelianenko, Tito Ortiz, Fujita, Ogawa, Andrei Arlovski, Phil Davis, Kid Yamamoto, Tony DeSouza, Don Frye, Takanori Gomi, Mark Coleman, Dan Henderson, Brian Ebersole, Akihiro Gono, Anthony Johnson, Josh Koscheck, Bobby Lashley, Brock Larson, Cung Le, Lyoto Machida, Sean Sherk, George Sotiropoulos, Ronaldo Souza, Miesha Tate, and Brandon Vera.