Blair Speers is an accomplished businessman, online computer marketing expert, travel and hospitality guru, former Canadian national champion wrestler, an expert fight strategist, and now the co-owner of AKA Thailand. He is a multifaceted individual with incredible experience and knowledge in business, making him one of the most successful entrepreneurs the island of Phuket has ever seen. Blair has lived in Thailand for more than 20 years and is a prominent member of many local and national communities and organizations, having used his influential standing to contribute in many philanthropic endeavors across Thailand to improve the quality of life for Thais and Foreigners alike. He has been on the board of several international travel associations and holds memberships with PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association), TAT Tourism Authority of Thailand, and ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents), just to name a few. He is a regular speaker/lecturer/panelist at international travel conferences, colleges, universities and institutions around the world, giving lectures on online technology, marketing, business, travel and tourism.
In 1999 Blair founded HotelTravel.com, one of the internet’s most innovative and trailblazing travel websites. Developed on one computer in his bedroom, it eventually expanded to recruit hundreds of employees and incorporated in countries all over the world. HotelTravel.com was just recently sold to NASDAQ, listed company MakeMyTrip.com(MMYT), giving Blair the long awaited opportunity to pursue his true passion of the sport of MMA.
Blair grew up wrestling and is a Canadian Greco Roman national champion. It was here he learned to embrace the grind. Blair’s father, Ross Speers, was a very accomplished boxer and baseball player and brought his son up with the mental fortitude that professional athletes in combat sports need. Competing and coaching at the highest levels in wrestling, baseball and yes even 9 ball, Blair understands what it takes to build and become a champion. His knowledge of the fight game comes from both his many years of competition in combat sports and just being an over the top, nearly fanatical fan of the sport. We call him Dr. Fightstein.
“MMA is not just the greatest sport of all time but the greatest competition the world has ever seen. No other sport can match the physical gruel, the mental aptitude, the focused devotion, nor the purity of two individuals in competition.” – Blair AKA (Dr. Fightstein)
Blair like so many others began following AKA and their fighters after watching season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). He was blown away by the talent and dedication of a much smaller fighter in the competition, Mike Swick, and felt a huge connection with “Bad Boy” Josh Koscheck and his wrestling background. Blair followed the AKA Gym and it’s fighters closely and soon saw the fight wins and belts in the UFC pile up with fighters from AKA with a wrestling base.
In late 2012 Blair heard that Mike was in Phuket and was introduced to him through a friend. They immediately hit it off and kept in touch while Mike was in the planning stages of building a gym in Phuket. As Blair got to know Mike better his respect for his determination and work ethic continued to grow and soon discussions of working together really began to make sense. Blair was getting involved at the very highest level in something he had so much knowledge and passion for and Mike had found an investor that knew both the sport and business up and down. Having spent more than 20 years in Thailand, Blair’s input and experience was essential in the building and administration of the project and really allowed Mike to focus on his dream of creating one the most successful gyms on the planet.
Blair Speers has spent most of his career working in a high stress, competitive, billion-dollar business atmosphere. He has now come full circle back to his home Phuket, to create something tangible, something his heart is completely behind, where he can go every day and meet his students and work to understand what can make their experience even better. Blair joined Mike Swick for the chance to help build something new, literally from the ground up, and to use his vast knowledge of business strategies and customer service to redefine what a training facility should be. Blair and Mike are the perfect team, each with their own skill-sets that when put together will push the boundaries of what a gym can do for aspiring fighters, students of the sport, and anyone interested in bettering themselves both physically and mentally.