The Original Bulldog Gym (as it is now known) was established by Terry Butwell (pictured below) in East London in the mid-80's. Responsible for many of the early pioneers of Kick & Thai Boxing in the UK The Bulldog Gym remained at the top of the tree, setting a standard for others to follow. Early legends such as Jeff Watts and Graham Brockway all passed through the skilled hands of Buttwell en route to their successful careers.
Terry Butwell has always wanted to retain his identity and to this end his gym's still operate as "The Original Bulldog Gym" out of the east end of London, where he continues to turn out quality athletes.
The original incarnation spawned a number of fighters and associates who (with Butwells blessing) adopted the Bulldog name when opening their own academies.
These included Nick Stone, who now runs the Bulldog Gym chain of acadamies in Australia and over the last 20 years has produced some of the most successful fighters in the country including the McKinnon brothers Stuart & Steve. In 2002 he was recognised by Australia's Blitz magazine and awarded the title of "Trainer of the year".
There are now a dozen Bulldog Gyms in Australia, each producing their own champions and instructors for the future. Nick Stone still heads up the operation from his Sydney HQ.
Check them out HERE. And if you ever fancy a training holiday, we will set you up!
Another Bulldog protoge was Dave Martin who challenged for British & European titles in Kickboxing before embarking on a successful Boxing career in the USA. He vacated the city and moved to Bournemouth, setting up his own academy and soon he also adopted the Bulldog brand name.
Again the successes followed almost straight away with a small team of fighters including Ashley Warshawsky, Jessica Corzo, Graham Ponsonby, Jamie Bascombe, Spencer Cuckney & Carl Sams. Boxing coach Colin Bascombe also joined the instructor team and became a valuable part of the operation. See right the reunion picture featuring Bascombe (jnr & snr), Sams, Corzo & Martin. It was their first meeting in almost 20 years.
At this time Carl Sams was cross training with Thai legend Master Lec (Arjarn) in Muay Thai and Dave Martin in Kickboxing. Upon Martin's departure the club existed for a period as a short lived co-operative of the above fighters before disbanding. The loss of a premises and the departure of various key people to other parts of the county (and world) produced the need for a natural re-structure.
THE NEXT GENERATION:
Within a year Carl Sams relaunched the club and began developing it into the the success it has become today. He gained Instructor qualifications with a number of Kick & Thai Boxing organisations furthering his quest for knowledge but mostly favoured the Muay Thai side.
The early 90's saw the club grow and become very successful and the arrival of Kickboxing legend Trevor Ambrose (pic left) helped to consolidate that.
The team of Ambrose and Sams (pic right, joking as usual at one of their many reunions) delivered champion after champion throughout the decade in both Thai & Kickboxing and from the mid-90's the Bulldog Martial Arts Academy was opened at it's present site in Old Christchurch Road. The "Fight Factory" as it was called also played host to many other top name fighters from around the country who graced the Bulldog training ring in preparation for big contests.
Ambrose, already a World champion continued to compete and Sams took the role of coaching him. With the help of Manager (and yet another industry legend) Billy Murrey, Ambrose went on to become a 5 x World Champion.
Ambrose emigrated to Norway during the early part of the new decade leaving Sams to focus on the development of the sport in all areas which is how we have come to the stage we are at today. The pair continue to work together constantly which has helped to move fighters forward and give them opportunity to compete across the globe.
Check out what's going on in Norway HERE. And if you fancy a training holiday, we will set you up!
HERE & NOW: Kickboxing - Thai Boxing - MMA - Boxing & Beyond!
Bulldog Ultimate Training Academy caters for everyone. Fitness, self-defence, victims of bullying, those seeking self improvment, Old, Young, overweight, underweight, fighters, non-fighters. We recognised a long time ago that combat sports benefit just about anyone, and for many different reasons.
Whilst it is true that we have an excellent worldwide reputation for producing quality competitors, this is a specific area and in fact 80% of our members do not compete at all.
Our team of Instructors are mostly home grown having worked their way through the popular instructors / leadership program. In addition we have Conditioning coaches, a company Physio, a Dietician and a top Sports management team.
The Bulldog Network is now one of the key players in the combat industry across all levels and will continue to improve and instigate new initiatives in it's quest for martial arts excellence!
For in-depth profiles of our Instructors click HERE.