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1986-87 Tauranga Freestyle Team

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1986-87-Tauranga-Freestyle-TeamPhoto: Trainer Pat Bishop (standing far right) with some of the gym members and their trophies.

Article: Bay of Plenty Times - 1987

Kickboxers Excel

With the start of this year’s boxing and kickboxing tournament season now under way, Tauranga’s Freestyle Fitness Centre is training its competitors for upcoming events.

Trainer Pat Bishop has had some excellent results from his competitors since opening the gym in February 1985.

Since then they have contested 102 bouts, winning 56 of them. Included in those wins are three national titles and a number of provincial titles. Last year was the most successful yet, especially in the kickboxing arena with 17 wins out of 22 bouts.

Boxing was more prominent in 1986 with 18 wins out of 29 bouts.

Current top competitors at the gym include Tauranga butcher Murray Milgrew, who holds the WKC national welterweight kickboxing title and the New Zealand welterweight Thai boxing title.

The other national title held by the gym is the 1986 national boxing improver class light-middleweight won by Robert Sissons. Sissons has since moved up to the open grade where he is also performing with considerable success.

But the guy, situated in Cameron Road above Robbie Dean Motorcycles, is not just for the completion-minded, said Mr Bishop. “We have boxing classes on Tuesday and Thursday from 6.30pm till 8pm, and kickboxing classes on Monday and Wednesday at the same time. These are both excellent self-defence methods, and nobody has to go into the ring if they don’t want to. Most people who take part in the classes don’t want to go in the ring. The ring is mainly for those who are training for a tournament.”

The gym is open daily from 4pm till 8.30pm during the week and from 1pm till 5pm on Saturday, and Mr Bishop said anyone who was keen to learn a little self-defence or who wants to get into kickboxing or boxing is welcome.