Team Spotlight: Strike-Force Gym New Zealand

Founder: Aaron Boyes

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Aaron started Martial Arts when he was 12 years old. By the time he was 16 – 17 Aaron was running his own Martial Arts Club as their instructor left. He was a senior student and our club was going to die so Aaron took it over and started teaching. It grew from there. It was the last thing Aaron wanted to do at the time, he was just doing Martial Arts for himself. Aaron didn’t really want to be a teacher but he got pushed into the position, and carried on from there.

Aaron had about 75 Thai Boxing fights, 1 MMA fight and over 100 full contact Martial Arts fights.

His titles are the ff:

5 x NZ Light Heavyweight champion
2 x South Pacific Middleweight champion
1 x WKBF Super Middleweight champion

Strike-Force Gym

Address: 10 Drury St.  New Lynn.  Auckland.

Phone: (09) 827 1222

Aaron Boyes founded Strikeforce Gym. He began training when he was around 12 years old and by the time he was 17 he was running the club as his Instructor had to leave. And Strikeforce Gym evolved from this. Aaron’s focus over the years moved from full-contact martial arts fighting to a more pure Muay Thai Style and he has had incredible success himself ( winning a world title ) and with his students.

The Strike Force story started in 1988 with the opening of two clubs, one in Avondale and Blockhouse Bay teaching children only. It wasn’t called Strike Force at the time.

In 1992, the club changed their name to Strike Force Gym and would open the 1st full time gym in Avondale with adult classes in 1993.

In 2005 Strike Force Gym would outgrow its Avondale location after 12 years and move to Drury Street New Lynn.

Over the years Strike Force Gym has benefitted from trainers of vast experience and standards of excellence.  Head coach Aaron Boyes brings the following credentials to the Muay Thai (kickboxing) class- 5 x NZ Light Heavyweight champion, 2 x South Pacific Middleweight champion, 1 x WKBF Super Middleweight champion. MMA Head Coach Karl Webber brings 10 years of experience in the cage, sport jiu-jitsu, winning 6 national titles and was the first New Zealander to compete in Abu Dhabi in 2000.

Today Strike Force Gym trains Muay Thai (Kickboxing), Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) over a busy weekly schedule.  Strike Force Gym prides itself on proper training techniques and the right attitude in a fun and positive gym environment.

Strike Force has produced many champions and continues to do so, but more importantly it is a supportive and positive environment for people to come and learn martial arts.

Strike-Force Gym’s top 5 fighters according to Karl Webber (Strike-Force’s mma Manager/Trainer):

Karl Webber: “We also have a number of fighters just outside this top 5 who will be emerging in the near future. look out for these young guys
Cole Davids, Kai Kara-France, Mark Abelardo and Gareth Ealey – very very talented”.

1 Sam “Striker” Brown

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2 “Hot” Rod McSwain

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3 Pat “Luchidore” Crawley

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4 Daniel Hooker

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5 Forrest Goodwin

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For more informations about Strike-Force gym visit their official website Here.

“Hot” Rod Macswain picture before grappling at TUF auditions

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Rod MacSwain moments before he took the mat at the TUF auditions today/tonight in Las Vegas.


Rod is done with pads, he rocked it and has been selected for an interview! –

Rod’s message for his fans“Thanks for the support guys, been a long day and I feel like its been worth it!”

[Lates update from Rod’s TUF tryout]

“Made it through the grappling round after a tough kimura battle with an american dude with big guns, then Brice put us through some wicked pads that impressed Joe Silva to the next round, less than 8 out of 50+ went through to the interviews with Dana and the crew, ‘Are you maori?’ NZ polynesian brother, and then 21 other questions.”


Legend FC’s Rod Macswain: “I want to work my way back to title contention”

"Hot" Rod Macswain Photo by:

Rod MacSwain exploded onto the New Zealand MMA scene in late 2008.

A naturally gifted athlete, after seeing MMA on TV for the first time, MacSwain enrolled himself at elite New Zealand MMA academy Strike Force the next day, and took his first fight two months later.

Over the next 12 months, MacSwain racked up an impressive 8-1 record across Australia and New Zealand, establishing himself as one of the region’s top pound-for-pound fighters.

Now a part of Legend FC’s ultra-competitive welterweight division, MacSwain looks forward to representing his home country as he proves himself against some of the best fighters from throughout the Asia-Pacific.

MMAOrient: First of all we at congratulates you on your latest victory against South Korea’s Lee Yong Jae.


Thank you.

MMAOrient: Tell us about your Martial Arts background.


I’ve been training and fighting for three and a half years now out of STRIKEFORCE gym New Zealand. We train Muay thai Kickboxing under Aaron Boyes, Grappling under John Bell and Dion Teau and MMA under Karl Webber and Kaota Puna.

Before that I played alot of Rugby union and Rugby League which can contribute to my MMA game also. Along with a very short time in TKD, Boxing and wrestling.

MMAOrient: How did you get into the sport of MMA?


Always been a fan of fighting and competing of any form.
When I stopped playing Rugby I needed something to take its place.

I saw MMA a few times on tv and when I saw a movie which went into more detail of what MMA is and requires it was clear that this is for me. The next day I researched MMA in NZ and turned up for my first class at Strikeforce gym, three years later I’m still there nearly everyday.

MMAOrient: Can you tell us about your thoughts on your latest triumph over the South Korean fighter?


I Trained very hard for that fight but still feel my performance wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted it to be.

I didn’t feel hundred percent going into the fight due to a few things but no one does these days. Jae was very tough and surprised us with his southpaw stance as we were unaware of this.

Aaron helped adapt my game after the first round and Karl provided the directions verbally while on the ground. I felt safe and in control and was happy to get the win.

MMAOrient: We obviously saw the improvement of your game on your last fight at Legend FC 6 most especially in your boxing skills. What was your game plan against Lee Yong Jae that night?


Gameplan was to test the waters in the first round and try adapt and find a weakness and work it in our favour.
Alot of mixed striking and takedowns where necessary. Stay on top and try find a finish but Jae proved to be very tough.

MMAOrient: Do you want a rematch with Bae Myung Ho?


I want to work my way back to title contention definitely. Bae is tough and the road will consist of intense and correct training and decisions.

MMAOrient:  Tell us about what went wrong on your title defense against Bae, because many of your fans said that you seemed different when you fought Bae.


Just one of those things I guess, the Level at Legend FC is world class and expecting to compete at this level without the right preparation is a mistake.

I’ve now dedicated myself to the sport entirely (fulltime) in order to remedy the holes in my game and training in every aspect.

MMAOrient: Who do you want to fight next?


Zike Sugawara or who ever Legend FC feel my next move is. (laughs)

MMAOrient: Who’s your biggest inspiration?


I’m inspired all the time. At strikeforce gym i must have spent hours gazing at the wall of fight posters filled with New Zealands World Champion Strikers, Ray Sefo, Mark Hunt, David Tua, Choppa Chapman, Aaron Boyes, Jordan Tai, Jason Suttie, Doug Viney. I think to myself, if they can do it then so can I, as they all trained and fought for New Zealand just as I am doing right now.

Only difference is a world title.
Now when I look at the wall of posters, I see Sam Brown, Pat Crawley, Gareth Ealey, Daniel Hooker, Myself, Ben Sisam, Ricky Campbell and many more of the younger generation of Strikeforce Fighters who are coming through the ranks. Thats inspiring.

Who wouldve thought looking at a wall to be so inspirational.

Just watching and training alongside people also helps to motivate and push me. Training alongside Top Lightweight Adrian Pang at I.M.A was inspirational, anyone who has will agree.

MMAOrient: What is your favorite strike/submission to use in any fight?


Neither. Earlier in my career I was known to lift up and Slam my oponent into the canvas. Something I haven’t done in a while. Legend FC 7 maybe?

Rod Macswain (black trunks) slamming his opponent

MMAOrient: What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career?


As someone who helped take New Zealand MMA to the next Level and beyond.

Rod Macswain pulling a kimura from the top

MMAOrient:  Any people/sponsors you would like to thank?


Strikeforce gym NZ – Aaron, Karl and the brothers.
NZ – Brett Sample – Kim and Jase
Supreme Fitness Solutions – PT Shoneel Singh
Ludus Magnus – Conditioning with Phil and Joe
DEMON energy drink – Steve and Matt
Hybrid Fighter
Legend FC – Mike, Chris and Aaron
The trainers and fighters of NZ TOP TEAM – official NZ Fight team
My Family, Mom and Dad, my brother Jim and sister Kat.
The team at – Zike
Ashlee and all the people who believed in me, I’m doing this for them and for the Lord.

Get the latest updates on Rod’s training by adding him on his Facebook account: Click Here

Visit Strike Force Gym NZ Here or go to Legend FC’s official website.