One of Australia's Pioneers of Kickboxing and Martial Arts, Mick is a master of many disciplines. An icon of the industry with many accolades, trophies and magazine covers, Mick went from being one of Australia's best fighters to being one of Australia's most respected trainers.
Fast forward to the present day and there's a stack of trophies, world title belts, UFC contracts, numerous gyms, stamps in the passport with fights around the globe. Read on to see how Mick has evolved Double Dragon into the world class facility we have in Sutherland today.
While working in regional NSW as a mechanic on large earthmoving equipment, Mick first tried the sport of Karate as a way to pass the time. Instantly hooked, Mick quickly progressed through the ranks and earned his Karate black belt in 1976. Mick competed in the Karate 'point scoring' competitions in the 70's, but was disillusioned after being disqualified from a major competition for leg sweeping another competitor.
Enter Sifu Chan Cheuk Fai and Jin Wu Koon Kung Fu. Straight away Mick was humbled by the skill, discipline and refinement of this Kung Fu style, and so he retired his Karate black belt and started as a beginner in Jin Wu Koon Kung Fu under Sifu Chan.
Mick became extremely passionate about the Shaolin Jin Wu Koon Kung Fu style, and worked tirelessly over the next few years to progress through the grades, eventually reaching the master grade of red sash in September 1982.
After reaching red sash, Mick's next chapter was a mix of mastering traditional weaponry balanced with full contact fighting.
The Martial Arts scene in the 1980's was very different to what we see now. There were no UFC contracts or live-streamed international events, and really very little money to be made as a professional athlete. Nevertheless, there was a hardcore group of fighters who did it for the love of the sport and the thrill of the competition.
Mick was at the top of the scene in Australian kickboxing and kung fu, staying undefeated his entire career and defending his Australian title on numerous occasions before his retirement from competition in 1984.
Mick also won the World Kung Fu tournament in Malaysia in 1981 and fought Lumpinee Muay Thai champion Puyat Penchai in Hong Kong which ended in a draw between these two world class fighters.
Another notable appearance was two demo bouts with famous American kickboxing world champion (and movie choreographer) Benny 'The Jet' Urquidez.
As Mick's competitive career was coming to a close, Mick set upon some new challenges as a martial artist; he opened the first Double Dragon gym in Kingsford and put his efforts towards coaching the next generation of Australian kickboxing and MMA champions.
The popularity of fight sports grew in the 80's and 90's, and under Mick's tutelage Double Dragon would breed some of the Australia's best fighters, including Grant ‘Bomber' Barker, Peter Blumson, Will Soulos, Ian Schaffa, Ricky Chivers, Jim Savage, Bas Koutsikous, Ali Atoui, Stuart Coulson and Mark Russell.
As a coach mick would travel the world taking some of the top professionals to fight on the biggest stages in competitive fighting. As Grant Barker's coach, ‘the bomber' would defend his Commonwealth heavyweight title 14 times, which opened up the doors to bigger and better fights overseas. Mick and Grant would visit Japan to take on K-1 legend Peter Aerts and Russia to face Vitali Klitschko. Mick would also coach Grant to win the World WKA Cruiserweight title.
In the late 90's Mick and his family relocated to the Sutherland Shire in Southern Sydney (near Cronulla). Briefly Mick started teaching kickboxing classes at the Sutherland PCYC, but with a large demand for a quality Martial Arts Gym in the Sutherland Shire, Mick was keen to find a permanent home for Double Dragon where he could grow the gym into a world class training facility. That brings us to the current location: 55 East Parade Sutherland.
Now in this new Sutherland location with a fully equipped gym at their hands mick would train a new generation of Double Dragon legends who would take titles and make waves in Australian kickboxing and MMA. Names like Cameron Johnston, Ian Schaffa, Mark Fenwick, Glen Middleton, Tim Newton, Haden Frankenfield and Jaden Dempsey were splashed over fight posters and more often than not the fight team would enter a battle and end up with their hand raised.
One of Double Dragon's most exciting fighters would start making a name for himself in a country where fighters were a household name. Ian Schaffa would soon have his photo all over Japanese newspapers. Mick and Ian made many trips to Japan to fight on some of the biggest Kickboxing and MMA shows in front of sold out stadiums and worldwide media coverage. Ian would take on legends like Masato and Genki Sudo fighting in K-1, Sengoku and Shootboxing tournaments.
With the success of some of the Double Dragon fighters, the word was out in the Shire and beginner Kickboxing, Dragon Fist Freestyle, Kung Fu and BJJ classes started to fill up with keen guys and girls looking to get fit and learn from the best. Another group of younger champs emerged and we saw names like Craig Ruddiman, Shane Greenwood, Rowan Sangster, Heath McManus, Nick Black, Chris & Ben Chan, Christine Hawkins and Mikaila Derome making a name for themselves on the kickboxing scene.
Throughout the previous ten or so years, Mick had also been leading a personal quest to master Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. BJJ, a relatively new martial art, was completely different to any of the other styles Mick had ever seen and he became utterly addicted. Initially doing seminars with the highly regarded John Will from Melbourne, Mick eventually met Brazilian Black Belts Alex Prates and Bernardo 'Trekko' Magalhaes and started trading stand up coaching for BJJ lessons from these two amazing BJJ artists.
Around this time MMA was booming and the Double Dragon fight team boasted some of Australia's top MMA fighters alongside our kickboxers. The team would fight on shows all over the country, including Proud Warrior Productions, CFC, Warriors Realm and Xplosion. Trekko was unbeatable at this stage and managed to take the CFC title which would lead to a massive opportunity on the world stage: the UFC. Mick and Trekko would visit the U.S.A. twice to fight for the UFC, the world's largest MMA promotion.
Mick has continued his quest to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and currently wears a Brown belt - no small feat for a 63 year old. Mick's devotion to health and fitness is certainly the reason he is still kicking goals and moving forward as a martial artist.
Double Dragon's primary objective is to guide students into a better quality of life. The foundation for this is the real life skills learnt from our Martial Arts systems which build confidence, self esteem & learn about your body. As Sifu Mick Spinks says, “you make martial arts a little part of your life and you acquire great gains”.
Many people realise the benefits of a strong mind and body. A lot of people even do their own strength training but generally it's not very effective and can even be downright counterproductive. We have realised the benefits of correct strength training, and encourage our students to work with our trainers to balance out their body which results in people making huge gains towards their martial arts and life goals.
Double Dragon personal trainers will do extensive testing to identify an individual's strengths and weaknesses and write a productive strength & conditioning program that reduces the risk of injury and balances the body.
Another area in our society which seems to create a great deal of confusion is nutrition. This piece of the puzzle goes hand in hand with strength training, and increase an individual's training gains as well as quality of life. To get the most out of the relationship between diet and training, Double Dragon coaches are qualified practitioners in the Charles Poliquin™ BioSignature system. This system uses an extensive evaluation process to identify where body fat is stored & the hormone imbalances that are creating this. Nutritional guidance is given to help clients develop and manage a lean strong body.