Meet The Team
KARATE – KICKBOXING
I was introduced to Martial Arts at an early age via Karate and then Judo. My Dad was a Karate Blackbelt and had his own dojo but like most things when you’re young I took it for granted and didn’t realise that not everyone had this exposure.
It wasn’t until I finished High School with absolutely no idea what was next that I realised training Martial Arts was all I really wanted to do with my life.
Over 30+ years I have trained in various other disciplines including Kung Fu, Kickboxing, Boxing, Thai Boxing and BJJ. My original goals were to “just be good at something” and know how to fight.
This lead me to travel to different dojos and Gyms to learn as much as possible and be the best martial artist I could be.
I started fighting competitively not to win trophies or be a Champion but to test myself, however what I gained most was the mental and spiritual growth one develops by taking on and overcoming something difficult or challenging.
These are the true benefits that come from training and fighting, benefits that carry well over to everyday life.
The most important thing that Martial Arts has given me though, is my “WHY”. The Martial Arts lifestyle has opened up so many benefits for me but discovering my reason for being, my passion, something I didn’t even realise I was looking for but found is everything. It had been under my nose since I put on my first Gi at 6 years old but things happen when they are supposed to and that’s how my path travelled. Hopefully I can help people find something they didn’t realise they were looking for through Martial Arts too.
BRAZILIAN JIUJITSU – Head instructor
Giorgio Rojas’s experience in fitness and martial arts began at the age of 7 in his native country Peru, where he started learning Karate Shotokan.
When his family migrated to Australia at the age of 13, he continued with different styles such as Kick Boxing and Filipino Stick Fighting.
As a 15-year-old, Giorgio started studying the Chinese art of Praying Mantis Boxing, but after 5 years his back problems did not allow him to continue.
Determined to pursue his journey, he discovered the smooth art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the year 2000, where 10 years into his Jiu-Jitsu training, he started teaching and is still teaching today.
Giorgio is a well-known, humble Jiu-Jitsu coach that received his black belt under Felipe Grez.
Among other things he is a Certified Kettlebell Teacher and Master Trainer, Australian Head Coach and one of the first in Australia to be certified by world class trainer Steve Cotter.
Our Muay Thai trainer Terry Kounsavat brings to Monstarzen a wealth of knowledge and experience with over a decade in the fight game.
Starting in his 20’s at the legendary Bulldog Gym,Terry was coached and cornered by the guru Krhu Nick Stone. Originally starting training just for fitness he was slowly introduced to the full benefits and warrior mindset Martial Arts has to offer and took his training further to compete at amateur and professional levels in kickboxing and Muay Thai.
A professional in the finance sector,Terry is a big believer in the benefits martial arts training has to offer to escape the grind and stress of the corporate world,even if it’s just a short time out of your busy week.
As a coach Terry is excited to give students the opportunity to discover the benefits of Muay Thai,from learning the art and technique to all the way to competition.
Terry’s belts and trophies bely his humble approach to Martial Arts and we are privileged to have him as a member of our coaching staff.
I’m Alex and I started Judo in my homeland of Germany (land of pretzels and yodelling…kind of) when I was 4 years old. In the 18 years since I would go so far as saying Judo has shaped my lifestyle more than anything else (aside from Brownies)and has been a huge factor in my life.
In the last 5 years I have instructed in Germany with a Judo B-Grade Trainer Certificate, Judo examiner and referee licences and a 2nd Degree Black Belt.
You have probably noticed how involved I am in this sport,(call me a fanatic if you will),and this is because Judo has given me so much that I want to give something back.
The community, the competition, the fitness, the mental benefits have all contributed greatly in my personal development and I wouldn’t trade it for anything”
Boxing – Head coach
I’ll always remember the first day I walked into my first boxing gym in my small home town in New Zealand.
I was a chubby 13 year old and I got into boxing because of boarding school and no not the nice kind. It was rough and the food was bad but if I hadn’t of got beaten up there one afternoon I might of never found boxing.
When I walked into the gym I instantly fell in love with the posters of Muhammad Ali on the wall, the bag chains smashing against each other, even the smell hooked me in. I’ve been boxing ever since.
In the last 9 years of boxing I’ve been fortunate enough to gain incredible experience and see most of New Zealand and Australia through competing.I’ve competed at 3 New Zealand National championships, 3 New Zealand Golden Gloves, 1 Australasian Golden Gloves Championship and an Auckland Championship.I’ve managed to win a NZ national title, 2 Silvers, 2 NZ Golden Gloves ,1 Australasian Title and an Auckland Title.
My love and journey in boxing is still continuing to this day and I hope to expand my knowledge of the boxing game through not only competing but now coaching.
YOGA – KICKBOXING – KARATE
I started classical ballet at the tender age of 8 and i guess you could say that set precedent for the creative movement and discipline that I like so much about Martial Arts training.
My Ballet studies carried me through to The Sydney Dance Company whilst I was at Uni but once I graduated and entered the corporate world any kind of extra curricular activities fell by the wayside.
The stresses and work environment of corporate life gave me a clear insight into how unhealthy and more importantly unbalanced life can get and sowed the seeds of a career change or at least a change of being in my mind.
I really found my stride in martial arts at the age of 19. It started to make sense to me: the philosophy, teachings, discipline and the training. I competed in a number of local, state and national full contact tournaments then travelled to Japan to continue my study of full contact karate.
I trained there under the guidance of a world champion for 2 years and competed in local and prefecture tournaments while there. I also had the fortune of training BJJ under Professor Ishikawa for 2 years when living in Japan in 2008.
I competed in several BJJ tournaments and started to see how the arts blend and work together.
Martial arts is a way of living your life. The lessons transcend beyond the mats and into every day. Martial arts has made me stronger, both physically and mentally, and also given me many life long friends. I love that I will never know it all and must keep studying.
“A human life gains luster and strength only when it is polished and tempered”. This is what martial arts does for me.