The latest Canadian Kickboxing Super Featherweight Champion, this humble athlete fills us in with what drives him and makes him step into the ring again and again. His mantra: achievement is in the effort.

Darren began training in the discipline of Muay Thai Kickboxing in June of 1990 at the age of 20, receiving Kru status in 2003. He has since taken his knowledge and skill and put it towards building an impressive fight record with many championship titles. Darren’s passion for the sport has made it possible for him to transition to instructing and now coaching. Peak Muay Thai is a place where Darren can give the best instruction to his students, all levels included from first timer to seasoned veteran.

How did you get into kickboxing?
Growing up, I was the kid who got picked on. I decided that kickboxing was a great opportunity to learn to defend myself and grow myself as an athlete and person.

How do you discipline and motivate yourself in preparation for competition?
Thai boxing is based on discipline and head smarts. If you go out too strong you will fade fast. It is judged not in the early stages but close to the end, when each opponent must fight carefully to win. I enjoy the mental process one must undergo to compete well. This sport has taught me how to balance myself, inside and outside the ring.

I believe kickboxing and Muay Thai has given me the confidence and determination to accomplish anything I desire if I want it bad enough. It has also been a great crossover into other activities in my life such as white water kayaking, rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering. I consider it an honour to teach my passion to others and help them reach their “peak” potential.

What does your typically training week look like?
I do a lot of cardio, swimming, running and core activity. I listen to my body and work as it tells or allows me to. I train between two and three hours per day, six days a week. Talisman Centre offers so many options. I can swim one hour and move into running stairs the next.

What has been your greatest accomplishment in this sport?
I prefer to boast no major accomplishment. I fight for my own desire to fight and not for titles or awards. I strive for self betterment. Through the years I have gained an understanding of balance and a deep appreciation for the effort it takes to prepare oneself for competition. I have learned to work with what I have and found ways to deepen it further. I can lose a fight as fast as I can win one. Many people forget to keep that in check. I broke my foot in a fight in 2005 but continued to fight and win.

You also coach and instruct. What do you enjoy most about it?
I feed off the positive energy of others. It is part of what draws me into this facility. I need my music or a body running beside me to train well. I love coaching those willing to push past what they believe is their limits and accomplish great things. I find the power of a woman’s will to achieve particularly inspiring. I try to empower my athletes to push past their threshold.

How do you lead your clients and athletes?
I train them quite hard but provide a great deal of encouragement. I love the challenge to become greater and stronger in mind and body and do what I can to pass that to those I work with. I remember where I came from. It takes confidence and a willingness to have fun and to make mistakes to achieve.

What are your goals?
My number one goal is to be involved in the National Rowing Team program. This is what I am training for. In the meantime, I would like to achieve my personal best 2000m time this summer.

What major competitions do you have coming up?
I compete in Lethbridge in November for the first time as a professional.

Do you have a “dream” competition?
The “mecca” of Muay Thai is Lumpinee, a stadium in Bangkok. To go there and fight as a pro would be an incredible and lifelong accomplishment.

How do you see your retirement from kickboxing?
I said I was going to retire in 2003! I took a little time off for life. I would like to compete for two to three more years, then settle into coaching more. I love instructing and want to pass on what I know to those willing to take it on.

Darren can be found teaching the drop-in Kickboxing Cardio class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and registered kickboxing classes Tuesday and Thursday evenings.


Mon - Fri 5am - 11pm
Saturday 6am - 10pm
Sunday 7am - 10pm
No registered classes on statutory holidays

2225 Macleod Trail S.
Calgary AB T2G 5B6
Ph. (403) 233-8393
Fx. (403) 262-1001