This Saturday night local athletes will be challenging for Provincial and National kickboxing titles at Mile One Centre, and the event marks the biggest amateur kickboxing event to ever be held in Atlantic Canada: the Alpha Dog Kickboxing-Marked Territory. What’s better than earning the right to compete in such a prestigious event you ask? Maybe being the headliner and hometown favourite vying for the title of Canadian Light Heavyweight Low Kick Champion will do the trick.

Mount Pearl native Steve Ryan will be doing just that this weekend fighting Ontarian Jeff Brown in the main event. But with hometown advantage comes a little added pressure; Ryan may be fighting for a National title, but admits that his pride is on the line, especially with the threat of friends “Disowning” him should he lose.

Ryan shouldn’t have any fears, considering his intense training regime. Ryan’s training schedule consists of 2-3 sessions per day, 5-6 times a week – as many as 18 training sessions per week. These sessions include anything from distance running, sprints of the Signal Hill trail (up!), along with technique training and kickboxing classes in the evenings. Not surprisingly, Ryan feels that he’s “In the best shape [he’s] ever been in.” Ryan has a busy, yet impressive, dedication to his training, and still manages to juggle working as a flight dispatcher and fathering 3 month old daughter Ava.

One of the main factors going into any major competition is the experience you bring. Ryan has no shortage in this department having competed in numerous Provincial, National and International events, most recently winning 2 gold medals at the 2011 South Africa vs. Canada International Championships. Ryan also won 2 gold medals in 2004 at the WPKA World Championships held in Greece. Ryan began martial arts in 1992 in kenpo karate. In 2003 he started light contact kickboxing and transitioned to full contact kickboxing in 2006. Ryan is also a 3rd degree black belt under Mike Foley Sr.

Saturday’s event should make for an exciting night in downtown St. John’s, showcasing the best amateur kickboxing this province and Canada has to offer. Make your way down to Alpha Dog Kickboxing-Marked Territory to cheer on Steve Ryan in his quest for a National title, and other local athletes this weekend. The event gets underway at 7:30pm at Mile One Centre, Saturday, July 23.

People think that if you’re tough or a brawler that you can ‘fight’, when in fact it takes a lot of skill, training, determination and discipline to succeed as a ‘kickboxer’.” –Steve Ryan