Gyms Around The World: All Powers

Evolve Vacation introduces a new series called, “Gyms Around The World!” With this new series, we will introduce you to the world’s top martial arts schools in every country.

Back in the 1860’s, Hallam Mill was a cotton mill which eventually went on to become the Squirrel sweet factory. Fast forward to present day, this building is one of the few surviving buildings in Stockport town to have played a major role in the Industrial Revolution.

Today, it houses All Powers gym, along with several other businesses and studios. It was at this exact place where numerous laborers toiled and strived with every fiber of their beings, all in the name of yielding great results, hence making it a rather great fit for All Powers. Whether it’s the trainers or fighters, everyone at All Powers gives 100% to every training session to as to fulfil their goals.

Want to take a closer look at All Powers? Today, Evolve Vacation speaks to Muay Thai world champion and head instructor, Panicos Yusuf.

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How did you get involved in martial arts? 

As a typical self conscious teenager, I signed up for a gym membership to bulk for the summer, and stumbled upon Muay Thai when I saw a guy kicking a bag in the studio room with Thai music on. The full contact and the fact that you could use all 8 limbs got me hooked to the sport right away.

What’s your favorite thing about martial arts?

My favorite thing about it is all the new people you get to meet (I met my wife through Muay Thai!) and all the countries you get to travel to. I love the mutual respect and the hunger to share new techniques, ideas, views and tips… We all share a common interest.

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What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your martial arts career? 

My biggest challenge I’ve faced and continue to face till this day, is to be able to juggle teaching, training and spending time with my wife and daughter.

What do you consider your biggest martial arts accomplishment? 

I have won many titles and fought big names in the sport, but I still have not accomplished what I have set out to do as a martial artist, and that’s reaching perfection in terms of speed, timing, power and fight IQ. I feel like I’m getting closer to my goal everyday, but I still have a long way to go.

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What do you believe are the main benefits of training martial arts? 

For me, the main benefits of martial arts is the positive change in lifestyle. You can achieve physical and mental strength – I think nothing beats mental strength. As a result of those, you look and feel better, your confidence increases, you’re a lot happier and calmer, and you’re also able to handle pressure and stress better.

When and why did you start All Powers? 

All Powers gym was started in 2013. Before that, it was called ‘Stockport Thai Fighters’, which was run by my instructor, Paul Tite. He eventually passed the gym on to me. Paul gave me the start I needed to achieve what I have today, and I still have his support to this day.

What’s your favorite thing about running a martial arts gym? 

My favorite part about running a martial arts gym is that I’m able to share with people something that makes their lives better. I also like the bond that is fostered between everyone… It gives you that family feeling.

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What are you most proud of about All Powers? 

What makes me proud of All Powers gym are the fighters and their parents… The time and effort they dedicate and sacrifice to be in everyday to prepare for a fight. There is no “team” as such when you’re in the ring, but the team is in the gym where everyone is helping and supporting each other to improve and get ready for a fight.

What advice would you give to someone beginning their martial arts journey? 

My advice to someone beginning their journey in martial arts is to make sure you ENJOY IT! There is no point in putting all that effort into something your heart’s really not into. There are so many different disciplines in martial arts to choose from, so find the one that suits you.

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Who are some martial artists you admire? 

Some martial artists that I admire, are the ones that are as hungry to share their knowledge as well as learn. My instructor Paul Tite, my former instructor Liam Robinson, and also Petch-ake and Phet-O of the Sitjaopho gym. I also admire those close to me that help make me a better martial artist… My wife Cara, business partner Jamie Alaise and my gym family – without their continual support I would not be able to progress.

How does your philosophy for martial arts differ from those of other instructors/coaches?

I think all instructors/coaches share similar typical philosophies, but for me the main philosophy I live by is ‘If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail’. It’s a little cheesy, but everyone has that one thing that they look back to for motivation/inspiration and that is passed on to the students regardless of whether it was intended to or not.

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