About United Thai Boxing & MMA
United Thai Boxing & MMA was established after the Triangle’s only Muay Thai-based training gym closed suddenly in 2012. The founders quickly realized that no other gym in the Triangle area offered authentic Muay Thai-based training with the same frequency and quality they were used to. United Thai Boxing & MMA was created to fill this void for everyone from novices looking for a great kickboxing workout to professional Muay Thai and MMA fighters. We chose the name “United Thai Boxing & MMA” because our members are United by a love for Muay Thai, mixed martial arts and the desire to help each other improve through hard work.
We offer training through a combination of group classes, private instruction, and open gym hours. Our culture is built on:
- Excellent, technique-focused instruction provided by teachers that have trained extensively in authentic Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Boxing, Capoeira and other mixed martial arts disciplines
- Obtaining results through hard work
- A community that encourages discipline, accountability and a sense of family regardless of your training goals
Our classes focus on teaching proper technique to all of our students, regardless of skill level. With a broad range of members from novices looking to develop skills and get a great workout to experienced amateur/professional fighters, as well as everything in between, we welcome you to join us regardless of your experience or training goals. All that we ask of you is to train hard up to your current fitness and ability.
Anthony “Turbo” Bui
Comes from Rio de Janeiro Brazil, where he began training Capoeira at age 12 with Mestre Paulinho Sabia of group Capoeira Brazil. In 2001 he came to the US and has since performed for Nike and the Texas State Fair. He has taught Capoeira at the University of New Mexico and in NYC at New York University (NYU), Harlem YMCA and Manhattan YMCA. Professor Tatu moved to NC in 2004 and started teaching classes for Duke University and UNC.
John Whitfield is a lifelong athlete, licensed professional boxer and an USA Boxing Certified Coach. Coach John Whitfield, originally from Mine Run VA, began training in boxing in 1989 along with his three older Brothers under the guidance of his Father. John went on to compete and win several Tuff man Boxing tournaments, REMA Kickboxing demo as a boxer, as well as the Duke University Boxing team invitational.
Active in the sport of Boxing industry for more than 10 years, John has had the honor and privilege of training with some of the most skilled Pro Boxing/MMA/Kickboxing competitors and successful boxing coaches, including his Father James Whitfield (Texas State Golden Gloves). Coach Anthony Bradley (record holder for the most medals received for a single Olympic coach), Coach Rick Taylor (USA certified Boxing coach and owner of Body force boxing and fitness), Paul Marinaccio (pro fighter, and former WBF heavy weight champion), and Donnell Holmes (pro fighter).
Eventually Coach Whitfield developed a passion for teaching the sport to others and founded, The Triangle Assassins Boxing Club (formerly The RTP Boxing Club). Focused on fundamentals of the sweet science of boxing. During training, Coach Whitfield stresses the importance of strengthening the mind as well as the body and establishes training regiments that are designed to get you in the best cardio conditioning one can achieve.
Professor Nick Prairie is a BJJ Black Belt. He is a graduate of Duke Law School.
Amanda Riccio, PHD
Amanda is an energetic, motivated instructor who specializes in Yin Yoga and enjoys bringing yoga to the community. She has been doing yoga for over 15 years, but always as a compliment to other activities. When Amanda started her PhD, about 7 years ago, she began to go to Bikram yoga classes out of necessity. She needed to balance out her crazy life as a stressed-out, PhD student and since then yoga has really become a focus. After Amanda finished her doctoral, she moved to Montreal, QC, Canada and after a while of doing Bikram yoga everyday, wanted something else. She gradually found herself balancing out her Bikram practice with yin yoga. Doing yin yoga made her less stressed, more focused, and it noticeably helped improve her other yoga practices and overall body positioning. After receiving her yin yoga teaching certificate at Happy Tree Yoga and teaching community classes in Montreal, Amanda was absolutely in love with sharing her practice. She recently moved to Durham, and wants to continue to share yoga in this community, both as a student and as a teacher. She aims to create classes which focus on deep stretching, moving at a slow pace, and general acceptance of where we are in the moment.
Rob Foster II
Muay Thai Instructor / Strength & Conditioning Coach / Personal Trainer
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a former Professional Skier, Strength and Conditioning Coach, and Instructor/Trainer with Vail Resorts and Professional Ski Instructors of America. Rob got his start in Martial Arts studying Tang Soo Do and Jeet Kun Do in his teens. He was introduced to Muay Thai in 1990. For 11 years in Colorado, he focused on the Science of Skiing and training skiers; training and certifying over 150 Professional Skiers and Ski Instructors. During the summer, Rob’s focus was on Endurance Mountain Bike Racing, competing successfully in 12 hour, 24 hour, 50 mile and 100 mile races. In 2001 Rob became a Police Officer and spent several years in various duties of Law Enforcement. As part of his Police Training he was certified in Police Pressure Point Control Tactics, Koga-Ryu Weapons and Defense Tactics. Rob now resides in Carrboro, NC where he discovered United Thai Boxing & MMA, which rekindled his love of training Muay Thai and the Muay Thai lifestyle.
Muay Thai Instructor
Children’s Muay Thai Instructor
Muay Thai Instructor
Boxing Fitness & Cardio Kickboxing Instructor / Personal Trainer
Will “The Crazy Asian” Smith is former a East Coast Boxing trainer here to teach and lead Boxing Fitness. He has a passion for combat sports and a huge heart for helping others achieve their fitness and health goals. Coach Will is also a successful personal trainer who will assist you in reaching your physical goals.
Corey Bell is a longtime volunteer assistant coach for the Duke Blue Devils after a highly successful wrestling career at The University North Carolina. He works closely with the middle and higher weights and brings an infectious spirit to the program.
The Durham, N.C., native was a four-time ACC champion and NCAA qualifier for the Tar Heels during his collegiate wrestling career.
Bell, who majored in communication studies at North Carolina, was a Carolina ACT mentor, a member of the Black Student Movement and Ebony Readers. He also performed with the band Sankofa while at North Carolina. Bell is a successful entrepreneur and businessman in the Durham-Chapel Hill area.
Owner / Cardio Kickboxing Instructor