Mike’s Gym

Mike’s gym is a gym where nobody can become anybody but most of all a gym for everybody”

Mike’s gym is known worldwide authority when it comes to combat sports and especially in kickboxing Mike’s gym is one of the best gyms in the world which was founded by Michael Passenier better known as “Big” Mike.

The fighters

It was Mike Passenier always was a big boxing fan back in the days and the love for combat sport was developed at an early age. He started to train a group of fighters in 2002 and opened his own Mike’s gym in 2003. Mike became more known in the world of kickboxing when he trained Joeri “The Shark” Mes. Mes is a former welterweight kickboxer as was widely regarded as one of the greatest combination specialists in kickboxing history.  Together they achieved numerous success beating huge names like Ramon Dekkers, Fouad Tijarti, Rayen Simson, Perry Ubeda and the list goes on.

Another huge superstar that joined Mike’s gym was the relentless Melvin Manhoef who after his 2002 loss against Remy Bonjasky changed his camp and had Mike in his corner ever since. Melvin Manhoef was one of the few kickboxers that made a successful transition into Mixed Martial Arts and Mike proved once again that he’s an overall combat trainer that made Manhoef a fighter that was feared in both M.M.A. as kickboxing. Manhoef proved that Mike’s no nonsense style is what separate him and the other trainers

Mike: “My style of training is pretty simple; work hard in the gym but knock people out in the ring. I know that you can win fights by playing it defensive and tactical and we will always keep that in mind but I will not forget that people want Mike’s gym fighters on their show because they know we want to knock people out. We put fear in to our opponents and by going for the knock out you know that win or lose the crowed is going to be entertained.”

Become a Member at Mike’s Gym

Talking about knock outs it’s easy to introduce another big superstar training out of the Mike’s gym banner, the bad boy himself Badr Hari. Hari is one of the most popular and feared combat fighter in the world. His huge popularity makes his a crowd favorite and one of the biggest reason is his huge knock out rate. Mike’s gym produces fighters that finish people and Badr Hari is the biggest example of the philosophy Mike’s bring to the table. Their relationship goes back to 2005 and together they travelled the world and have made history in the world of kickboxing.

Then we have the kickboxing sensation Gokhan Saki, the Turkish fighter who was already a much known name in kickboxing faced his biggest fight of his career against Badr Hari. He lost against Badr and Mike Passenier but he knew that after that fight he needed a new trainer as his old trainer Cor Hemmers decided to step down as trainer to become matchmaker for Glory. Together with Mike Passenier they came up with a plan to take the light heavyweight title in the biggest promotion, Glory. Under the guidance of Mike Passenier he became even more successful as he won the Glory world title and beat huge names like Tyrone Spong and Daniel Ghita.


It’s clear that Mike’s gym holds one of the best kickboxing names in the sport as we have describe a few of them, but the biggest success of a gym like Mike’s gym is not only the superstars that train in the gym but it’s the way the gym operates. With over 1100 members Mike’s gym is one of the biggest combat clubs of Holland; it’s not only a gym for professional athletes it’s a gym for champions. You don’t need to win fights and get belts to name yourself a champion

Mike: “I create champions! The most will think of Badr Hari or Gokhan Saki but in my gym I have hundreds of champions working out in the gym. Champions are people that are willing to work and achieve their personal goals. In our gym we help them realize that and make them champions. So you don’t need to be an athlete to consider yourself a champion. We have had numerous success stories of women coming in the gym wanting to lose some weight and together with our trainers we made sure she reached her goal and that woman is a champion in my book. The same goes for the children having fun on the mat with Judo or kickboxing. We make them feel better and tell them how big of a champion they are and we hear so much feedback of parents that they are doing so well at school because of the activities we do in the gym or kids not being bullied anymore because we gave them confidence to say NO.  That’s why we create champions; it’s a way of life, it’s a mentality.”

Mike’s gym around the world

The philosophy Mike is teaching his students is known worldwide as a lot of people are coming all over the world to train in the gym. The gym gets daily request of people wanting to train in the gym but also trainers around the world want to make themselves a better trainer and ask for personal one on one. People see Mike and his team all over the world.

Mike’s gym is one of few gyms that has multiple events in one weekend spread over the world. Promoters are not asking for specific fighters they ask for Mike’s gym fighters. Promoters know that having a Mike’s gym fighter on the card is enough to guarantee an entertaining fight. A typical fight weekend for Mike’s gym is one that there are fights all over the world. Let’s just pick a weekend in April. On Friday we have Mike’s gym fighter Gokhan Saki fighting in Dubai, the next day Massaro Glunder is fighting in Tokyo, Japan and on Sunday we have Chris Baya fighting in Holland and Colin George in Moldavia.

Mike’s gym family and team

Although Mike Passenier is the driving force behind Mike’s gym, he has collected a team of professional trainers and staff that make sure the operation runs smoothly. Wim Ruts being the general manager making sure the day to day business gets taking care of or assistant coaches Oscar Roque and Walter da Silva that help the fighters prepare and travel the world with them. Also several fitness trainers or personal trainers are in the gym ready to help people achieve their personal goals. Even Mike’s his mother is part of the team as she welcomes everyone that comings in for their daily work out. There are too many people to name personally but Mike’s gym is run like a true family as everyone in the team is of great value and is the reason of the huge success of the gym.

Mike: “Mike’s gym is a family business, everyone that is involved in the gym is the reason of our success, it’s not only the members or the fighters that makes a gym, it’s the people running the gym that  makes people feel home. We want to create an environment that everyone is welcome at our gym. Everyone is treated with the same respect. My gym is my life, you have a bigger chance to find me in the gym that home. The gym is basically my home; my wife, my mother and even my children are highly involved in the gym and it’s a true family business. I’m very grateful of the people that are keep helping me build Mike’s gym.”