John Scida received an Industry Recognition Award at the 2019 Australian Muay Thai Awards. Well deserved for a lifetime of achievements and dedication to the sport. He is a pioneer of the industry and someone who has influenced the lives of many for the better.


John Scida is renowned as one of Australia's leading kickboxing and Muay Thai trainers. Based in Melbourne's Western suburbs, with affiliate gyms throughout Victoria and Queensland, John Scida's Ultimate Muay Thai is a name respected across the Oceania region. Training fighters of all ages, shapes, sizes and both genders, Scida has produced countless champions over the years, many of whom have etched their names into the annals of Australian kickboxing. Among Scida's best known champions are former Australian champion Anthony "The Hitman" Vella, the man whose unstoppable run in the mid-1990s helped launch the popularity of Muay Thai in Melbourne. Vella is best remembered for his epic victory over the best pure kickboxer of his era, Louie Iosifidis, at the Radisson Hotel. This Muay Thai vs Kickboxing match up proved the ultimate power of Muay Thai and earned Vella the Blitz Hall of Fame induction.

Among Scida’s other famed fighters are Commonwealth super welterweight champion, Jenk “The Great White Shark” Behic, regarded as Australia’s gutsiest fighter and executor of “champagne” kickboxing . Behic, a Commonwealth champion, South Pacific Champion and two-time Australian champion has fought across Australia and New Zealand and gone to war against the biggest names in the business with wins over Daniel Dawson, Mike Cope and Jim Gountounas; two unforgettable battles against Mike Zambidis, and history-making fights against Nick Tetoros and Jordan Tai. Another of John’s famed fighters is Laura “The Storm” Skinner, Australia’s female World Champion regarded as the finest female fighter of her era. Laura has fought the world over including Japan and boxing out of the USA. She was also the winner of the 1998 Blitz Hall of Fame Female Kickboxer of the Year Award. John’s leading heavyweight fighter is Chris Chrisopoulides who went the distance with K-1 GP runner up Musashi and earned a hard fought draw. Chrisopoulides represented Australia in the K-1 Oceania and has become a popular fan favourite in New Zealand. Other credentialled fighters to hail from Team Ultimate include Evan Themelakis, top rated middleweight champion of Australia; Joanne Falzon, world champion female kickboxer and the epitome and determination; Jason Tramsek, who is now the IKBF World Champion, Joshua Scida, Australian and East Coast Champion and Steve Gatt, Victorian State Kickboxing champion. Champion fighters of the past include George Castro, Mario Montelleone and Peter Markovski.

John's own martial arts background stems back to 1973 when he first started training in Zen Do Kai under the watchful eye of founder Bob Jones and awesome exponent, Richard Norton, who would later go on to find movie fame in Asia. John competed in 23 tournaments and took top honours when he won the Victorian Karate championships in 1979. In 1984, John was awarded his 5th degree black belt. It was in 1981 that John was introduced to the new sport of kickboxing with which he immediately fell in love. He competed in kickboxing during the sport's formative years and for more than two decades has undertaken just about every role within the sport, from fighter to trainer to judge, timekeeper, referee and promoter. His Ultimate Promotions staged in Melbourne's Western suburbs draw capacity crowds, have featured on Fox Sports and are regarded among the best promotions in Australia. John sees his promotions as both a showcase for Ultimate's best fighters and a breeding ground for rearing new kickboxing talent. In the last decade, John has averaged between 30 and 45 fights a year for his fighters, making Team Ultimate arguably the busiest kickboxing crew in Australia. The gym's success rate has been astounding, with around a 70% win ratio.


John Scida's Ultimate Muay Thai combines the best of boxing, kickboxing and traditional Muay Thai into a street effective self-defence and a ring-proven combative form. Western Boxing skills comprise an integral part of training as, says Johnny, "without proper use of your hands you're nothing. We use our hands for everything we do in life and our natural defensive reflexes come from our hands. It goes without saying therefore that to be a good fighter you should not neglect the importance of learning to box properly." John has seen the sport of kickboxing evolve over the past 50 years and he has evolved with the times, although sticking to a strict belief in the value of basics. Classes are designed mainly on technique and secondly on fitness. "As you learn the technique you naturally get fit," says Johnny. "My class format and training style is designed around my fighters fighting technique; if it works we use it and pass it down through our clubs."

The Muay Thai techniques employed in John’s syllabus come from his training experiences in Thailand, which he visits annually. “It’s all very street effective for self-defence application,” says Johnny, “and if students so wish they can learn for the ring. We have a close knit family at Team Ultimate and our students get the benefits of training alongside champions and veterans of the sport who not only are there to impart their knowledge but also to inspire the younger students and show them just how beautiful the techniques can be when employed properly.”

To say that John lives, eats and breathes Muay Thai and kickboxing is an understatement. “For me training is a way of life. Not a day goes by I’m not at a fight watching a fight video or training a fighter. The only way to be successful in any sport is to give 110%. Ultimate Muay Thai prides itself on looking after its fighters and students. Twenty-five years of Zen Do Kai was a great building block for what I am now, and every day I look forward to passing my knowledge onto my students who will continue the proud tradition of Ultimate for years to come.”