Don Rodger

Mr. Don Rodger, owner and head kickboxing instructor.
Kickboxing Coach

A former United States Marine, Don Rodger is the owner of Apex Martial Arts Center/Open Guard BJJ and runs the day-to-day operations.  He works with all levels of kickboxing students.

At an early age, Don trained in boxing in Hollywood, Florida.  He began martial arts training in 2010, training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Geoff Balme, Wayne Spinola, and Neal Weaver, and earned his blue belt in BJJ in 2013. 

He also trained in kickboxing under Neal Weaver and Chad Boykin and fell in love with the sport of Kickboxing and Muay Thai, having since trained with some of the area’s most recognized and respected Kickboxing and Muay Thai instructors.

In 2016, Don started Triangle Kickboxing Promotions Lightning Strikes ProAm Kickboxing & Muay Thai Series to give amateur and professional kickboxers a local venue to showcase their talent.  As the first kickboxing promoter in the state in more than 13 years, Don worked with the North Carolina Boxing & Sports Commission (NCBSC) to help create a uniform set of rules & regulations now in use by all kickboxing promoters in the State.  Don continues to work with the NCBSC to refine the rules and regulations for the sport of Kickboxing and Muay Thai in North Carolina.  

Don is presently an official representative of the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF).  He was selected as one of two regional judges for the 2017 through 2023 IKF World Classic.  In 2022, Don was asked to become one of two IKF official training judges and now teaches new IKF Official’s judging criteria.

Don has also judged amateur and professional Kickboxing & Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) for the ISKA and has worked on shows such as Friday Night Muay Thai in NYC (live on UFC Fight Pass) and Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat in NYC.

Don’s passion and dedication for the sport of kickboxing is evident whether he is teaching a class, cornering fighters, working with the NCBSC to improve competition kickboxing rules & regulations, working as a judge for the IKF or ISKA, or working with amateur and professional fighters as a matchmaker and kickboxing promoter.