by Don Heatrick

Panicos Yusuf came to England from Cyprus on a one-way ticket, with just £60 in his pocket and a habit of working hard…

He’s since achieved an incredible amount in the sport of Muay Thai, owing everything to his family, his friends, his coaches and training partners.

And he’s grateful to have been noticed by those in the game, and he’s keen to pay it forward to those that are working hard too.

In this episode… Panicos Yusuf, a 2 times Muay Thai World Champion, a fighter and owner of All Powers Gym in Stockport, UK…

Not to mention a One Championship athlete and a Yokkao regular too…

And we speak here ahead of his fight against Chris Shaw at Yokkao 49 (photo slideshow from the event)

You can follow Panicos on Instagram @panicosyusuf, and follow the All Powers Gym @allpowersgym

And check out the All Powers Gym website, and all of Panicos’ Warrior Collective tutorials here:

Show notes for this episode with further references and resources below!

Each episode revolves around my Four Big Questions

  1. What’s Your Story?
  2. What’s Your Why?
  3. What Makes A Champion?
  4. Challenges And Lessons Learned?

Digging into the answers to these questions helps uncover and share both the commonalities, and the differences in the journey to become a champion. And can help inspire and fast-track your journey too.

During this informative episode, these are the points you shouldn’t miss…

0:00 – Intro and how Panicos discovered Muay Thai as a boy in Cyprus

2:52 – First fight, 2-months in to training!!

4:53 – The differences when boxing (hands only)

6:39 – Even after 21 years… Reluctant mother

7:59 – Evolution as a coach and a gym owner

10:36 – Support will come – and it has to!

11:55 – ONE Championship opportunity

16:10 – Financial considerations for a pro fighter in fight camp

16:58 – Focusing on Muay Thai again

18:24 – Loving Muay Thai for the contact! But then continuing to love it for what its given in life!

20:13 – Coming to England on a one-way ticket with £60 in his pocket

21:20 – Paying it forward: Muay Thai builds better people

22:53 – Having faith in your coach – finding your real limits

24:02 – Pushing fighters the hardest in the first 5 – 10 fights

25:15 – Talent is not as valuable a hard work

26:52 – Your character in training, reveals your character in life

28:20 – Students are a reflection of their coach

29:56 – Different life experiences affect how a student picks up new things, and how they learn

30:46 – It’s the coach’s fault if students don’t get it, not the student – understanding perspective is important

32:24 – Fight camps are a big struggle for fighter/gym owners – the importance of your support network

35:10 – Lessons in clinch courtesy of Greg Wootton!

36:40 – Not so precious… Cross training with different coaches and sparring partners

40:24 – When it’s the time to focus your influences

41:36 – Diet trial and error!

42:34 – Incorporating strength & conditioning properly

43:00 – 36 year old Panicos would kick 25 year old Panicos’ ass!

45:10 – Unnecessary wear and tear when you were younger is only revealed when you’re older

46:03 – Learning to be smart and efficient with your training

47:46 – Always learning! Open to new ideas and approaches

48:36 – Hard work is the one thing you need to be successful

Don Heatrick

Founder of Heatrick Strength and Conditioning

Don Heatrick is a family man from the UK, former mechanical design engineer, European Muay Thai silver medallist, former pro Thai boxer (ranked 4th in UK while aged 40-years), a Muay Thai coach, podcast host, and the go-to expert on Muay Thai performance training with over 25 years of coaching experience.

Don helps ambitious fighters and coaches take their game to the next level by bridging the gap between Strength & Conditioning, Performance Science, and Muay Thai.

Follow Don Heatrick on Instagram:


The Science of Building Champions video series
The science of building a Muay Thai champion’s strength & conditioning, which results in…
  • Fastest possible short-term progress
  • Maximum long-term progress
  • More efficient movement patterns
  • Better technique
  • Relentless endurance (never gas out)
  • Reaching athletic potential as quickly and efficiently as possible (without wasting time on things that aren’t worth doing)
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