Principal | Kickboxing
A former United States Marine, Don Rodger is the owner of Open Guard BJJ/Apex Martial Arts Center and runs the day-to-day operations. Don also oversees the kickboxing program, and coaches the teen and adult Cardio Kickboxing classes and the Competition Kickboxing team.
Don began his official martial arts journey in 2010, training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Professor Geoff Balme, Wayne Spinola, and Neal Weaver at the TFTC Academy in Clayton. While at TFTC, Don trained in Kickboxing under Neal Weaver and Chad Boykin. Don fell in love with the sport of kickboxing and attended every seminar and clinic he could find. He also took private lessons with some of the area’s most recognized and respected Kickboxing and Muay Thai instructors.
In 2016, Don created Triangle Kickboxing Promotions to give amateur and professional kickboxers a venue to showcase their talent. As the first kickboxing promoter in NC in more than 13 years, Don worked with the North Carolina Boxing Authority (NCBA) to create a uniform set of rules for competitive Kickboxing/Muay Thai. Don continues to work with the NCBA to refine the rules and regulations for the sport of Kickboxing and Muay Thai in the State. Since his first event in 2016, subsequent shows have grown exponentially in size and now showcase some of the best local and national athletes.
Don is presently an official with the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) and the International Sport Kickboxing Association (ISKA), and was selected as one of two regional judges for the 2017 and 2018 IKF Worlds Classic in Orlando, Florida. Don is also the regional professional and amateur Kickboxing/Muay Thai promoter for the IKF, as well as the Raleigh-Durham representative for the IKF Point Kickboxing Tournaments (PKB’s). He has 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 NCBA to improve competition kickboxing rules & regulations, or working with amateur and professional fighters as a matchmaker and kickboxing promoter.