“Adding value to other people’s lives adds value to my life” –Paul Minhas
Paul Minhas was born in Bombay, India and would soon move to Pickering, Ontario at the age of 2 because his family wanted to start a new life. Throughout his childhood, he would get bullied at school. It got to the point where he started training himself in martial arts by reading karate books at the age of 8. This gave his life a new found confidence and precision. He felt that having confidence was a huge factor towards overcoming harassment from bullies, in which he was able to defend himself in later incidents without harming anyone. That showed that he also obtained great discipline from martial arts to hold himself back from attacking while defending. A few years later he would start to learn traditional Karate at the age of 11 and would eventually earn his brown belt.
From Karate, Paul would eventually start expanding his martial arts training. He started learning Kalari Payat, Kung Fu, Wing Chun, Kickboxing, and Judo. He even started competing at 15 years old and would have a total life time career of approximately 80 bouts. While training in all those different forms of martial arts, he has always been interested in MuayThai.He would read about Muay Thai in books and magazines which led to his main focus in training this style in his early 20s. Throughout all the different types of martial arts training, he has been inspired by Master Suchart, Bruce Lee, Yip-Man, and especially his father. Piara Minhas (his father) who was a boxer in the Navy and taught him to care for people and having balance in life, especially for family.
Ever since the age of 12, Paul has had a childhood dream of always wanting to open his own martial arts gym. By 1993, he decided to pursue his dream by starting classes in his basement. A year later he finally managed to take his dream one step further by opening a flagship location in Scarborough,Ontario. With opening a gym, he made the transition of being in an engineering program to now being a martial arts club owner. Not many people in life can say that they love their jobs but Paul managed to achieve that just by following his heart and is still able to do this to this day with dedication and, as his father taught him, showing care for other people.
As years passed by, Paul would one day get a surprising phone call from UFC and Pride FC veteran Gary Goodridge that was about to change his life. Gary wanted to be trained in Muay Thai for his upcoming fights and would start coming into the Scarborough location. They developed a great friendship and Gary adapted well with the Ultimate Martial Arts training system. From there, Gary offered him a position to be his Muay Thai coach and to corner him for his fights. This would take him to Japan multiple times for Pride FC and K1 events hosted in outstanding venues such as the Tokyo Dome and Saitama Super Arena. Being apart of the K1 and Pride FC environment allowed him to meet amazing people such as: Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Cro Cop, Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell, the Nogueira brothers, the Shamrocks, Allistair Overeem, Bas Rutten, and many more. He would soon coach UFC Hall Of Fame alumni Mark Coleman and other notable fighters as well. Being a coach has also taken him to places like Holland and Las Vegas.
Throughout the years Paul has managed to grow and expand Ultimate Martial Arts to what it is now. What was once only one location now has multiple locations around the Greater Toronto Area. He has built champions such as Joseph Valtellini and Troy Sheridan into dominate professional fighters and continues to keep training the also dominate amateur team. Even with being a high level Muay Thai practitioner, he still strives not to inspire to be a master but to be a student where he views everyone is just as equal as everyone else. He manages to progress Ultimate Martial Arts so well with the philosophy of adding value to others and doing our part to impact as many people in various ways. This is evident just by stepping into one of the gyms and seeing how many people’s lives he has changed and is changing.