Former Melville resident Bret Haacke was back in the city recently, giving students at MCS a lesson in kickboxing. The mixed martial artist, who attended MCS in his high school days, held a
demonstration training session at the school prior to the CMTCA Team Canadian Kickboxing Trials June 9-10.
“This is where I am from, I know everybody here. This town has given me a lot,” Haacke says. “I started my training in martial arts here with Tim (Oehler) who has been one of the biggest influences in my life.”
Haacke started kickboxing at 16 and began training with Oehler at the Sil Foo Kung Fu Training Çentre in Melville. Haacke now lives in Regina and trains out of the SIAM Kickboxing and Muay Thai facility.
“I got my start in fighting when I was going to play AAA hockey when I was 16,” says Haacke. “My brother said to me if you’re going to fight you have to win. That’s what got me started in boxing.”
After playing AAA in Yorkton and Tisdale, Haacke laced up the skates for the Melville Millionaires Jr. A Hockey Club from 2004-2007.
Although he trains out of Regina, Haacke has also traveled to Thailand three times where he trained with some of the best Muay Thai fighters in the world. On each of his visits he’s spent between three and four months training.
At the Canadian National Champion-ships in Calgary Haacke lost a close five round decision to the eventual Canadian champion in the 178-pound fullcontact pro division.
Away from the ring, Haacke works as a jail guard at the Regina Correctional Centre to pay his bills and finance his kickboxing career.
“I’m not the kind of guy who likes asking for money and going out and looking for sponsors,” says Haacke. “I do it because I love it. I love to fight and compete and push myself. At the end of the day it ends up costing me money out of my pocket but it is what it is.”
Haacke, who is now 29, says when his career is over he plans to one day own a gym and spread his knowledge to youth fighters. “I’m trying to stay out of teaching right now just because I have a few years of fighting left. Once I’m done I plan on having a gym and being a coach. I have learned a lot about myself through training and working out and one day I would like to pass that on.”