Hays is the Director and founder of Australian Combat & Exercise Pty Ltdand its coaching arm ACE Martial Arts. He has been studying Martial Arts for over 23 years, initially studying numerous styles of Karate and Hapkido. In 1999 Hays rebooted his martial arts career by joining the well-known Double Dragon Martial Arts gym in Sydney under the instruction of Australian Martial Arts legend and kickboxing pioneer, Mick Spinks.
Hays began training in boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kung-fu and Dragon Fist Freestyle, with Freestyle being his main focus. Hays trained regularly in all of the above styles as he loved the cross-training approach. Although Double Dragon covered an array of styles that were beneficial to Hays’s development, as a freestyle martial artist Hays has also trained in other arts such as Arnis/Kali, Aikido, Krav maga and Muai Thai/Thai boxing.
The highlight of his career was being awarded the first ever Black-Belt in the Dragon Fist Freestyle system by Sifu Mick Spinks & Sifu Chan Cheuk-Fai.
Hays has been trained and influenced by many Australian and world renowned martial artists including Sifu Chan Cheuk-Fai, Will Soulos, Paul Fyfield, George, Nick, and Ziad Zakharia, Bob Jones and Dan Inosanto (Bruce Lee’s training partner). He is also experienced in wide range of Martial Arts weapons such as Nunchaku, Sai, Pole/Bo and Arnis/ Kali Sticks.
In order to increase his knowledge in martial rts, Hays regularly attends martial arts seminars to learn, experience and understand different styles. The Dan Inosanto seminar was his most memorable to date, as he had the rare opportunity to meet and train under him.
Hays has trained and assisted a number of fighters over the years in boxing, kickboxing and MMA. His most memorable experience was being one of the head coaches for Kickboxer Craig Ruddiman who won the NSW State title, East Coast title & Australian title. He was head coach for Kickboxer Chris Chan who won the Light Heavyweight South Pacific title and most recently trained Zein Saliba who won the AFC Australian Middleweight title in MMA.
Hays regularly trains in martial arts and combat sports. He is currently challenging himself and being trained in boxing by former Australian Olympian and world title contender Hussy Hussein at the internationally renowned boxing school Body Punch, run by the Billy Hussein & Hussy Hussein who train many professional boxers and world champions.
TV and Film
Outside of training Hays’s enthusiasm for martial arts has been carried on to TV. He featured in two episodes of the Australian police drama “Young Lions“, where he played a Kickboxer.
After a long audition process Hays was chosen to feature in a TV commercial for Mitsubishi which was broadcast throughout the USA, Canada and Mexico.
In 2011 Hays was cast as a Ninja in the short film Pirates vs Ninjas. This gave Hays the opportunity to showcase some of his martial arts skills.
Hays also has experience as a ring announcer, announcing at an Australian premier MMA event; PWP2, which was featured on television channel ONEHD.
Hays worked in IT and financial services for 11 years, working in projects, continuous improvement initiatives, business planning and people leadership. Hays believes that training and coaching martial arts gave him an advantage when working as a people leader, it allowed him to better understand people and how to coach, manage and motivate them.
In 2011, Hays founded Australian Combat & Exercise Pty Ltd and ACE Martial Arts.