HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL OF
HOW WE CAME ABOUT
The School of Crazy Monkey, a name synonymous with innovative martial arts and self-preservation traing, is the creation of Dr. Rodney King ('Coach'), a man whose life journey embodies resilience and transformation. Growing up in the tough neighborhoods of Johannesburg’s South Side, Rodney's early years were a battle for survival. His initiation into martial arts began at six with Karate, but it was in the boxing ring during his teens where he truly grasped the essentials of self-protection.
Facing adversity head-on, Rodney was forced to leave home at 17 due to an abusive environment. His journey led him to the military, where he swiftly ascended to a Platoon Sergeant in the Military Police's Close Protection Wing. Here, Rodney's martial arts prowess shone, leading him to become the hand-to-hand combat instructor for his unit.
Post-military life saw Rodney navigating Johannesburg's notorious nightclub scene as a doorman, a role that honed his real-world defense skills and laid the foundation for the now-renowned Crazy Monkey Defense program. A life-threatening encounter at the Doors Nightclub was the catalyst for Rodney to pivot fully into martial arts coaching, leading to the establishment of the 'Street Tough' Academy in 1998.
Under Rodney's guidance, Street Tough burgeoned into South Africa's largest martial arts academy. During this period, Rodney continued to innovate, spending his weekends in full contact stick fighting matches, refining his EDGED defense program he had previously taught his soldiers and pioneering MMA in South Africa. This earned him the title "the father of mixed martial arts" in the country from Sports Illustrated-SA magazie. In addition he spent a decade under the watchful eye of Muay Thai legend Apidej Sit Hirun, who gave Rodney permission to teach under his name, one of only a hand full to have been given this honor prior to Apidej passing away. Rodney was also sponsored by Fairtex in the mid 90s.
Rodney's journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, one of only two people at the time in South Africa, added another cornerstone of his teaching, which began in 1996. Under the tutelage of Rigan Machado, he became South Africa's first BJJ black belt and currently holds a 4th-degree rank. His dedication and skill in BJJ were recognized early by Rigan, who awarded Rodney his blue belt for his impressive progress as a largely self-taught practitioner in November 1997.
Crazy Monkey Defense, the culmination of Rodney's experiences and expertise, has garnered global acclaim, taught to and endorsed by elite military forces, law enforcement units, and various professionals in high-risk occupations. Rodney's commitment to sharing his knowledge led him to close his academy and focus on teaching his methods worldwide.
Today, under the banner of The School of Crazy Monkey, Rodney continues to teach and evolve his methodologies, including Crazy Monkey Defense, Crazy Monkey Jiu-Jitsu, and the Weaponize-Your-Body System, which encompasses his EDGED Defense program. His legacy is a testament to the power of martial arts as tools not just for self-protection, but for personal growth and resilience in the face of life's challenges.