Head Coach & Top Primate Founder
Rowan Katzew is a life-long martial artist, founder and head coach of Top Primate. He is a former multiple time national and regional karate champion, JKA International Development champion, and two time All African Shotokan karate champion.
Rowan left Karate in his early teens upon falling in love with the sport of boxing. He competed as an amateur at Booysens Boxing Club and then at Ralph Haynes’ gym in Johannesburg. At age 16 Rowan found the Hotbox Gym run by Colin Nathan, who has now established himself as Africa’s best boxing coach. Rowan would continue train at Hotbox Gym for the next decade, as well as several other top gyms in South Africa and abroad.
Prior to founding Top Primate Academy, Rowan was an active K1 Kickboxing competitor before beginning to coach fighters in 2013. As the sport of Mixed Martial Arts grew in South Africa, Rowan begin to adapt his knowledge of boxing, kickboxing and muay thai to MMA, becoming a sought after padman due to his technical approach to striking. During his early coaching career he worked at several respected clubs and with many of the country’s best fighters and coaches. After moving to Cape Town and working as head striking coach at several popular clubs, Rowan founded Top Primate Academy and began building what would become one of the region’s best Amateur & Professional fight teams.
Top Primate began as a small fight team in the Sea Point area, but in just a few years grew into a thriving, champion producing Boxing & MMA gym in the heart of Cape Town. As head coach, Rowan has produced and cornered amateur and professional champions, including WBF All African welterweight champ Tony “The Eagle” Mayala. The gym boasted several decorated professional Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing and MMA fighters all under one roof.
In 2017 Rowan sold his gym in Cape Town and relocated to North London where he has launched Top Primate UK. He has also qualified as a coach under England Boxing (ABAE).
Alongside his martial arts career, Rowan has trained and operated extensively in the private security sector. A qualified and experienced close protection operative, private investigator and risk management specialist, he has conducted safety & security operations in and around South Africa for well over a decade. Rowan has worked as part of the protection team to a presidential candidate as well as countless VIP and celebrity clients. He is also holds a Hostile Environment Close Protection and advanced firearms qualification.
Rowan now follows his passion for martial arts full time and works a professional Boxing & MMA coach, England Boxing coach, personal trainer, Kickboxing coach at Urban Warriors Academy and director of Top Primate UK.