Rick Sollo was introduced to Muay Thai in the early 80s by Ajarn Chai Sirisute. Before starting his Muay Thai training, Rick trained in Western boxing and Filipino martial arts.


Rick’s training regimen was 6 days a week for 3-4 hours and after being introduced to Muay Thai, he completely rewrote his training goals to include it into his routine.


Shortly after came Ajarn Chai’s legendary instructor test. The test, now modernized, was brutal and Rick was one of the first to pass it in the USA.


The following 10 years Rick attended as many seminars and camps as were offered in the USA. Thanks to Bob Karmel, Rick was able to get into the Fairtex camp in Bangplea as one the first foreigners who were allowed to train in Thailand. Once there Rick trained with Apidej Sit-Hirun.


Rick Sollo also trained with Jockrit, Farsai, Yok Noi, Enn Quiet Storm Jankthum, Jongsonan the Wooden Man, Nungisam the Rock Samphursi and many others.

Having traveled to Thailand every year from 1992 to 2012,

Rick also attended Buddhai Swan, where along with his training partner, Troy Ninedorf, both men received very high ranks from Ajarn Sumai Masamarn who is the Grandmaster of the system.


During these years that Rick traveled to Thailand, he was also able to attend Ajarn Chai’s seminars and camps on an almost monthly basis here in the USA. Additionally Rick also continued his Filipino martial arts training as an instructor under Larry Hartsell and sporadically with the godfather of Filipino martial arts in Chicago, Nate Defensor, who is a close friend.


During the early 90s Rick opened his own school called the Aiki Training Hall that was located in Skokie Illinois. Shortly after, the school moved to Combat Do in Cicero and finally settled at the Evanston Boxing Club a few years later. The Aiki Training Hall has continued to this day training fighters as well as people of all experience levels who are interested in learning the art of Muay Thai.


Rick Sollo has been involved in the training of four Golden Gloves winners, Asho Esho, George Esho, Marius Dan, and Olivia Curry. He has trained four UFC fighters, Mike Russo, Terry Martin Shonie Carter and Brian Gassaway. Recently Rick has trained Maurice Greens who is a pro MMA and Glory Kickboxing fighter. He also trained Daniel the Predator James who is also a pro MMA fighter.


His Muay Thai students include Olivia Curry, winner of the Iowa Classic Muay Thai, Steven Jennings, Illinois State Muay Thai Champion, Ransom Clark and Ahmad Falahi, both finalists in the Iowa Classic Muay Thai Tournament.


While Rick is grateful for having the opportunity to train fighters and be present ring and cage side during fights, his strength lies in his ability to transfer his love and understanding of Muay Thai to his regular students. Students, who live full lives, work very hard and who have brought so much joy to Rick’s life. Rick hopes that he can repay some of this through his continued dedication of teaching the art of Muay Thai.


Although Mr. Sollo training goes back to the early 1980’s he is still an active coach. In October of 2017 at the RevGear tournament in Kansas City Missouri, Bryan Gassaway, Bruce Panyapol and Mr. Sollo working together as corner men, cornered 8 fighters, 6 of whom made it to the finals, all fights went the distance and 2 won belts. Working as one team they cornered 50 round of fighting in one 7-hour day. In addition Mr. Sollo judged several fights. This is an active coach and teacher.