Fale Dojo interview with Head Trainer, Tangi Ropati

Fale Dojo is excited to welcome Tangi Ropati on board as part of the coaching staff. Ropati brings a wealth of sporting achievements in rugby league, fitness, and bodybuilding. He is utilising his knowledge to teach the young lions about the importance of nutrition and also how to sculpture their bodies during the three-month professional wrestling course. Ropati also teaches his popular ‘Body Shock’ classes to the general public.

“As a trainer at Fale Dojo, my goal is to make everyone from all walks of life feel welcome,” said Ropati. “I will help them achieve their fitness goals and take them to the next level whether its body sculpting, improving their fitness, teaching them about nutrition or just helping them achieve whatever goal they have in mind.”

Ropati was born a member of a sporting family, both his grandfather Tagi and father Faaniva played rugby union respectively and represented the Manu Samoa rugby union team.

“I played all sorts of sports growing up but my main one was rugby,” he shared. “I started off with [rugby] union but at the age of 18, I started playing league and began traveling for games.”

Ropati’s league accomplishments include playing for professional clubs in Auckland, Australia, and England as well as representing Samoa in the 2008 World Cup, and the 2009 Pacific Cup. Ropati paid tribute to his parents for instilling the values that helped navigate his journey and manage his success. He also drew inspiration from sporting icons.

“I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a lot of sports growing up and let’s just say our house was sports-mad. My inspiration in life was my mum and dad,” he explained. “They gave me that opportunity to be exposed a lot in terms of sports.”

“I was also inspired by local athletes like David Tua, Christian Cullen, Jonah Lomu among the world’s greatest such as Mike Tyson, Michael Jordan, and The Rock.”

After his stellar career in rugby league, Ropati was ready for a new challenge. He entered the world of bodybuilding.

“I transitioned into bodybuilding when my league career finished up in 2015,” he revealed. “After playing rugby league in Australia and the UK, I moved back and played three more years of rugby league in New Zealand for our local teams and I really enjoyed it but then wanted to venture into a new career path.”

“I decided to become a personal trainer and became qualified in 2016. I love fitness and I really enjoy lifting weights so I thought I would give bodybuilding a go.”

“I’m always keen to learn more and try new things,” he added. “I have been competing in bodybuilding shows since 2016 and I love combining knowledge about training, lifting weights, and nutrition to achieve a certain goal.”

As a competitor with the New Zealand International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, Ropati won many championships. He eventually caught the attention of Mark Tui, the General Manager/Coach of Fale Dojo. Tui sought Ropati’s services as part of the Dojo’s relaunching.

“I was a personal trainer in South Auckland when Mark Tui contacted me through social media asking if we could possibly have a chat about PT sessions,” explained Ropati. “He mentioned to me about his goals and what he wanted to achieve. We set those goals and I trained him very hard for the 12 weeks smashing all his goals we set, not realising he was probably testing me to see if I was suitable to work at Fale Dojo.”

“Opportunities like this don’t come around often so when he asked if I would be interested in working at the Fale Dojo, I was all in!”

Ropati’s addition to the coaching staff at Fale Dojo will provide excellent experience, knowledge, and skills that will prove to be invaluable to all students training at the Dojo. With his hard work ethic and tremendous achievements, Ropati has a proven track record of success in several disciplines and has remained humble throughout his career knowing that success does not come before hard work and preparation. It is his values and foresight of competing internationally that will not only benefit Fale Dojo but also the wider community.

Ropati concluded: “I can guarantee that I will push you through that dark place you need to go through in your fitness journey in order to get to the next stage of being the better version of yourself.”


Founded in 2016 by Head Trainer Toks FaleFale Dojo is a professional wrestling training school and fitness facility based in South Auckland, New Zealand. Toks Fale first came into the wrestling scene as the first non-Japanese student to successfully train as a young lion (rookie) at the New Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo in Tokyo from 2008 to 2009, before his 2010 debut in NJPW. Known professionally as the “Rogue General” Bad Luck Fale, his wrestling status was elevated in 2013 when he became one of the founding members of Bullet Club. Regarded as the hottest faction in pro wrestling, Bullet Club has maintained its dominance in the wrestling world for over half a decade, due partly to Fale’s reputation as the Club’s revered enforcer.

Toks Fale envisioned the Dojo as a way of sharing his experience and knowledge with his community with the goal of presenting professional wrestling as a viable career opportunity. Fale’s reputation helped ensure an affiliation between the Dojo and New Japan Pro Wrestling which has allowed graduates from the Dojo’s three-month professional wrestling course to pursue further training at the New Japan Dojo and from there the possibility of gaining a spot on the NJPW main roster.

Notable graduates to emerge from Fale Dojo include “Switchblade” Jay WhiteToa HenareRobbie Eagles, Gino Gambino, and Aaron Solow. The incentive and the opportunity to gain Fale’s insight has drawn in many locals, as well as attracting students from all over the world.

Fale’s passion is to give back to his community, to share his experience and knowledge of the wrestling profession, and to instil the teachings required to become a successful professional wrestler.

Fale Dojo is proud to have partnerships with Coca-Cola, and Xplosive Supplements, Papatoetoe, South Auckland. Fale Dojo also is the first Pacific Island owned and operated professional wrestling training school and wrestling promotion in New Zealand.

Fale Dojo is an official part of the New Japan Pro Wrestling training system, known internationally as NJPW New Zealand Dojo.

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