Hello Ladies of Kickboxing. My name is Barbara Delaney. I am the new advocate for the new WIMAAO (World International Martial Arts Association & Organization) Women’s Division and this blog is aimed at the ladies of kickboxing. Over the next few months we will be discussing all ladies interests involved in all aspects of the sport, including interviews with Martial Artists in all shapes and sizes, both male and female to discuss women’s issues. Plus I want YOU LADIES to send me in YOUR stories, whether it be about training, your experiences, your fights, struggles or anything you wish discussed on the blog. If you want to post pictures of your first fight or your world title fight, (it doesn’t matter what organization), send them into me.
I, myself have doing kickboxing for the past 15 years, in Fight Club Kickboxing, Dublin, Ireland, under Head Instructor, Ken Molloy. I am a 7-time World Full Contact Champion and hold 16 titles in all. I am a 4th Dan Black Belt and teach the juniors at Fight Club. I started kickboxing when I was 23 years old, as a way to get fit and loose some extra pounds! But over the years it has become a big part of my life. From someone who was out drinking every night, Martial Arts / Kickboxing has made me a better person. Kickboxing has changed me. It taught me to think differently about myself; from the elation I felt after winning my first fight, it made me want to do it again and learn more about the sport! I had reached a crossroads in my life. In order to continue as a fighter, I had to make a choice, either keep going out every night or continue to train. I chose to continue training!
The WIMAAO asked me to speak for all women fighting within the WIMAAO. As part of the re-launch of the WIMAAO, they are upgrading the Ladies Fights and Title Fights, under the new banner of the Women’s Division. One of first things that was pointed out to me by champion fighter from our gym, Jennifer Molloy; she noticed all of her trophies and belts featured a male symbol on them and she wondered why for female fighters a lady wasn’t represented on the trophy or belt. So I spoke to the WIMAAO who thought it was a great idea to give the women their own personal logo.
This logo will be featured on all the Women's Titles and belts. This will be the first of many changes, hoping to improve the overall exposure of women in the sport.
As part of the re-launch, the WIMAAO will be putting on a Martial Arts Gala in Enniscorthy Dragons, Carrigbruce, Cherryorchard, Enniscorthy, Wexford, hosted by Mark Enstone. The gala will feature demonstrations from different Martial Arts and spars for juniors and seniors. Also there will be Referee and Judges course on the day. There are not many female referees and judges out there, so this could be an opportunity for more females to get qualified as a WIMAAO official.
To start off celebrating women in the sport of Kickboxing, I have interviewed a member of my gym, Ita Anderson. Ita has been a dedicated Martial Artist for many years and the hope is that her story inspires all the ladies out there to take up the sport.
Since I was 11, so on and off for the past 32 years.
How did you get into it?
My twin sister came home one day and said she seen a kickboxing class on and begged me to join with her. So I went down with her and loved it, so I kept going.
What do you like about kickboxing that keeps drawing you back?
I was suffering from depression and I also have anger issues so I find that going to the gym and hitting a bag and pushing myself in training really helps. I actually feel better after coming out of the gym.
Is there anything you don’t like?
I don’t like sparring cause I don’t like hitting anyone. Only the bags!
Did you find it tough coming back after so long?
Not really. All the training stuck with me and I learned a lot through kickboxing about diet etc. and I carried that with me.
What are your aspirations for the future in the sport?
I have been training for so long now, I would really like to go for my Black Belt.
When you are training, do you mind training with males?
No it doesn’t bother me at all.
Do you find it tough juggling training with having kids?
Yes and no. Sometimes I find it tough, I am so tired, but I just keep going.
What’s your favourite memory?
There is not one specific memory. I just remember the camaraderie we had in the club when I first started and I just loved it.
What are your personal goals?
Achieving my Black Belt and maybe doing a course to become an official. I love kickboxing so much and I just want something to show my kids, something they can be proud of!
What male inspires you?
My instructor Ken. I trained with him from when I first started. I know where he started and to see him now and how far he’s come. He really is an inspiration!
What female inspires you?
You know you don’t have to pick me!
Yeah I know, but to see all the training you do, it’s so good to see you going out and coming back with the belts. It just goes to show that the hard training really does pay off! It just makes me want to keep training. I’m proud to be part of the club!
Here is a poster with details about the Gala. If you want more info contact: 089 4373449
Send me in your stories or anything you want discussed on the blog to firstname.lastname@example.org.