Kickboxing: Words of a Winner
Martial Arts is a popular exercise and self-defence form that everyone wishes to learn but one that demands absolute commitment and utmost diligence from its pupil, before bestowing its unique favours on them. Martial Arts can bring discipline, strength and muscle memory into one's life and teach them reflexes that can catch predators off guard, a coveted skill crucial for every woman, especially in this subcontinent. Parsa Sanjana, a young woman who won a kickboxing competition on the 17th of June this year, organized by Endure Combat BJJ and MMA, talks about her journey with martial arts and her reasons for choosing this way of life.
A certified fitness and nutrition coach by profession, Parsa Sanjana teaches her students kickboxing basics for cardio. She started her own journey with Martial Arts with Tae Kwon Do in 2017 before venturing into kickboxing. "I wasn't fit enough for kickboxing from the beginning. It took a lot of work and a lot of self-education, to bring my fitness and strength to a level that was conducive to the sport."
Endure Combat is a gym that specialises in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts which offered Parsa a chance to train for and compete in the female kickboxing competition. Looking back to the long weeks of training before the competition, the young coach and trainee said that she was only given a few weeks of coaching before the event. "We didn't have a lot of time before the competition. I trained 6 out of 7 days in a week. I was given just one day of rest and recovery." With a demanding training routine which comprised weight lifting and other strenuous tasks, Parsa recalls being on a strict home-cooked diet of high carbohydrates and protein to build muscle and provide her energy for the rigorous training she underwent. She remains grateful to Minhaz Remo, her coach for strength and conditioning and Quazi Hussain, her combat trainer, for polishing her skills and boosting her confidence.
"There were only two females competing, my opponent and I, since kickboxing has not gained as much traction with women yet." The sport is, however, gaining popularity and Parsa feels that there are a lot of practical uses for it.
Parsa also has her own reasons for leaning towards kickboxing, as opposed to other self-defence forms. She maintains that as a young girl, she was shy and very nervous, and she took up martial arts to rid herself of that. "It is not simply to pick fights- but imagine yourself out in the streets, you feel very vulnerable. I wanted the kind of muscle memory to be able to combat dangers, or even the strength to make a run for it, if such a situation arose. Kickboxing is an umbrella term that comprises punches and kicks from a variety of martial arts forms. It could give me those specific skill sets."
The kickboxer cum fitness coach feels that kickboxing is a great discipline for anyone, at any age. She does warn those who are thinking of taking up the sport at a later age that the body does tend to slow down and one needs more time to heal from the wear and tear this exercise
entails, as you age. Therefore, the sooner you take it up, the better. For the younger enthusiasts, she has nothing but encouragement.