Sports

A fighting chance

Women are starting to making a huge impact on MMA

Women break out in the growing sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) as it moves away from its male dominated roots, gaining support for women.

“I think women should do [MMA] because it builds your confidence,” said Baljit Singh, a participant of the Athlima Fitness MMA boot camp.

“You become stronger, not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally.”

Singh said she loves the energy she gets from doing MMA and that it leads up to a good nap afterwards.

Rosavel Bong has a martial arts background and has been teaching MMA for about two-and-a-half years.

“It’s good that MMA is becoming more popular,” said Bong.

“It allows women to feel more comfortable doing something that hadn’t been as supported and seen as a man’s sport.” Bong said MMA gives you confidence in terms of self-defence and being able to hold yourself.

Bong, who is a coach with Athlima Fitness, said they give women the chance to experience MMA without the competitiveness.

Their slogan is: Get MMA fit without being hit.

Even without the competitive edge, their training is still very intense and builds up women’s strength.

“It also contributes to all aspects of building your confidence,” said Bong.

“Lethal” Lindsay Garbatt of Oshawa, Ontario transitioned from boxing into MMA.

Garbatt felt she went as far as she could in boxing and felt like it was time to make the transition.

“It was now or never, and with its growing popularity it was a good time to make the switch,” said Garbatt.

Garbatt has now been fighting with MMA for three years and has about a decade of boxing in her background.

Other then getting to punch people in the face, Garbatt said she loves MMA because it’s something she has always been good at and she felt it was time to see how far she could go with it.

The hardest part for transitioning from boxing to MMA was learning the different style.

“I had so much to learn.”

“Having a boxing background I had a good base, but it was definitely still outside of my comfort zone—but I still went ahead with the transition.” The strongest appeal that MMA has for Garbatt is getting to see women in a male dominant sport, but still being feminine and cool.

“It’s not something people are used to: seeing women fighting,” she said.

“The way they’re displaying women and seeing their background and the type of people they are is motivating and inspiring to see.” Garbatt loves being able to see female athletes getting a lot of exposure, because there is a lot of talent out there.

“With the few years that I have been in it, I feel like I have put a lot of work into it and have pushed myself outside of my comfort zone,” she said.

“But it has definitely been worth it.”

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