Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Inspiration

My friend and student Bex Packham has been kicking ass and taking names lately so I thought I would devote a whole post to her awesomeness! She is 16 years old and has been training really hard for the last year. You can check out the whole article at
MMA Prospects
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I meet Bex Packham after Junior MMA class to have a chat and do some competition sparring for the upcoming British Open Brazilian Jiujistu competition that we are both training for. Bex smiles when I ask her what made her want to come and try a sport that generally attracts more of a male audience. "My brother was really into wrestling and had been getting into fights with our step brother. I think my dad thought the class would help him to channel his temper. He asked me to come along to a class and I thought ok I'll go to one just until he makes some friends but it was so much fun I just kept coming back!"
I can relate to her on this one, the first class that I went to was to spend more time with my then boyfriend who was ditching me more and more to spend time at the dojo training. I thought I would go and see what all the fuss was about but similar to Bex I was quickly hooked to the sport! I think it can be difficult for some girls to take that initial step and try a class and it can be nice to have a friend with you when you start your journey.

Bex quickly took to the sport balancing a busy schedule of school and social commitments yet still making it to the gym 5 times a week! It wasn't long before she decided to start competing. With a lack of girls her age involved in the sport she gutsily stepping up to fight the boys at competitions and has sent a fair few home clutching a runners up meddle and not knowing what hit them.
R: Am I right in thinking the last two competitions you have done have seen you beat the guys to take home the gold? B: Yeah I still can't believe it myself It's great to be able to see that everything you learn in training is really effective in competition. Its brilliant to suprise the spectators, they always approach me afterwards with wide eyes, sorta in disbelief haha R: I watched your fight on youtube, it's got so many views, what do your friends and family think about it all? B: They were all really impressed; I think it helped them to understand the sport a bit better. My family are really supportive especially my mum. R: Do you find it tough being the only girl in class B: No I really enjoy training and am friends with all the guys, no one has an attitude and Pauls class is really fun. R: what do you enjoy most about the sport? B: It's just made me more confident in myself; it makes you feel like you can achieve anything. R: Do you follow MMA on TV? B: Yeah I sometimes watch it but I actually prefer watching amateur MMA, it just feels more real I think the production and entertainment side of the stuff you see on TV detracts from the sport its self. R: Do you have a favourite fighter? B: I like Gina Carano, I think she helped people to see that just because you do a combat sport it doesn’t mean that you aren’t feminine, I guess females in any male dominated sports have to put up with that though. R: What are your goals for the future? B: Now that I am 16 I am hoping to get my blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and compete against women in the adult divisions. I would love to do some more amateur MMA but it's just the challenge of finding opponents.
I can tell that the future of WMMA is going to be even more exciting with talented younger fighters like Bex representing the sport. Bex is training hard for the BJJ British Open and looking forward to testing herself in MMA.Its Great to see how much passion Bex has for the sport and it takes me back to when I first started and how exciting it was to find something that I really loved doing. Here are some videos of Bex showing the guys how its done at the last couple of grappling comps we have been to!