Kampfsport ist nicht Gewalt / Martial arts is not violence (Translation)

The following is the original German article and my translation that I did for fun of an article about Sonja Kikuta a world kicking boxing champion. Original article can be found here: http://derstandard.at/1363707227998/Kampfsport-ist-nicht-Gewalt.

“Martial arts is not violence”

Regina Walter, April 18th 2013, 3:38pm

Kickboxing is enjoying a growing popularity among women – the fitness factor is the primary focus – with self defense, the martial art has everything to do with ones mental state.

How does a woman best protect herself from physical confrontations? “Look to get away as quickly as possible,” says Sonja Kikuta. As holder of the ISKA and ETF-Kickboxing World champion title, Kikuta would probably have no problem defending herself. Even so, for her physical self-defense is the very last way out of a dicey situation.

With kickboxing self defense has everything to do with ones mental state. The participants learn to better evaluate situations, to deal with fear and to interpret the body language of the person opposite them. “I would never go into a underground garage at night, knowing that I’m a world champion. That is irresponsible, no matter how many self-defense courses I’ve taken,” says Kikuta.

“Martial arts is not violence,” Kikuta stresses, who has also twice won the state championship in the martial art Taekwondo. Thus kickboxing does not train thugs and troublemakers, it has much more to do with body control and self-discipline. A more precise term than the term fighting sport in this context is the term fighting art, which has less to do with the external performance, than what is inside the practitioner.

Training before achievement

That kickboxing is currently enjoying growing popularity among women, doesn’t just have to do with the mental component however, rather with the fitness factor. As whole-body training, this young style of martial arts promotes strength, endurance, speed, flexibility and coordination equally. All this also has the accompanying positive, health effects, melts fat, tissue is tightened and muscle is built up.

“Most women do sports to be beautiful, with men it’s about competition,” says Kikuta, who as a women in the competitive circuit is still an anomaly in this profession. The “beauty-factor” wasn’t enough for her, achievement is still the main focus for her. Along with overcoming ones boundaries, what she also learned in the competitive circuit was to loose. “In martial arts that it especially bitter, as second place is always the looser.”

In 2010, Kikuta had gotten her last world champion title in Alicante, afterwards she turned her back on competition sports. Today, she enthusiastically passes on her knowledge to women of all ages in Kickboxing courses. At the beginning of a training session, as with many other kinds of sports, is the warm-up phase, which minimizes the risk of injury. Then fighting stances, leg work, punching and kicking techniques alone and together with a partner are trained.

Patience with the technique

The training for men and women is different, like the motivation to practice with sport. “Getting men excited about technique is an art. They don’t have the patience to practice a technique for a month,” Kikuta says. She describes working with women as charged with emotion. “When a woman gets hit int he face, that is a problem for many. Men don’t care,” she adds.

In the gym hits to the face are not customary, however. Training is with a punching mitt that the partner holds in their hands. Punches, hooks, diverse kicks land on these robust tools Special bandages or boxing gloves are used to protect the hands and fingers. Cups, head, chest, and mouth guards are only required in competition sports.

Health and fun are what’s important for Kikuta today. The diplomatic nurse regrets that the world of competition is still a mans world. (Regina Walter, derStandard, April 4th 2013

Photos are from the slide show here: http://derstandard.at/1363708343546/Kickboxen—Training-fuer-Koerper-und-Geist

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