Fit girl feature: How combat sport can literally change your life

“I’d broken my nose in the first round and my left foot in the second round, but that was not enough to stop me.”

Combat sports are fast growing in South Africa and more so among women. I myself have dabbled with kickboxing for fitness and continue to enjoy training with my coach, Cristiano Ndombassy. While combat sport physically tests your limits and improves your physique, there are much greater lessons to be learned from combat sport such as strategic thinking, endurance, and confidence. I chatted to MMA fighter and fellow blogger at Boxing Barbie, Wisaal Adams, on how MMA has literally changed her life.

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When she’s not studying towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Communication, working full time or blogging at Boxing Barbie, Wisaal can be found engaging in exciting outdoor activities or practising her MMA techniques.

As a self-acclaimed adrenaline junkie, she recalls immediately falling in love with MMA when she first started training in 2006. Her brother and friend were both training at Dean Scott’s MMA in Planation Road, Ottery, and had frequently suggested that she check out the gym. By the time she’d attended her first fight night with her coach and team in 2012, she knew that her next best adrenaline rush would come from getting into the ring – that night became the defining moment of her deciding to pursue a career as a fighter.

Take a look at Wisaal’s latest feature in Get it Magazine: Barbie in the ring

Currently an amateur K1 fighter, she recalls how the excitement of viewing her first fight was really overwhelming, and how what really grabbed her attention was the courage, heart and commitment she saw in each fighter that night.

“Fighting has definitely taught me some great life lessons that can be applied inside and outside of the gym. I’ve learned discipline; how to be patient; how to work with what I have, and most definitely to be humble, regardless of how great you are. I’ve put every lesson fighting has taught me, into practise in most of what I do daily. I’d fought at Cape Fight League in December 2013 and at that fight, I’d broken my nose in the first round and my left foot in the second round, but that was not enough to stop me. I’m often asked how I had not given up – everyone assumes that the adrenaline rush is too great to feel pain, but aside from having a shockingly high pain tolerance, my heart was in that fight.”

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With inspiration from fighters like Amanda ‘Mad dog’ Lino and assistance from her new personal trainer, who offers tailored training sessions according to her preference, Wisaal maintains her training and motivation since her beloved fight club, Dean Scott’s MMA closed down in 2015.

When finding the ideal gym to train at, she recommends having a trial session at a few places and also basing your final decision on whether the training periods match your schedule and location. “There are quite a couple of good gyms in Cape Town. Finding the right gym is a personal choice; it’s best to have a trial session at a few places before you decide which gym to make your home.”

Boxing Barbie covers combat sporting events in and around Cape Town with live feeds from the events on Twitter. Follow the news feed, here.

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Connect with Wisaal on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more information on her MMA career and social life.

Author: Robyn

  • Couldn’t agree with you more! I learned more about myself and challenged myself in life as well as as the dojo!

  • Combat sport, or any competitive sport is great way for woman to build self confidence. Great Article !

  • What a great article! It sounds like a lot can be gained from combat sport, I’d never really thought of it like that before

    • Thanks so much Sarah. The biggest lesson learned is discipline. It’s amazing what you can do (how resourceful one becomes) when you’re staking your life on something.

  • Anonymous

    So glad we’re in contact again, Robyn.

  • (I think I’d rather learn discipline without a broken nose!!) LOL
    So glad we’re connected again.

    • Hahaha, when you put it that way, it seems the reasonable thing to do. I personally don’t compete so won’t have my nose broken any time soon