Guelph’s Molly Martin kicked and punched her way to her first major title at the National Kickboxing Championship earlier this month.
The 14-year-old won her division in kick light and K1 kickboxing at the Canadian Nationals Championships World Karate and Kickboxing tournament in Calgary qualifying her for the World Championships, also in Calgary, this October.
“After winning my last tournament it felt very good and I was very proud of myself. Knowing that I have qualified for the world championships makes me excited just thinking about it,” Martin said. “I can’t wait to go back to Calgary and win the worlds.”
Martin, a Grade 9 student at John F. Ross, began kickboxing six years ago at Guelph MMA where she trains with her coach, Wolfgang Brutter.
With over 300 fights under his belt, both amateur and professional in kickboxing, and numerous fights during his karate and boxing days, Brutter is dedicated to training and supporting future kickboxing champions.
He has trained a number of kickboxers like Martin, whose hearts and minds are set on becoming masters in their divisions.
“I have been coaching Molly since she was just nine years old,” Brutter said. “I felt great when she won. And now we are excited about the worlds coming to Calgary in October."
Brutter say Martin loves the sport and is very driven when it comes to martial arts.
“I’ve been coaching for years and as a fighter too, the thing is to keep Molly going. She’s still young. It can be hard to find someone who wants to keep doing it. But Molly, she is very focused,” Brutter said. “We never know where it’s going to go. But right now, we have an opportunity and we’re going to use it.”
Kickboxing is a combat sport based on kicking and punching that is practiced for self-defence, general fitness or as a contact sport.
The cardio-conditioning element of kickboxing is one of the most effective, and kickboxers are reputed to be among the best conditioned athletes.
“I started kickboxing in 2017. I joined because I thought it would be cool to know how to fight. And my parents wanted my siblings and I to know how to defend ourselves,” Martin said. “I enjoy training with fighters, meeting people and I love travelling for fights and spending time with other people from the gym.”
Born and raised in Guelph, Martin trains six days a week.
“The national competition was very fun, and I learned lots, I did not really have any challenges because my coach was in my corner telling me what to do,” Martin said.
When not at the gym, Martin says she enjoy hanging out with her friends and family, visiting different places, and trying new things.
“I’m really looking forward to the rest of my time doing kickboxing and I hope someday it turns into a career,” Martin said.
“In the future I am still going to be training and competing lots and winning big titles. I am going to hopefully win worlds in October and move onto even bigger competitions.”
The WKU World Championships will be held in Calgary from Oct. 16 to 21.