Interview - Kelly Haynes
Over the years I've had the pleasure to meet a lot of inspiring people. Because my background is not martial arts or sports even, it's great to meet different people with a common passion for martial arts, specially women. So I've decided to write about them! I created a small interview and hopefully I'll be talking about different women I met and was lucky enough to train with. I want to tell you their story and hopefully inspire other women to follow their passion for martial arts or any other passion for that matter!
The first person I interviewed was the great Kelly Haynes, current K1 ISKA World Champion and awarded Best Female Martial Artist 2018, by British Martial Arts Awards.
Here are her answers. Enjoy:
How did your journey in martial arts start? And what are you currently training?
I started when I was 12 years old with an organisation called ECKA- Kickboxing. I decided to take part in a KB fight at the age of 12 - I won the nationals and became pee wee national champion but I stopped training and competing straight after as I lost interest for it. The only reason I took part in KB, in the first place, was because my brother was doing it. I wanted to be with my big brother but I just seemed to pick up the technique really quick and was very fast and flexible. My interests changed and so I stopped doing it at the time.
What made you try it?
Wanting to be the same as my big brother.
Tell us more about your journey over the last few years?
My journey over the past few years has been a whirlwind. I started training again 4 years ago. I had a little boy and I was in the middle of a breakup with his father. I hadn't been training since I was 12 years old but training gave me a sense of happiness at such a hard period of my life. About 9-10 months after starting back training I felt the urge to compete again. And since then everything took off unexpectedly fast.
Here are some of Kelly's achievements:
ISKA World Championships in Athens - 2017 - Win and Gold - fought against 3 pro fighters from GB team - I won the K1 fight and got through to the finals. Fought the finals against Maria Macmanam and won gold in Athens.
British Martial Arts Awards - 2017 - Awarded Upcoming Female Fighter 2017, by British Martial Arts Awards.
K1 - LIONS FIGHT O2 London - 2017 - Win - I weighed in 50kg for my K1 fight against Amber Finley, I won by TKO in 40 seconds of the 1st round.
Muay Thai Thailand - 2017 - Win - 2 fights, A CLASS full Muay Thai rules, both won by unanimous decision.
British Martial Arts Awards - 2018 - Awarded Best Female Martial Artist 2018, by British Martial Arts Awards, Warriors Assemble.
In 2017, I was also interviewed for BBC and it was a great experience. Check the full video here.
At the moment. I have no plans set for next year. I love training , I love fighting , but I also love my family and when your a fighter you have to be selfish to make sure you have done all you can to be the best you can be, so I think some family time and catching up with friends would be good.
Any regrets within your training life?
No regrets - it's my new life now. Since I started 4 years ago, I eat, sleep, think fight / training and how I can help others progress.
Where do you want to take it?
I'm a pro fighter, I have an amazing sponsorship deal with Wealth Dragons, a property investment company. I used to work for the company as a property manager, we have a great relationship and they support me 100% throughout my training / injuries and fights. If it wasn't for them and my coaches putting so much time into me, I doubt I'd have these opportunities. I'm very lucky.
How does training make you feel?
Alive !! Happy !! I'm in my own little world.
If there was something you could change in the industry, what would it be?
I would like to see more young girls taking part and not believing it's a boys sport. Girls are great at martial arts! Starting at a younger age and believing in yourself has such an impact in your results as you get older too. I believe you should always push yourself. Some girls hold back with the technique but since I've started training with some of the children, I feel like we've made so much progress. I make sure they get the best out of their sessions and everything they do is on point but I also make sure it is fun at the same time.
What would "Dream come true" look like to you?
Reaching World class, being recognised as a top female fighter.
What advise would you give to other girls and women wanting to take martial arts seriously?
Believe in yourself! Everyone has to start somewhere. Don't give up if something seems hard, keep going till it gets easier. Your brain has the biggest amount of control on your body and what you do, so positive thinking and being strong minded is a key element to succeed in whatever you do.
I don't think Kelly realises how much of an inspiration she is for me and a lot of other women. It was a pleasure training with her and actually helping her with her new amazing website. Speaking of which, have a look - Enigma Fitness.
I will continue following her journey and if you are a woman who loves martial arts, check her out!