Sophomore learns boxing to defend herself


Madelyn Knight

Sophomore Taylor Collins practices with her coach on Feb 22. Collins started engaging in boxing around 2015, and she has been doing this for over one year now.

Madeline Hittel, Reporter

Between splitting her knuckles, taping her wrists and spending hours at her gym, sophomore Taylor Collins says MMA boxing takes time, dedication and hard work. When Collins was eight years old, she started Taekwondo and then switched to boxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu in 2015.

Brazilian jiu jitsu combines wrestling and ground fighting. This includes moves such as choke holds and hip-throws. Boxing is a standing style of fighting with gloves.

Collins’s father found it very important for her to learn self defense, which she agreed on. Although Collins began this extra-curricular in an attempt to learn how to defend herself, she has fallen in love with this vigorous and time consuming sport.

Taekwondo isn’t a contact sport, but after learning it, Collins found that she was more interested in participating in a more contact sport. Even though Collins enjoyed competing, she was most interested just having the opportunity to box.

“I just really wanted to beat people up,” Collins said.

Because most boxing competitions require competitors to be 18 years of age, Collins isn’t able to compete yet, however she plans to compete in the future.

These sports not only take commitment, but, according to Collins,  they also require a lot of time to train and condition to be strong enough to compete. Collins does a variety of training throughout the week, including conditioning, mat-work and competitive style training. She spends five days a week at the gym with a total of 14 hours per week.

“Some days (I’d be training for) two hours, some days like four hours,” Collins said. “My weekends were kind of taken away.”

Although Collins has never been in a situation where she had to defend herself physically, she feels confident that if she did have to, she could defend herself well.

Collins’ coach, James Clingerman, has been working with Collins since 2015, and since then he has gotten to know her and her work ethic well. Clingerman believes that just like any other sport, this one takes time and effort forth into being strong enough to perform it well enough.

“To be successful at it, just like anything else, it takes a lot of commitment,” Clingerman said. “They have to put the time in to learn the techniques, they have to drill the techniques.”

When Collins is at the gym, she doesn’t waste any time messing around.

“She was never one to sit around and chit-chat, or play around on the mat,” Clingerman said. “When she was here, she was training and trying to get better.”