Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Interview: 16-year-old Kickboxer Brittney Updike

The darling but tough Brittney Updike

At 16 years old, Brittney Updike is an up-and-coming kickboxer with an impressive record of 2-1.  Although young, Brittney was incredibly polite and well-spoken and absolutely in love with the sport she practices.  It was fascinating to talk to a young girl who trains and competes.  She also had a hilarious story about fighting an ex-boyfriend.  Check it out!

How did you get started?
It started out kind of weird, actually.  My best friend had a birthday party and another friend was there.  He and I started dating, then he started training at the gym.  He is actually my trainer's nephew.  We both went there together but I just watched because I wasn't really into it.  But he said it would be a good thing for my cardio.  I decided to start training there but I didn't have any idea that I would start fighting.  Four months later my trainer, Bill, asked me if I wanted to fight and I was like 'Yeah, that would be awesome.'  Training has changed my entire life.

What styles are you training right now?
I'm just doing kickboxing right now.  I started off doing both kickboxing and grappling, but when I started fighting, it was just kickboxing.  Now I'm going to try to get back into the grappling again.

Describe a typical training week for you.
I train in Fort Atkinson.  We just moved there a little while ago and are just starting on our feet again.  We basically get there at the same time and start stretching, then do two or three rounds of cardio, which is a cycle from the bags to abs, or something like that, just circle around switching between the different stations.  Then we normally spar everyday, then do a burn-out drill.

Are you training with other teenagers?
I am training with people who are older.  I am the only person under eighteen in the gym.

Are there any women in the gym?
Yes.  Rachelle is 21 years old and she fights.  We train together really well.

Do you do any cross-training outside of the gym?
At my house I do a couple of mini cardio things and weight-lift.  Rachelle lives probably ten minutes away from me.  We have a weightlifting set from the old gym that we moved into Rachelle's apartment, which is right over the gym.  I go over there once or twice a week to weight-lift with her.

When is your next competition?
My trainer is trying to find me a fight for December 10th but it is hard because there are not that many people my age who fight.  Tt's hard to find people out there that I would fight, especially girls.  I've fought guys before and some of them don't want to fight me because I'm a girl, of course. 

[Laughs] That's awesome.  I saw a picture of you during your fight against a boy.  Does it make a difference to you whether you fight a girl or a guy?
It doesn't make a difference to me because I mainly spar guys.  I spar with Rochelle every once in a while, but not much.  It is just like the gym, I guess.  And it's funny because that male opponent was my boyfriend who got me into the gym and now he is not training anymore.

Wait, what?  You fought your boyfriend?
Well, we broke up and then we fought.

[Dying laughing]  That is so funny!  That is like something you would see in a movie...awesome. What are your plans for once you turn eighteen?  You are obviously going to have a lot more competitors.  Are you planning to continue with kickboxing or will you go to MMA at that point?
I am going to try to do MMA.  I've got to start doing the grappling so I can catch up otherwise I am at a lack on the ground.

You've had three fights so far.  Were you nervous before you got in the ring?
My first one I was extremely nervous.  That was my loss, actually.  I tensed up and that's probably the main reason why I lost; it was something really new to me.  My second and third fight went better because I realized that if I treated it like a sparring match.

Does your training or mindset change when you prepare for a fight?
I think a lot more.  I think way too much about what I am going to do, I tense up a lot and I get nervous.  That is one of the worst parts, I don't do very well when I get nervous.

What about in the gym.  Does your training change?
I train everyday like I have a fight.  If I have to drop weight, I'll try to do it in the gym instead of doing to the sauna or something.

What do you like to do the day of your fight?
I normally try to think of a gameplan and what I want to use most during the fight.  I think a lot and I get nervous and shaky sometimes.

What do you like to do after a fight?
Normally there are a lot of fights after me because the kids go first, so I stay and watch the other fights.  I don't do anything special; I just like to watch the other fights and zone out.

Is it hard to be in high school and train as hard as you do?
Not really.  I think I am kind of used to it.  I've been in hockey since I was six and I was the only one at my school that did hockey.  So I'm used to having a sport that is different than anyone else.

Are there any fighters out there that you look up to?
I really like Cris 'Cyborg.'  She's one of my favorites.

Do you want to keep competing when you get older?
I want to do this for the rest of my life...as long as I can anyways.

What do your friends and family think about you fighting?
My friends and family support me 100%.  My family takes me to training.  My friends made me a banner last time I fought.  They watched and thought it was cool and they want to watch all my fights.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize?
My trainer Bill "The Shark" Finn at SharkBite MMA.  He's definitely helped me with all this.  And definitely Rachelle.  She definitely understands...you know the guys are a lot stronger, but she has helped me fit in. Also my training partner, Hunter Strohbusch.

Contact Brittney through her supportive father Stacey:

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