Interview with Linda Ooms

                                                                       

1.      Please give us a little personal background on yourself, such as how old you are, where you live, what you do for a living, your educational background, etc.

      My name is Linda Ooms. I知 22 years old. I was born and raised in Zutphen, a town in the east of Holland. I知 still living there with my parents and two little sisters. I知 studying biomedical sciences at the university of Nijmegen. Kickboxing and studying takes up most of my time. I have been working in a gym until a few weeks ago and now I知 again looking for another job.

2.      How did you become interested in kickboxing?

      I was always fascinated by the movies of Bruce lee and Jean Claude van Damme. One day when I was 9 years old, my father took me and my little sisters to the gym, because he wanted that his girls could defend themselves. I saw a little girl kickboxing and I thought: 的 want that too!

3.      How long have you been training, and how old were you when you first began training?

      I was 9 years when I started training. I知 now 22 years old, so I have been training for 13 years!

4.      Can you describe a typical training day?

Normally I go to school in the morning. I usually get back home at 5.00 pm and then I have dinner. After that I go to the gym. Depending on the day, we do techniques, pads training and/or sparring. 

 

5.      Do you have any special diet to stay fit?

      I don稚 follow a special diet. During the day I eat bread with cheese or peanut butter, fruit and healthy snacks. In the evening I always eat the things my parents cook for me and that varies a lot from Indonesian food (rice) to Dutch food (potatoes) and Italian food (pasta).

 

6.      When was your first fight, and whom did you fight?

      My first fight was against Carola Jansen of Akdeniz Gym. I was 15 years old. At that time it was very hard to find an opponent for me because I was weighing only 36 kilograms. Carola was also a few kilograms heavier than I was.

7.      How  did you feel before your first fight, and what do you remember most about that fight?

 

      I know I was very nervous. I had to wear head protection and I was not used to that. I had to fight 2 rounds of 1.5 minutes. I never got tired during a 2 hour training but I was after these 2 rounds! I lost by a points decision.

 

8.       If you could do that fight over again, what would you do differently?

 

      I was sure I could defeat Carola, so I challenged her again. I had to move more because she was a lot heavier than I was. This time I defeated her by a points decision!

 

9.      How does your family feel about you fighting in a ring? And how do you handle the natural fear and anxiety before a fight?

      My parents and my sisters are my greatest supporters. They always come along to see me fight except for some matches outside Holland. My mom is very nervous and she would rather see me dancing, but she is always there when I have to fight. My father is nervous too, but he is very proud to see his daughter in the ring.

      On the day of the fight I handle my nerves by doing the things I like such as reading a book or watching television. Before the match I am with my trainer Kenneth. His calm and trust give me faith and power. I知 still nervous then but I need that to get focussed for the match.

10.   What rules and style of kickboxing do you prefer, and why?

      I prefer to fight on thaiboxing rules with knees and clinching, because I致e been training this style for many years and is feels most naturally.

11.    Do you think women should fight three minute rounds like the men?

      Yes, I think the woman fighters train hard and they can easily handle 3 minute rounds just like the male A-fighters.

12.    What is your favourite technique?

      I don稚 have one favourite technique. I want to control many techniques and thus be a complete fighter.

13.   You recently fought Claudia Fontebasso of Belgium after a nine month layoff. What can you tell us about that fight? And what did you think about Fontebasso?

      This fight was very important to me to see if I could do the things I had learned and to prove I知 a good fighter. Not only for other people, but especially for myself. I had been under a lot of pressure and if I could turn all the negative energy in positive energy this would give me strength and faith that I can handle every situation. Kenneth, my trainer was a great support to me. The fight went very well, and I could do everything my trainer said. It felt I was dancing in the ring. I didn稚 get in any troubles but Claudia Fontebasso is a strong fighter, who gave me a good match.

14.  Who was the toughest opponent you have fought so far, and what made her so tough?

      Most of my opponents were strong fighters but I can稚 name one in particular.

15.  I am going to name some fighters and ask what is the first thing that comes to  mind when you think about them?

a. Ilonka Elmont? I think she is the best female fighter in my weight division in Holland. I have fought a boxing match against her and now I知 going to fight her on thaiboxing rules on March 5th  in Groningen, the Netherlands.


b. Mari Curriki? Strong in clinching.


c. Eva Naranjo? Eva has got strong punches. She fights on kickboxing rules. I lost by a points decision but I would like to fight her again someday on thaiboxing rules.


d. Soumia? I only know her by name and I have never seen her fight.  

16.  Have you ever fought in Thailand? If yes, tell us about your experience there.

      I致e never fought in Thailand but I really would like to train and fight there someday!

17.  Who will you be fighting next?

 

      My next fight will be against Ilonka Elmont for the Dutch title. This fight will be held on March 5th at the Martiniplaza in Groningen, the Netherlands.
 

18.  You were negotiating a fight with Sachiyo Shibata of Japan, back in November, but the fight fell through. Would you like to challenge Shibata for one of her world titles? What would you like to say to her?
 

      Shibata is the best female fighter in my weight division at this moment. I want to become the best fighter so I would really like to fight her for one of her world titles. Because of a lot of miscommunication and interference of other people this fight didn稚 took place earlier. The only thing I want to say to Shibata is, that if she痴 looking for an opponent her management can contact my trainer, because I would like to fight her!

  AAre there any American or European fighters that you would also like to fight?  If yes, who?

      I would like to fight every good woman fighter in my weight division, but especially Jackie Short and Eva Naranjo. These are the only two fighters to whom I致e lost.

20.   Is there any particular foreign country where you would especially like to travel to fight?

      It is a dream to fight in the Tokyo Dome in Japan! A super fight between the K-1 fights but it would also be great if there could come a K-1 tournament for ladies 50-52.5kg.

21.  You are only 22 years of age, and you already have 18 fights. What has been your most satisfying achievement so far?

      I do not have one satisfying achievement but many. Every time I overcome my fears and perform above expectations. Maybe the most satisfying achievement is everything I致e reached so far together with my trainer Kenneth Macnack!

22.  What has been your biggest disappointment so far?

      I知 not disappointed in the fights a did. The ones I lost (some I didn稚 really lose), I lost by a points decision and it were all good fights. I致e learned a lot of them. I知 most disappointed in people for whom I致e cheered but who want to see me lose.

23.  What do you think should be done to increase the popularity of women痴 kickboxing?

      First, the promoters should put more women fights on the programme. Secondly, promoters should organise a tournament like K-1 for ladies.

24.  What would you like to say to the fans in closing?

I thank all people who support me. They give me warmth and strength. I hope my fights will be fights they enjoy to see!

                               

Thanks to Linda Ooms for taking her time to share with us!

    

     
Linda and her trainer, Kenneth MacNack

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