Last Updated on August 21, 2012.
Interview with Munah Holland
By Daniel Clark – http://mmafractured.wordpress.com/
Munah Holland is a mixed martial artist with a record of 5 wins and 1 loss, Munah kicked her professional career off with a win over Kim Couture via decision. Holland then lost to Justine Kish by triangle choke, both bouts happened in the Ring of Combat. Munah then fought two more times in the Ring of Combat, defeating Marissa Caldwell and Pearl Gonzalez respectively. Holland then made her Bellator debut in March, 2012 defeating Marianna Kheyfets via knockout late into the second round. Munah’s last bout happened in Matrix Fights in July of this year against Carina Damm, Holland won the fight via knockout in the second round.
Munah Holland is the 2007 NY Daily News Golden Gloves Boxing Champion. After competing in over 20 boxing and 10 kickboxing tournaments she went pro in late 2007. She competed in Chuck Norris’ World Combat League Kickboxing Tournaments from late 2007-2008 and gained a great deal of experience and knowledge, in that time she defeated the likes of Felice Herrig, Jennifer Han, Jennifer Santiago and Angie Woolum.
Munah is next expected to fight at Bellator 74 on September 28th, against an opponent to be announced.
Could you tell us about your background and how you got into MMA?
Getting started in MMA all came about because in my first year of college I had gained 50 lbs, yes 50 lbs! I was not very happy about the weight gain and I was losing focus and confidence. It started to affect my moods, my productivity, my motivation, and my grades. My sister, Rofiah Crawford, was training with Tiger Schulmann’s MMA around this time and I was living and going to school in Texas. My sister was raving about how good she felt, how strong, how much weight she lost, and how empowered she felt with her training. She said it was the best thing she had ever done for her mind and body and she was really happy. She encouraged me to come for a visit to the East Coast and the first thing she did was take me to Tiger Schulmann’s to see what it was all about.
I watched her training and I could see how happy she was. I was amazed as I watched my sister toss around men more than twice her size. It was incredible to see the change in her, the speed and power in her movements combined with the agility and flexibility. She encouraged me to take a class and I remember being so nervous and worried that I would not be able to keep up with all these amazing martial artists. Well, that’s all it took, one class and I new I just had to do this, I had to figure out a way. I went back to Texas and tried out over 20 different martial art schools. None of them compared to the feeling I had when I had trained in Tiger Schulmann’s, so of course the logical thing to do was to move to New Jersey so I could train.
The first thing I did after establishing residency and job was to sign up at Tiger Schulmann’s in Watchung, NJ (now North Plainfield, NJ). My instructor, Sensei Paul Querido, motivated me to lose 50 lbs in one year and taught me what it meant to be passionate about the learning of the art form. He encouraged me throughout the years to push myself mentally and physically and to get into competition. I started with NAGA tournaments, Grappler’s Quest, Muay Thai, Kickboxing shows, and Boxing. When I had my first fight and felt this overwhelming sense of clarity of mind and pure joy in the Ring, I was hooked.
Have you any idea who your opponent will be at Bellator 74?
At this point we have some great prospects, but nothing confirmed as of yet.
Who has been your toughest opponent?
Every woman I have faced in the cage has posed some major challenges within myself, so they are all tough in one way or another. However, the honest answer here is, Myself. The truth is that the only loss I have had in MMA was because I allowed myself to get emotional and angry. I stopped thinking about protecting myself and was just thinking of doing damage. It cost me the fight. I have learned a great deal from that loss and will never get in my own way again.
What are your thoughts on Invicta FC?
I am excited for the future of Invicta FC. I feel they are helping Women Fighters to flourish. The Invicta 2 event was incredible and so exciting to watch! None of those amazing female fighters disappointed any of their fans, they all brought everything they could to those matches.
What has been the best moment of your career?
I have to say the fight with Marianna Kheyfets, Bellator 63, this year. It was a pivotal moment for me and I really believe that everyone thought Marianna would walk all over me, so it felt great to bring my heart and soul out there in the cage 100% and prove that I have what it takes to get the job done and done well.
What are your thoughts on Kids in MMA?
I feel that MMA for Kids is the only way for them to really learn how to defend themselves in any and every situation. I think any parent would want their child to be able to protect themselves and have the confidence to know not to take it too far. The discipline of the martial arts is so important for Kids, so they can be taught how not to give up on themselves, persevere even when something is difficult or scary, and not to back down in the face of fear or adversity. I think it gives children a sense of self-confidence that cannot be taught just in regular sporting activities. I think the focus and concentration learned in the martial arts helps build their character and improves their attention span for school and all other sports they get involved with so they can succeed and achieve.
However, I do feel it needs to be safe for kids to learn MMA. In our Tiger Schulmann’s schools kids can learn everything but we do not allow them to hit each other in the face. They will do defensive drills to learn how to block all punches and kicks from their faces and bodies, but when we let them go “live” for “free sparring” we do not allow punches to the face. We want to protect them and their futures!
Is there an opponent you would like to rematch?
What do you like to do outside of the sport and in your spare time?
Spending time with my family is the most important to me. I love being with my family, laughing and just enjoying each others company. I definitely enjoy reading books. I love reading stories about the mind and all it’s potential. I also really enjoy watching all other martial art fights online and on TV and being inspired by those fighters. I do like catching a great movie now and then at the Movie Theatre.
Is there a specific fighter you would like to face in the future?
Since Women MMA fighters are constantly evolving and progressing, I don’t have a particular pick right now. I want to compete with the best and the brightest.
Could you tell us about your training leading up to a fight?
I train almost every day of the week. I listen to my body and get recovery when I need it so I can give 100 % in training each time. Each day we focus on two main elements, for example, one day may be Boxing and Grappling, another Kickboxing and Wrestling, another MMA and Wrestling, etc. There is also strength and conditioning training in addition. I have an amazing supportive team of talented and disciplined teammates who always motivate and challenge me. I get great pleasure out of training and always give my all every session.
How do you feel about the rise of popularity with women in MMA?
I am so proud to be a Female in MMA and to know that the popularity of the thing I love to do the most is rising is just fantastic! The future is bright for women in MMA and I hope more and more people realize how hard we all work for these opportunities. Female fighters definitely have some of the most exciting matches to watch in the world!
Is there anything else you would like add and anyone you would like to thank?
I just want to say that if everyone could feel the overwhelming happiness I feel inside when I fight in MMA no one would question why Women love this sport! I want to thank my family first for their unconditional love and support. My coaches, Tiger Schulmann, Master Ron Schulmann, Ray Velez, Rusty Reade, Sensei Lopez, and Sensei Villafane for helping to constantly motivate me to want to learn more and improve every step of the way. Sensei Paul Querido, for never doubting my heart’s desire and endlessly encouraging me to forge ahead. My Tiger Schulmann’s teammates for being there for me to help ensure I am the best prepared for every fight.
Please follow Munah on Twitter @Munah_Holland