How did a girl standing at 1.6 metres tall find courage against a guy three times her size? The Legends Fight Sport member shares her boxing journey.

“I was supposed to get married three years ago. I was 8kg heavier back then, so I picked up boxing to lose weight. I burnt so many calories and I was the fittest I had ever been in my life. When my ex-fiancé and I broke up and called off the wedding, I stayed with the sport.

When we were together, I was more dependent on him than I thought. We used to live together, and he was the one who’d sort the bills out or run errands. After we broke up, I realised I didn’t know how to do basic things like negotiate rent or fix certain things at home.

I guess I had to learn to be super independent. And thanks to boxing, I learnt to be more confident, even without the presence of a male figure. In the past, guys would be overly touchy, be it at work or in public spaces. Some customers would lean on me and even touch my butt.

It’s really different when there’s a guy beside you; no one dares to touch you. But when you’re alone a lot, people will try to push your boundaries and try their luck. As a woman, this happens quite often, although I do know of guys who have been sexually violated too.

In the past, I would just move away from these people and not say anything, but now, I’m more vocal. Over the years, I have gained more confidence to navigate these situations better. If I think that something is wrong or not good for me, I would call it out.

I go to Legends Fight Sport for boxing and my favourite aspect of training is sparring. One thing I love about sparring is that after 12 rounds, all punches are left in the ring, and we can laugh about it and talk about life.

And there’s something interesting about being punched in the face first thing in the morning. There’s no way the day can get any worse! It puts everything else into perspective. 

I guess the confidence I have today comes from knowing how to defend myself, both mentally and physically. I can stay calm under pressure while knowing that I can at least outrun someone. 

The biggest turning point that made me realise how much I’ve changed was when I had to deal with a customer who was three times my size. He was abnormally tall. He misheard something that I had said and started shouting at me.

Can you imagine? I’m 1.6 metres tall and he’s shouting at someone of my stature. But I didn’t feel scared at all. I calmly talked to him, and when he realised he was in the wrong, he hurried out of the space.

The old me would have been terrified. The guy was huge! Even if he was smaller than me, the old me would have been very scared if a person started shouting. But now, I’m no longer fazed by such things. He was probably having a bad day and I just triggered him. Whatever.

I think a lot of women are reluctant to pick up combat sports because it may seem a bit too masculine, too aggressive or not demure enough. But I think that’s bullshit. Knowing how to defend yourself is a human right, so if you wanna pick up boxing, just do it.” – Alina

Interview by: Arman Shah