Kickboxing champion highlights importance of continuous training

|     Fadhil Yunus     |

BRUNEI Darussalam female kickboxing champion Hajah Noreen binti Nur Haji Muhammad has stressed the need for continuous and consistent training.

The local kickboxer won her first professional fight in Borneo Martial Arts Expo at the Palm Beach Resort and Spa in Labuan. She won her sixth bout in the competition to claim the belt.

“Every individual needs to give full commitment in training as without it, it will be difficult. Once you give your 100 per cent, only then you can see the output,” said Hajah Noreen Nur in an interview with the Bulletin at the 018 Mixed Martial Arts Gym in Serusop.

“If you want to fight but your commitment to training is non-existent, then it will be very difficult. Training is very important.

“I have a strong passion for kickboxing because of training. I will not stop training even though I won the belt,” she stressed.

Hajah Noreen binti Nur Haji Muhammad with her kickboxing peers at 018 MMA Gym. – FADHIL YUNUS

“I need to train more and improve my skills. I fight when I still can. You don’t stop when you achieve something and you keep on learning and training.

“Every individual need people and a team to train and work with. These people serve as motivation,” said Hajah Noreen Nur.

“I am very grateful that my team (018 MMA) is very positive and supportive. All of them came to Labuan to provide support.”

Hajah Noreen’s first journey in competitive meets came in March 2017 when she won silver in the Borneo Amateur Competition (BAC) 4. The meet boosted Hajah Noreen’s dedication even further as she continuously trained after a three-day break.

“I continuously trained and I didn’t stop after the first competition. After that I joined a tournament in August 2017 and at the end of the tournament I had a week-long break. After that, I trained again and I never stop.”

Hajah Noreen competed in BAC 5 in August 2017 where she secured another silver and this fuelled her even more towards striving for more success.

“When you lose, it does not mean you stop. You have to work hard, keep on training and think positively. When you lose, you accept the defeat and learn from your loss.”

Hajah Noreen won gold in the Palawan Boxing tournament in Brunei in November before joining the Borneo Martial Arts Expo in Labuan where she followed up with another gold to her collection.

She first garnered interest in kickboxing when she joined Projek Kurus organised by ADN in 2016, in which the workouts primarily centred on the sport.

Hajah Noreen competes under the tutelage of Coach Adey and Coach Dean both of whom who had been playing an influential role in her progress from the start of her journey.

The 34-year old also shared that the level of intensity increased once the competition gets closer.

“Every time there is a fight, the training gets more intense. At first, training is as normal but two or three months prior to the fight training is further raised,” said Hajah Noreen.

Having raised the bar for female kickboxing scene, Hajah Noreen shared that concentrating on fitness is at the heart of kickboxing.

“Usually people have the perception that kickboxing is associated with boxing. In truth, kickboxing is more to do with fitness, technique and self-defence. It is the whole package which includes losing weight and self-defence.”

From the programme, she joined the ladies’ kickboxing group and then steadily progressing into the heat and open kickboxing training.

Hajah Noreen, who works as a schoolteacher, said that improving her craft in punches and kicks are crucial towards boosting chances of success on the ring adding that such work must be accompanied with a strong mind-set.

“The coaches will tell you if your technique is not right. If you get distracted, you have to focus. You train for three months and in the ring, one round lasts for three minutes.”

Asked on her thoughts on individuals who are just starting out or consider joining kickboxing, she said, “Kickboxing is enjoyable and helps relieve stress. I can say that it is fun and it gives out a positive vibe.

“I would love to see youth joining kickboxing because they are viewed as the future. Hopefully, there will be a rise in interest in the field of martial arts especially in kickboxing.

“We need more young people in the sport especially the female. If you have the heart to fight, go for it!” the kickboxer said.