Vail Valley momma gonna knock you out
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado –She’s running circles around everyone else jogging around the small Edwards gym. It’s a Thursday morning and Kim Christodal, owner of Inyodo Martial Arts, is taking part in the studio’s 9 a.m. kickboxing class. Her extremely focused face and fast pace belie her motivation: the 34-year-old mother of two isn’t just here to shed some baby weight – that’s long gone, anyway. She is preparing for her first kickboxing competition on June 18 in Denver.
“I’m really excited about the fight,” she said. “Every time I see a lot of the girls I’ve trained, they’ll fight someone and they do so well I’m like why aren’t I doing it? The past few years I’ve been busy having babies and teaching and this gives me something to look forward to. It gives me that goal.”
Christodal is married to Jason Field. The couple met in Los Angeles while training for taekwondo. They’ve each practiced martial arts their whole lives – Field has even trained some of the top mixed martial arts fighters. Together they own two martial arts studios – one in Edwards and one in Eagle.
She teaches kid’s taekwondo classes and cardio-kickboxing classes five days a week. Beyond that, she trains once or twice a day for an hour or two at a time, six or seven days per week. Christodal doesn’t just kickbox, she cross trains by running, biking, lifting weights and doing taekwondo too.
The woman is a machine and it shows. She is tan and toned and more importantly, she’s strong. That means that come June 18, whomever faces her is in for quite the challenge.
And the spectators are in for an exciting match, too. Field thinks that girl fights are the most exciting fights because women rely on technique more than muscle.
“Girl fights are known for intensity, heart and scrappiness,” he said. “Don’t mess with an angry girl.”
But regardless, in the gym there are no men or women – only athletes, he said.
Christodal took the time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily.
1. Vail Daily: Tell me about your background in martial arts.
Kim Christodal: My family started training together in Tang Soo Do in the late ’70s. I was five at the time and told that I was too young to start, that I had to be 6 or 7. So I would listen to the class and follow along in the hallway. After a few months of consistent hallway practice, they let me join class. So I formally began my training at the age of 5 in 1980.
2. VD: Why did you decide to enter a kickboxing match in June?
KC: I have competed in “traditional” martial arts my whole life. Point sparring, forms etc. To compete in full-contact kickboxing, in a ring or cage, as part of a fight card is really the natural evolution of competing for me. I am very competitive and enjoy challenging myself.
3. VD: You sound incredibly disciplined:
KC: This kickboxing match demands a lot of personal discipline. Prior to the fight I will have a regimented diet, regimented workout and limited luxuries. So to me, much of the fight is about the self-discipline and the focus you demand from yourself.
Then there are the more obvious parts, such as the nerves of dealing with the “show,” and the minutes that slowly tick by in the last few days and how to deal with that mentally. Just getting through the weigh-ins the night before the fight and seeing the girl for the first time is a huge mental challenge.
So you can see that most of the challenge is battling yourself. Three rounds of kickboxing with another girl who wants to win is almost the easy part. After all, that is what I am most experienced in. And ultimately, as a mother of two (I had my second son 11 months ago) and being in my 30s, it is time to make sure my list of challenges are checked off and I have no regrets of having missed anything.
4. VD: Do girls get knocked out?
KC: Absolutely! Anyone can get knocked out. But I don’t intend to and I won’t be surprised if I knock her out. I train with all the guys at Inyodo, and they are making sure I can take a punch.
5. VD: How old are your kids?
KC: My two sons are Elias and Evan. Elias is about to turn 3 in July, and Evan is 11 months. Elias just started our Tiger Tots class for 2-1/2-year-olds and Evan crawls around the mat. It is mandatory that my kids earn their black belt in taekwondo. Taekwondo teaches them confidence, manners and discipline, as well as great coordination and agility. It helps them with everything.
6. VD: How do people react when you tell them you’re competing next month?
KC: Most everyone that I know is from martial arts, so very few people I talk to are shocked about my fight. The people I train with either say it is about time or that they want to do it next.
7. VD: And this is your first fight ever?
KC: Yep, it’s my first. I’ve done martial arts sparring, but this is my first actual fight. It’ll be continuous. No one stops the match unless someone gets knocked out or the bells rings.
High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.