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Maria Ostapchuk

Maria Ostapchuk

Interview from a maternity hospital




Русская версия








Maria Ostapchuk, 23, Novopolotsk, Belarus. Kickboxer and Muay Thai fighter, two-time world Muay Thai champion in the category 63,5kg. Her record is 40 fights, 35 won (16 KO). Training in the Gym "Kick Fighter"; her manager is Evgeny Kotelnikov.

Interview from a maternity hospital – with help of Maria's manager Evgeny Kotelnikov


First of all, we congratulate you on the birth of your son. We hope he will grow up healthy, happy and strong as his mom.

What sports are you practicing?

Muay Thai and kickboxing (K-1 style)

What are your best achievements in the sports and what your bout was the best?

- Second place in the World Muay Thai championship in Chiangmai (Thailand) in 2004, 67kg.
- First place in the World Muay Thai championship in Bangkok (Thailand) in 2005, 67kg.
- First place in the World Muay Thai championship in Bangkok (Thailand) in 2007, 67kg.
- The best bout – against an English fighter on the 2007 championship. I knocked her out by kicking to head in 5 seconds – it was the shortest bout in the world championship history.

Why have you chosen kickboxing and Muay Thai which are still unusual for women? What encourage you to practice them?

I have been enjoyed everything in Muay: traditions, Wai Kru dance, music of the bout, techniques and friendly atmosphere in the club…

You said "I knocked her out by kicking to head"… Is not this sport dangerous and injurious to health? Especially for brain functions?

I didn't get hard blows, so I don't have any harmful complications. In fact, the number of punches and kicks reaching head in Muay Thai is several times less than in kickboxing and ten times than in boxing. However. Muay Thai is much more effective for self defense.

What are the principal differences between Muay Thai and kickboxing?

Basically by the spirit and traditions. Also by technique arsenal: clinch, elbow and knee blows are allowed as well as a grasp of the leg with a subsequent kick to the supporting leg. Actually, if boxing is a pistol then kickboxing is a Winchester rifle and Thai boxing is a machine gun.

What is K-1? "No-hold barred" fighting?

No, K-1 is not "no-hold barred" - it is a pared-down Thai boxing in which elbows, knees and clinches are prohibited. It has been done in order to cut off the Thai and Slavic who are strong in these techniques, from big honoraria and to adapt Europeans and The Japanese.

We would like to learn more about the specifics of Muay Thai. From the outside, the speed of Muay fighters seems to be much higher than in boxing and kickboxing and much more ferocious as well. Blows seem to hit the mark much more often. So the impression is given that this combative style is more brutal than boxing, especially when young boys or girls are involved.

It is a mistaken opinion. In Muay, the blows to head tens times less frequent than in boxing.

What Muay Thai techniques do you consider as the most efficient? Punches, kicks, elbow strikes?

In Muay Thai, efficiency of a striking technique varies from fighter to fighter. Everybody has his/her favorite ones. A Muay Thai fighter has some advantages over a regular kickboxer; first of all, the ability to fight in a clinch and to use elbows; and of course in dangerous strikes by knees/ At the same time, punching and kicking skills are equally necessary in both Muay and kickboxing.

Is that possible to earn some money from this sport?

You have a chance to make good bucks only if you are on top of professional Muay Thai.

What are primary differences between men and women in the ring?

In every respect: emotional (women behave more emotionally); technical (women yield men very substantially); physical (being second in rough strength, women sometimes even surpass in endurance and almost always in flexibility) and psychological (for women it is more difficult to make up their mind to fight).

Will these distinctions be eliminated in the future?

I guess, no.

What is the difference in the trainers' approach to working with men and women?

The trainers are more soft and polite with us seek mutual understanding.

What do you thing about inter-gender competitions? Is that possible for a woman to fight on equal terms with a man in such sports as boxing and kickboxing?

I am personally against this

Would you like to test yourself in a real contest with a man?

No, I am a woman after all.

What do you feel when defeat an opponent, knocking her out or inflict a trauma? Do you feel a joy, triumph or other emotions?

Of course, I feel elation and satisfaction from a victory but at the same time, I feel compassion for my opponent is she is knocked out or traumatized.

The well-known Russian sambist Andrey Romanov in his interview said the following: “I don’t understand the rage that is very noticeable in women’s wrestling. Sometimes it seems like you can touch the fury”. Do you agree with the statement?

I didn't encounter such things - in our competitions different emotions prevail: joy, pride for friends, team spirit, fervor, inspiration - everything but the rage.

Do you consider the combative sports you practice as brutal?

No, I consider Muay Thai as a beautiful and noble form of martial arts.

Is it important for you to look nice during a fight or you can forget about such things when fighting?

I always care about my appearance.

Aren't you afraid to damage your face? Are you worried about such things?

I am improving my defending skills in order to avoid this.

What are you doing for living?

I am a policewoman

How big is your family?

My husband and the son who is three days old now.

Are you going to continue active participating in martial arts from now on? If yes, how soon?

Yes, as soon as the baby grows stronger, I guess this Summer, I will recommence training

Have you ever used your combative skills in your job in police? If yes, how?

Yes, I have – when arrested drug addicts. I may not make it public because it's an official secrecy.

Is that notable for those around you that you are a combative woman? Do you differ sharply from ordinary women?

No, I am not different from other women by appearance in these terms.

Who is your husband and how he reacts on your combative activities?

My husband is a student of Police Academy and he is an athlete too. So, we have complete mutual understanding.

What sports your husband practice?

He is a rock-climber, kayaker and enthusiastic tourist.

Do you like street fighting? Did you fight in your childhood?

I don't like it but sometimes I had occasion to.

Have you ever participated in street fights as an adult? Do you consider fighting acceptable in some situations?

Yes, I had occasions. I think you must do everything to avoid a fight.

Why women didn't participate in combative activities for centuries but recently literally burst into the world of physical combat.

The world has been changed. Women too.

Why women's combat is sop popular now? There are so many movies, TV shows, cartoons with fighting women. Why?

Men became weaker, so strong women became popular.

Men became weaker? Do you think an average woman became stronger?

Yes, indeed. Nowadays, women more often protect themselves.

Isn't such a fault dangerous for human population?

Very dangerous.

Are you aware that women's combat turns on some men (many our materials and forum messages confirm this). Why it happens and what is your opinion about this?

The reason is the same. Strong women turn on weak men.

Do you think women's competitions for men's amusement humiliate women?

No, like ballerina's performance doesn't humiliate male ballet spectators

Do you think women should do whatever men do?

No.

What is your opinion about feminism?

Negative. A woman must be a woman. Nobody likes feminists but I want to be beloved.

Do you have a hobby besides combative sports?

No, my hobby is sports.

What would you say about our web resource, Female Single Combat Club?

The site is very interesting, it is very different from any other site.

Evgeny, could you please say a few words to comment the interview?

Evgeny Kotelnikov: Maria is a very interesting person, she has fundamentally changed my opinion about female Muay Thai. I was always against it. Having prepared 14 world male champions, I had never met girls in this martial art who would be able to reach a level higher that the level of a dirt brawl. Maria was the first. Currently four more girls are training in our club who follow in her footsteps. They also brought medals from the worls championships but Masha is still the only a gold medalist.

In the ring, she is working very smart and beautifully.

We thank Maria and Evgeny for the excellent interview and wish success and happiness to them and their families!


April 2008


Maria Ostapchuk

Maria is the first and the only girl in Belarus who became two-time world champion in Muay Thai

Maria Ostapchuk

With the trainer E.Kotelnikov on the pedestal

Maria Ostapchuk

With Belarus team on the world championship in Bangkok in 2007

Photos from the site Kickfighter, Belarus


Maria Ostapchuk

Maria Ostapchuk

Maria Ostapchuk

Maria outdoor


Maria Ostapchuk

Maria Ostapchuk

Maria with her husband


We kindly thank Evgeny and Maria for the photos from the private album


Exclusive of the Female Single Combat Club



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