Fight for your dreams.
Irene Martens.

Each of us has something for which we want to fight. Like Irene Martens, 2017 ISKA world champion and gold medal winner at the 2018 amateur world championship.

‘Sempre avanti’ My motto, my gym

Irene, when and how did your dream of being a Muay Thai athlete develop?

I – I started for fun with my brother when I was at high school. Then, when I moved to Bologna for university, I joined Sempre Avanti for the first time. And it was there that I started to really focus on the Muay Thai discipline. I fell in love with it immediately, during the first training session, and realised I wanted more.

Your first fight?

I- In 2010. The adrenaline I felt in that moment was what spurred me on to continue and set increasingly ambitious goals for myself.

Your first title?

I- Italian women’s champion in 2011.

In what way has this discipline influenced you as a person?

I- It has taught me to be a more balanced individual and gives me the strength to face any adversity or challenge in life as if I were in the ring. Sometimes I fail, that’s normal, but I never back down and will always get up even stronger than before.

How do you ensure your mental strength?

I- With dedication and training. If I don’t feel totally ‘done in’ after a training session, it means I’m not giving it my all. And so I should carry on. But without the support of those around me and those who have spurred me on, I couldn’t have got to where I am.

Are you also an instructor at Sempre Avanti?

I- When I can, I help out with the children and youngsters preparing for competition. I wouldn’t call them my pupils, I think of them more like teammates.

And how do you help them?

I- I try to take care of them and, if they want, I share my experience with them. Not in terms of technique, as the Master is there for that. But to combat their fear, to encourage them to find the strength to always achieve their goals. I try to teach them that, as in life, you’re never alone in the ring or gym, and that those around you can help you make the difference.

Ivan Leo Pictures-

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