Kickin’ It

Sophomore Bailey Mowatt does Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in her free time.

Not all fighting happens in a negative context. Sophomore Bailey Mowatt participates in the unique hobby of mixed martial arts. Her fights aren’t personal, but rather, showcases of a skill she’s developed over the last seven years.

Mowatt has been doing MMA since she was in third grade. She does a mix of Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and kickboxing. Mowatt also does krav maga on the side, but not as much. 

“My whole family was really into sports and wanted me to get into one as well,” Mowatt said. When she was young, she played ice hockey- but a back injury prompted her decision to pursue a sport off the ice.

She first enrolled in a karate studio, but she felt that she wanted something that was “more adventurous.” When she found an MMA gym, she “fell in love.”

“Karate felt too controlled for me. In MMA, when you’re in a ring with someone, you just go wild. I use everything I know to spar with the person however I want to,” said Mowatt.

Despite how long she’s been involved in the sport, Mowatt said that she’s always done the sport more casually and never participated in tournaments. However, this year, she  considered getting involved in competitions, as well.

“The hardest part [of doing MMA] is mastering it,” Mowatt said. “You have to put so much dedication and work, and even when you try your best it’s never a guarantee you’ll win while sparring someone. But the payoff when you win is everything.” 

“I think it’s admirable how she keeps up with her work consistently.,” Sophomore Isaac Ballard, one of Mowatt’s close friends, said. “Her strong work ethic extends to all parts of her life.”

Mowatt said that she goes to the gym two to three times a week, depending on her mood. Each session can last anywhere from forty-five minutes to two hours. She trains at Elite Training Center on PCH,  the second gym that she has attended.

“When you lose to someone in a sparring match, it’s embarrassing. But whether you win or lose, there’s no sense of rivalry. If I beat someone, we’re still friends afterwards,” Mowatt said. “There’s no, ‘I need to be better than this person,’ or ‘I need to beat them’. There’s no pressure.”

Mowatt said that having no pressure in a match has helped her to improve, as there is no stress to weigh her down. According to Mowatt,  “everyone is on equal ground”.

The values that Mowatt has learned and witnessed in MMA have also had an influence on her personal relationships.

“Bailey definitely rounds out our friend group,” Ballard said. “She talks to everyone and whenever I’m with her, she’s never made me feel left out when we hang out in a group setting. She makes everyone feel equal.”

Mowatt’s favorite part about doing MMA is the community she has become a part of through the activity, and how the community has included her.

“For a sport that’s all about fighting, the community is so welcoming and everyone at my gym genuinely feels like family,” Mowatt said.