Jorina Baars is one of the most talented, most feared female kickboxers who made headlines worldwide a few years back when beating Cris Cyborg soundly in a muay thai fight.
Nowadays she doesn’t really needs an introduction in that regards but there are other interesting things we could ask the 44-0-3 fighter, holding 4 Dutch, 4 European and 6 World Championship titles.
Jorina Baars on the beginnings, idols, losing motivation and much much more! Read on!
ellenfelem. hu: – Hello Jorina! You’ve started trainig at age 7, fighting at 12. When asked you said you wanted to be a Dutch youth champion. Have you ever looked back thinking about where this immense drive was coming from?
Jorina Baars: – I did a lot of sports before kickboxing and was good in every one of them but they were only fun for a few months. When I’ve started kickboxing I fell in love with it and got completely addicted.
e: – What was different when you started combat sport compared to other sports you tried? Have you immediately felt something “clicking”?
JB: – I was so young I don’t really know what the differance was. Maybe it was because I was 8 years old and as the youth class stops because there are not so much kids anymore I could train with the adults.
e: – How did your family, parents handle all this? Did they support you all the way?
JB: – Yes my parents supported me in everything I did. My dad passed away almost 12 years ago but he was at every fight. My mum can’t watch my fights anymore. She’ve seen all my amateur bouts. But nowadays it’s too hard for her to watch. But she supports me and is very proud.
e: – Growing up in the Nethelands you could have lots and lots of inspiration. Lucia Rijker, Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost, Ramon Dekkers, Rob Kaman, etc. Who impacted you the most professionally and personally?
JB: – When I was young I’ve always looked up to Lucia Rijker. She did a lot for women’s kickboxing in the Netherlands and worldwide. But every fighter above is an insperation for me.
Peter is so tough! He never gave up. I really love his mindset. Ernesto is so perfectionistic, I’ve learned a lot from his fights. Ramon was so explosive and fast! He didn’t give a shit who was in front of him. And Rob Kaman! He was very good with his low kicks. I loved the power behind them!
e: – Have you met, trained any of your childhood fighting heroes? Do you have any memories with them that you’re fond of?
JB: – Yes I’ve trained with Ernesto Hoost and I had a seminar with Peter Aerts. Ernesto is very technical. It was a pleasure to train with him and learn his combinations.
e: – Mentality. You always wear t-shirts to the weigh-ins with funny but also very serious, confident messages. For example: “You have a bigger change seeing Elvis or fighting Bruce Lee than beating me.” Were you always that confident?
JB: – I was always confident. I know what I can do and I like to challange myself. My favorite quote for life is: Winners never quit, quitters never win. I give all of what I can both in life and in fighting.
e: – What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
JB: – Too much food 🙂
e: – The Cyborg fight was back in 2014 but it’s still getting brought up from time to time. How do you feel about it now, in 2018? Tired?
JB: – I was happy that I won that fight as it gave my career a boost. We made a great show. But I did so much more than beating Cyborg. So I hope that people will see me not just as the girl who beat cyborg but as a fighter who gave everything in her fights. Also I hope to be an inspiration for newcomers.
e: – When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? What questions do you ask yourself?
JB: – I lost my motivaton twice during my career. I had a lot of private problems but I was still fighting and winning. But some of these fights were close ones. At my fight against Martina Jindrová I got a very bad cut. I was not totally focused on that fight.
But as I’ve said before I try to give everything in my fights. And I’m happy that it was enough for the win. My coaches asked me the serious question: – What do you want? If you continue with this you are seriously at risk. I changed a few things in my life and got the focus and motivation back for training.
e: – 4 Dutch, 4 European and 6 World Championship titles. What keeps Jorina Baars going? And what is the next challenge?
JB: – I love to fight, I love to train. I hope to fight 4 fights this year so I’m just waiting for my next opponent.
Thank you for the interview and best of luck!
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