Sunday, July 17, 2016

10 Questions with Jenny Huang

Name: Jenny Huang
Age: 25
Height: 5"1 (155cm)
Weight: 105 (48kg)
Gym: Wu-Jia
Record: 3-0

Earlier this summer, I was compiling lists of all the fights, featuring women, that promotions have put on in Asia, as part of an effort to analyze the women's divisions development in the region. As I was making the lists, several names stood out, one was 25 year old Jenny Huang. A promising prospect from Taiwan, actually their first female mixed martial artist, Jenny has built a 3-0 record with her most recent victory coming via submission earlier this year. Citing Ronda Rousey as an influence, Jenny is a good example of the young talent currently emerging in Asia. Having made her pro-debut in 2015, Jenny most recently fought for One FC and could become a star for the promotion as the promotion looks to break into the Taiwanese and other markets. Without further ado, below is our interview with Jenny.

CJ: Can you talk about how and why you got into martial arts? Can you then talk about why you decided to become a professional mma fighter?
JH: I have always loved fighting. In high school and Elementary School I practiced Judo for 7 years. But after I graduated from my University, I wanted to travel and see the world. I traveled to America for a few months and then I went to Singapore. I know Singapore is famous for fighting and having a lot of good Dojos. But Singapore is expensive and I had to work quite hard just to sustain a rather meager apartment. I was very fortunate to have gained a friendship of many nice people in my job. They encouraged me to train and practice fighting at many different Dojos. I learned about BJJ and MMA and I am very grateful for the time I spent at Evolve. I felt a great deal of pride, strength and encouragement whenever I could do all of these different and difficult moves. But I still wanted more. So I came back to Taiwan and I went to Wu-Jia to continue my training. It took time to convince people of my skills and determination, but my persistence paid off. I am really grateful for my persistence in this sport. Strength and athletic prowess doesn't come easily or quickly to anybody. It is only through constant daily routines that we can improve to incredible heights. It is my drive it is my passion it is my desire to be the greatest female fighter that Taiwan has ever seen. This thing keeps me going every day. Once I saw a little success and I wanted more. I still want more. And everyday I'm constantly working hard and getting closer to my goal.

CJ: You are a blue belt in jiu-jitsu and a black belt in judo. On your Instagram it looks like you compete actively in grappling, can you talk about that?
JH: The true champions of MMA are decided by those who master many fighting styles. I relish any chance I get to practice any and every kind of martial art because I am always looking for anything that can give me an edge over my opponent. When you become a professional fighter you need to constantly train. You're always competing against someone else who's trying to bring you down and if you aren't getting stronger, then you're getting weaker. I constantly worry about my skills. Did I get lucky in that fight or am I really improving? Fighting in the ring always reveals you to yourself. It shows me my strengths and it shows me my weaknesses. I don't win every fight I get into and sometimes it's the fights I lose that teach me the most that I need to learn. It can be hard to lose sometimes, but I still hold on to this one thing, this one belief of mine that keeps me going and keeps me fighting. That persistence I have is one of the best secrets I have for success in my life. Whenever I fall I know to get back up again. The strength of my spirit is one of the best secrets to my success.

CJ: Your grappling is your strong point, but I see you're also competing in kick boxing competition. In your fight with Amira you hurt her badly with your punches.  Can you talk about your striking and how it is improving?
JH: I am always learning new things from every competition I'm in. I also know that you always need to change things up when you're fighting or else your opponent will know what's coming and build a stronger defense as a result. Attending kickboxing matches revealed my striking weaknesses. I know that future fighters might mount a strong defense against my grappling skills in the future which is why I think it's prudent to constantly explore and improve upon new fighting styles.

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CJ: You're the first pro wmma fighter from Taiwan. Can you talk about that and what it means to you?
JH: A lot of people make a big deal about me being the first female fighter. Honestly, I don't see myself as doing anything THAT special. Everything I did is something that another woman could do too. If anything I want to tell more women that you can do this. You can do what I can do. I know Taiwanese women are strong. I know they can defend themselves. I am constantly surprised by the skills and strength I see amongst the people I train. The only difference between me and other women is that I had courage to go after my biggest desire. I love to fight but what I really want to tell other women is to find their dream and go for it. Don't let other people discourage you from your dreams. If there is something amazing that you really want to do, then do it. Take that burning desire that you have, cultivate a good plan that will let you pursue it and don't let anyone or anything stop you from getting what you really want.

CJ: I read that you like Ronda Rousey. Can you talk about how she has influenced you?
JH: I have always admired the skills and talents of Ronda Rousey. We have a similar background in judo and she has always displayed exceptional skill in the MMA ring. I also admire her for her strong confidence in herself. She always believes that she can do anything and she never doubts her abilities. That strong fighting mentality she has is extremely important for any fighter and part of the reason why I think she is such a famous fighter.

CJ: One FC has put on some exciting women's fights. What fighters stand out to you? When can we see you back in the cage?
JH: I gained a lot of respect for Yamaguchi after her fight with Angela Lee. Yamaguchi embraced Lee after Lee defeated her in the ring. The amount of care, concern and respect she has for her opponent shows the best example of true sportsmanship that I can think of.

CJ: You and your coach, Sun Ming-yen, have talked about how important respect and honor are in fighting. Can you talk about that?
JH: I have always considered it a great honor to fight in the One FC ring. I know that I am not the normal fighter. I respect others by fighting fair and by displaying a high level of professionalism both inside and outside of the ring. Even after winning a fight I do not gloat or denounce the skills of the other fighter. Fighting isn't about beating the other person, it's about your own personal goal and journey in life. I view fighting as a test of my skills and my current level. When a fight is over,  I will still view my opponent with the highest level of respect. I will still wish to be friends with the person I beat or lost to. Hate has no place in the ring.

CJ:  I see you're training with some women in Taiwan, is it becoming more popular? Should we expect more women to start fighting?
JH: MMA has become more popular in Taiwan. Many girls saw my fight and wanted to join our classes. Even many girls who had no prior experience in martial arts are now very interested in learning how to improve themselves and become fighters. It's already very different than before.

CJ: When you aren't training, what are you doing, what are your hobbies?
JH: When I have have free time, sports are always on my mind. I think best when I'm on the move and improving my skills and getting stronger. Work out in the street, practice parkour because I like challenges difficult exercise,  If it keeps me moving and makes me stronger then I'm interested in it. Outside of exercise, I'm also interested in music. I really like the piano and the ukulele, play music make me feel relax.

CJ: Is there anything you would like to say?  Anyone you would like to thank?
JH: I wish to thank my coach who taught me much of what I know. I spent many hard years and hours with him. It was very hard and it wasn't always easy to keep practicing. But I wouldn't be the person I am without his training. I also want to thank the fine people at One FC for giving me this chance to show my skills to the world.

I would like to thank Jenny Hung for taking the time to answer these questions.
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