Welcome, Female Fight Fans!
Welcome Female Fight Fans!
I’m so excited that you’re here.
Before we dive into all of the amazing content, interviews, perspectives, merch, campaigns, and more that we’ll be offering here, I want to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about what this site is about, why I created it, and what we’re trying to achieve.
Sound good? Let’s go.
It all started back in October 2015. I was traveling around the country, living nomadically as I ran a freelance writing + online marketing business from my laptop. I was happy enough...but I was slowly becoming bored with my career.
I had always been a hustler, a go-getter, and a doer. I started my own business at age 19, graduated college at 20, and was a train of non-stop work since. I had studied sexuality and gender in college...okay don’t roll your eyes! I know it sounds annoying. But I was one of those stuck-up feminists who thought she was better than anyone who wasn’t ‘enlightened’ enough to be putting women onto a pedestal 24/7. I was trapped in my own message, but I didn’t start to feel stuck until I’d gotten the degree, broken down the doors, taken the names, and built a full-fledged career as a marketing consultant to nonprofits and activists.
I had started working with a life coach that same year and found that, surprisingly, that there was a world outside of social justice. It involved other interests, passions, and pursuits that I was not only interested in, but good at. I had a knack for reading people, understanding psychoanalytic theory, and a love for all things Jung.
With that, I started to feel empty in my freelance jobs. I not only started to question the basis of what I was doing and who I was doing it for, but felt that I’d chosen the wrong path.
In the midst of that, I had decided to abandon my starter apartment in Columbus, Ohio and go on the road to discover what was out there, have adventures, and experience everything I could. I lived in Airbnbs, stayed with family, and made friends that become family in the process. I was constantly learning and growing, while also seeing the world, completely on my own terms.
In that process, I landed in Philadelphia, where I had been settled in for the better part of the month. I really enjoyed the big-city yet slightly Midwestern, yet small-town grit and blue-collar grind feel that the place had to it.
One cloudy afternoon, I wandered into my favorite Barnes & Noble in Center City West, looking for some new books to devour. I headed over to the New Releases section and sawa woman’s brazen gaze and fists staring back at me.
I picked up the book, intrigued. I had no idea who she was, but Googled the word “Rousey” that was on the top of the hardback. ‘Oh, that’s that girl I heard about in that Demi Lovato song,’ I remembered.
Upon realizing that she was a fighter, I quickly put the book down. ‘No, I’m not into that,” I thought as I walked to another section of the store.
Long after I left the store, I felt something about that book calling to me. Begging with me, pleading with me. Asking me to go back. I didn’t understand why this book would be particularly interesting, given that fighting was not something I was at all into, but after a few days I decided what the hell, I’ll go back and get the book. If I don’t like it, then I wasted $20, but it was worth the risk.
My fears about hating this topic or not being able to take her seriously never came to fruition. In fact, I would call it the $20 I ever spent.
I fell in love with Ronda and her story. I’ve always had a thing for strong, empowered women and she was no exception. I was amazed at the trail she’d blazed not only for herself, but for all women. Her strength, tenacity, and ferocious determination made me feel as though I could do anything. Fuck, she made me believe in myself just by the adversity she had overcome and the success she’d created, when everyone told her she couldn’t.
Slowly, I started to learn more about Rousey, beyond what she told in My Fight/Your Fight. I listened to her interviews, I watched her on talk shows, and I even started looking up her fights.
At first, I didn’t understand anything of what was going on. But I absolutely shocked to find myself..intrigued.
Soon, intrigue turned into awe, awe into fandom, and fandom was followed with obsession.
I couldn’t believe I was hooked but...I was hooked.
Over the next year and a half, I learned everything I could about MMA. I watched fights, I listened to podcasts, I observed technical breakdowns, and even started training striking myself. I found myself in love with every aspect of the game. It was all I could think about.
I also found myself increasingly frustrated with the media. First of all, I found it incredibly ironic that although the women were getting a lot of coverage, almost all of it was being created, reported, and produced by men. Men were the ones at the analyst desks, creating the podcasts, writing the articles. Ultimately, the stories of women in MMA were being told by men. Where were the women? Why were we being pushed out of this space (yes, I’ve heard stories)? How could we not be welcome?
There is so much missing when men are the only ones who are being represented, even if they are talking about women. I wondered and wished that there would be a platform where women were being highlighted and their stories also being told by other women. I didn’t find it, no matter how far and wide I searched.
Secondly, I wanted to connect to other women. I wanted to create a community that women who were into martial arts- weather fans, trainers, coaches, fighters themselves, or just casual observers could come together and support one another. There is so much incredibly power that can be found through connection and sharing.
Thirdly, I wanted to spread the message of martial arts. I saw how incredibly empowering training was and wanted to give this toolbox to all women. I felt such a burst of confidence every time I hit a heavy bag, an incredibly strength when I lifted weights, and so much courage when I walked through the somewhat shady streets of Bed-Stuy. Martial arts became my born again religion and I needed to spread the gospel.
I was also disgusted with the world not encouraging girls to be physically confident, where fighting back was the exception and not the norm. With so much threat coming through physicality, or the possibility of being physically dominated by a man, why were girls not being given the tools to protect themselves?
Especially in the era of #MeToo, why were we waiting until rape already happened before doing something about it? Why weren't we giving women and girls the tools to not only keep themselves safe, but the confidence that martial arts brings you emotionally and spirtulity, so that you can set boundaries and impose limits without hesitation?
I felt so strongly in my heart that it was time for a change. It was time to build a movement of confidence, fight, endurance, and strength from within.
Lastly, I felt left out as a fan. Almost all of the content that I was consuming was catered to, targeted at, or blatantly marketed towards men. I knew there were other women out there like me who were fans and who loved MMA. Why wasn’t anyone speaking to us? Why was the storyline of a somewhat dim-witted middle-aged man who wants to look at the hot girls fighting the only narrative being sold?
I was done buying it.
So I started building it.
It being a platform where all of these dreams would become reality.
Where women would be empowered.
Where being a girl who likes to fight was celebrated.
Where being a fighter and being a girl was fucking awesome.
Where women could connect to each other and find empowerment, tools, resources, and people to uplift themselves through martial arts with.
Where women could THRIVE.
It is my honor to welcome you to it, Female Fight Fans!
This is my mission, motto, and story, and I can’t wait to keep creating it with you. I want to hear your stories, make space for your pain, create killer content filling the gaps in women’s combat sports, and celebrate everything that it means to be a girl who likes to fight.
Ready? Set. Let’s go.