When Maryia Arlova came to KnuckleUp three years ago it was because she knew that KnuckleUp is the leader in Kickboxing training in Atlanta.
Before coming to KnuckleUp, I was curious about fighting, but it was just an abstract idea. I didn’t know what specific steps to take or who to talk to about the best way to approach it. When I joined the KnuckleUp team, I found people who were knowledgeable and genuinely interested in the sport. I crossed from “maybe giving it a try” to an IKF Lightweight Champion title and #1 pound-for-pound female Muay Thai fighter in GA in under two years after coming to the KnuckleUp.
Maryia credits her success to the emotional support of her husband and the skillful coaching of KnuckleUp kickboxing instructor Ryan Raleigh. Together Ryan and Maryia have developed a hyper-aggressive fighting style that sets a fast pace her opponents can’t keep up with.
My fighting style is to charge forward and not let my opponent come back and keep them on the defensive, at a loss for what to do next.
She is as dedicated about her training as she is aggressive in the ring, but Maryia says she still has some nerves before a fight.
It’s a mixed feeling of excitement and unease. To me, it compares to getting ready for a test in my school days. I know I studied hard and feel well-prepared, but there’s always that nagging voice in the back of your head asking, “what if I am forgetting something?” “What if there will be a surprise question I did not think about?” I get anxious to see “the test” and to know what I am dealing with. That’s what time before the fight feels like to me.
In addition to her successful career in the ring, Maryia believes that the benefits of training extend into her everyday life.
I think putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations from time to time helps us to grow and move forward. Whenever I run into a tough situation, I can tell myself “if you can step into a cage in front of hundreds of people than this should be a piece of cake.” “This” is whatever the obstacle or task at hand I have to deal with. Training gives me a boost of confidence.
Also it is exciting! It’s an adrenaline rush, a roller coaster! The feeling of winning is definitely the best feeling ever. It’s work, work, work and then you feel like it has all paid off. You hear the cheering of the crowd. You get an adrenaline rush; its great.
Because she has to watch her diet closely to stay on weight, Maryia has become something of an expert on healthy eating.
Some fights I’ve had in the past required me to loose 15lb in 4-5 weeks. And I had to do it while maintaining strength and stamina. So, I can tell you a few things now about how to eat healthy.
Maryia works in the IT field as a Help Desk Manager in a finance company and she says her training re-energizes her after long day at work.
I’m on the phone all day answering questions and helping people. Sometimes you can get frustrated with things. So it’s good to have the release at the end of the day when you come and punch and kick this bag.
The gym is very honest and straightforward. You put in work and you see results. It’s like jumping out of a plane. You feel “ Oh, I’m really scared,” but then you actually do it and it is this incredible rush.
Maryia Arlova will compete in Orlando, FL on July 25th at the IKF World Championship. Her KnuckleUp family wishes her success.