By Katarina Jonev
Belgrade, Dec. 22 2009 (Serbia Today) - Can female gender take the label of stronger one too? We do not want to insult male readers, but yes it can! Jelena Ilic (21), attractive young model captures one’s eye with her appearance, but she takes breath in sport halls as well. For 4 years she has been training kick-box in the Red Star Club and more recently she started training aikido.
“Since I was a child I wanted to enroll into Police academy and to better prepare myself I decided to start practicing some sport and bring condition on a better level. Kick box proved to be suitable for that. When I first went on training, there were only 2 girls and 30 boys in the group. Thankfully, it is not in my nature to retreat or give up so I continued going on practice 3 times a week and very quickly I started to love this sport.
I was 17 when I started to train and in May of this year I had to discontinue after four years due to my school obligations. Nevertheless, I am still practicing kick box on my own at home when time permits. said Jelena.
We are aware that the in last few years women are trying with all their force to be recognized as equal with men and feminism as a movement experience revival. In that context of gender equality, how the love for martial arts affects your life?
“I often wondered what attracted me to a martial arts. after all as people say - I am girl and should stick with lady stuff". I am joking of course! Well I do not know –sometimes fate is miracle. When I began to train the kick-box I developed much stronger self- confidence, not because I now know how to fight - but because I belonged to very positive minority of women. Otherwise how many women are dealing with martial arts? There are far less than men. There are ethical norms of martial arts that could be applied in everyday life regardless of your gender”.
Kick box is, most flagrantly said, mixture of karate and boxing. Technique has a decisive role and force is also important. Is this sport suitable for girls and why? By the way is it worth all mighty bruise?
“Most girls come to practice kick box because they want to look physically better and because of good condition and not because they want to compete. Bruises occur if person does not know how to use technique and do not pay attention on trainings. What is great about kick box is fact that it help girl to built their self- confidence and also to learn useful knowledge about self-defense.
While one claim that this is a typical male sport and there it is absolutely nothing girls can reach by practicing it, there are also those who supports the idea to make a women league and tournaments in which women will participate. What do you think about it?
“Actually I do not support this kind of tournaments. I don't think they are appropriate for girls. It can be dangerous and like I said girls have to keep their feminine side”.
After Jelena Ilic left kickboxing, she have started practicing real aikido.
“For the last couple of months I am practicing “real” aikido in club owned by Ljube Vračarević – man who practically invented this type of aikido. We can say it is Serbian self-defense skill. Trainings are held in the premises of the sports center “Vračarević. It is far more complicated then kick box, it has a more movement, the various levers and much more painful, but when you overcome all this it will be more painful for the person who try to confront you”.
Since you mentioned that aikido is different from the kick-box, what do you think are the biggest differences and was it easy for you to get used to aikido skills?
“Kick box is more power, and aikido is somehow more subtle – right sport for girls. I would say that a combination of these two is pure “poetry” ! Currently I have a little problem with guard, because I used to put guard in kick box with hands in the air and in aikido they are in front of me. I also used to stand on a toes and I should have a backbone with entire foot. I am still adapting and can’t wait to take yellow belt”.