A Warrior’s Heart
June 18, 2012
Filed under Sports
While most 20-something women take yoga, Pilates or spin class to stay in shape, amateur boxer Amelia Moore burns out intense interval training five-days a week in order to dominate her opponents in the ring.
Moore has been training in martial arts and boxing since the age of 11, and recommends it for women and girls of all ages and athletic ability levels. She believes that martial arts helps to develop confidence and self reliance that girls need to become strong women, especially during the middle school years when most girls face peer pressure for the first time.
“In middle school, girls go through a lot of identity and confidence issues,” said Moore. “If you want confidence in yourself, if you want to know who you really are and how hard you can push yourself, train boxing or martial arts and you will learn who you are and what you stand for.”
Moore pointed out the perils today’s girls face with pressure to wear designer clothes, drink or do drugs.
“In the gym, people appreciate you for who you really are,” said Moore. “Nobody cares if you wear Prada or Abercrombie and Fitch. As long as you work hard, they are gonna be there for you. It will give you the confidence to stand up for what you believe in, to say no to the kid offering you a drink or a joint.”
Moore’s mother, Nancy Drew, a free spirited woman who has always encouraged her daughter’s fight career, sees boxing as a natural expression of Moore’s personality.
“I have always encouraged Amelia to do whatever makes her happy,” said Drew. “She is such a strong, capable young-woman, and when she is in that ring she is an artist.”
In high school, Moore excelled in a variety of sports both individual in nature such as track and field and cross country and team oriented soccer and ice hockey.
On the track, Moore competed in the 100 and 400-meter dash as well as the high-jump where she advanced to compete in the state championships.
Moore relished the team aspect of soccer and hockey, but chose to play goalie, a position that offered individual aspects similar to fighting.
“In the goal, and in the ring you get that one-on-one competition,” said Moore. “You have to have a lot of confidence to tend goal and to fight. If you give up a goal or lose a bout you have no one to blame, but yourself.”
After high school, Moore attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) in Rhode Island, before moving on to the Naval Academy in Annapolis. She credits these two institutions with instilling in her the mental toughness needed to succeed in the ring.
“NAPS was tough,” said Moore. “The things they put us through made boxing seem easy. Even my Plebe year at Annapolis didn’t compare to what I went through at NAPS.”
While at the academy, Moore played goalie for the women’s ice hockey team, but still felt a passion to box.
“The coach at Annapolis wouldn’t train women,” said Moore. “So I started training at Club One Fitness in Millersville. After I left the academy in my sophomore year, I stayed in Maryland to train there.”
Club One, is considered a “white collar” boxing gym, with elliptical machines, weights, a mirrored studio, and an Olympic-size boxing ring. It bears little resemblance to the worn, dingy boxing gyms of the Rocky movies.
Moore also trains alongside professional mixed-martial-artists James “Binky” Jones, Dan Root and Mike Young as a part of Team Maximum Fitness’ Combat conditioning class.
Maximum Fitness, located in Columbia, combines intense cardio workout with an equally intense strength and conditioning routine that is designed to simulate a rigorous fight. The class is taught using methods that give Moore an incredible workout without using the boring traditional equipment and routines. During a typical workout, she will go from throwing medicine balls, to hoisting heavy chains and ropes, to flipping a tractor tire across the floor with little rest in between.
“Training alongside professional male fighters forces me to push myself to the limit,” said Moore.
Most typical old-school boxing trainers don’t recognize the benefits of this kind of training, but Moore knew that it was just the thing to propel her to success.
“When Amelia came through the doors at Maximum Fitness, she was raw but very eager to start working hard,” said Chris Miller owner of Maximum Fitness. “She embraced the opportunity and challenge of working with strength and conditioning coaches and training with all male fighters. She is a young warrior that is destined for great success in boxing as well as life.”
Baltimore MMA star Jones sees much potential in his young female training partner.
“She pushes it to the limit every time she works out,” said Jones. “I think she is destined for big things in the sport.”