From Victim To World Champion, Sonya Lamonakis Teaches Us About Self Defense

I think the best way to look at martial arts for self defense purposes is, it is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it (kind of like how my wife packs for vacation!). Unfortunately too many people do not think about self defense until they are in a situation where it is needed. Whether you have been mugged, assaulted, or just want to protect yourself or family, martial arts for self defense is a must.

Sonya Lamonakis was a mugging victim turned World Champion boxer. Lamonakis, who was born in Greece, decided to take up boxing at the age of 27 after being robbed at knifepoint in her car while visiting an ATM. She started boxing to learn about self defense, and began competing a few months later.

 

Boxing aka the sweet science is a “combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined set of time in a boxing ring.” Many don’t think or boxing or even wrestling for that matter a martial art, but better believe both fall under that category. Many would agree that boxing not kickboxing can be the best striking art for self defense. Whether it’s the ability to throw quick or effective strikes with minimal risk of being taken to the ground, boxing is a great choice for anyone that wants to protect themselves.

Lamonakis, is currently ranked no. 4 in women’s heavyweight division in the World Boxing Council and is a former IBO World Heavyweight Champion. Despite her impressive titles, she is also a middle school teacher in NYC. Now at the age of 40, Lamonakis still wants to compete. “I want to stack a few more belts, continue to be a great role model for the kids and love and enjoy what I do. If I don’t love and enjoy it, then it’s time to stop,” said Lamonakis. Sonya decided to not let her assault victimize her, and when she walked into Gleasons boxing gym her life would never be the same.

Now if you are asking yourself if boxing is the only way to go, it’s not. Martial arts is a very broad umbrella, that includes, striking and grappling disciplines. Personally I recommend a combination or both striking and grappling, with the popularity of MMA many gyms are popping up around the world. Krav Maga is one has been a popular martial art style specifically for effective self defense and for good reason. “Krav Maga (pronounced “krahv mahGAH”) is an effective, modern, and dynamic self-defense and fighting system. It is designed to be practical and intuitive for people of any age, shape, or size. The techniques expand on your natural instincts to develop skills quickly and effectively, while enabling you to address attacks under any scenario. You will learn how to defend yourself and your loved ones, while gaining increased awareness and instinctive reflexes.”

My hopeful takeaway for the readers is not to get hung up on which martial art form is the best, rather to get started now. If you need help deciding or want more information please reach out to me via email, social media or leave a message on the site. No matter where you are in the world I promise you there is an option to train and learn self defense. 

World Champion Boxer

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