West Word

Senior kickboxer finds release in art form

Senior+Samantha+McCulley%2C+left%2C+poses+for+a+photo+with+a+fellow+kickboxer.
Senior Samantha McCulley, left, poses for a photo with a fellow kickboxer.

Senior Samantha McCulley, left, poses for a photo with a fellow kickboxer.

Senior Samantha McCulley, left, poses for a photo with a fellow kickboxer.

Megan Battleson, Staff Writer

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Usually, teenagers punching and kicking is in the case of a temper tantrum, but senior Samantha McCulley finds a way to structure her throws in a more mature way. Kickboxing is a martial art based around punching and kicking and can be practiced in a peaceful, fitness building style, or by competitively sparring against opponents.

For nine months, McCulley has trained at iLoveKickboxing in Greeley after being introduced to the sport by a friend in August.

A traditional hour and a half session for McCulley includes warming up, stretching, rounds of work with punching bags, and partner drills. At the end of sessions, she also participates in competitions, but has not yet delved too far into the combative aspect. In the future, she plans on taking the art further and competing in more matches.

Kickboxing has gained popularity as a way for people to stay physically fit without needing to do the traditional gym routine. McCulley says she plans on continuing to kickbox because, “not only does it keep you in shape, but you have fun with it.”

Another big part of the appeal toward the art is its incorporation of self-defense techniques, particularly among women. “I like that I know how to protect myself and fight correctly without hurting myself,” McCulley said.

Kickboxing also serves as an outlet for McCulley where she can “take out all my stress and anger” in a healthy and productive way.

The best part about kickboxing is “leaving with relief,” McCulley stated. “It has made me a happier and stronger person mentally and physically.”

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Senior kickboxer finds release in art form