Amy Golder, aged thirteen, won six gold medals at the 2014 Kickboxing World Championship. I asked her what it’s like to be the world’s top kickboxer.
How did you discover you had a talent for kickboxing?
Well when I was in primary three Ryan Raffel came to the school and did a trial session with us and I really enjoyed it. Just as Mum and Dad were phoning to ask about me starting kickboxing, Ryan Raffel was phoning them because he had spotted my talent.
Can you briefly explain what is involved in a kickboxing match?
There are an awful lot of different types. In semi-contact you can hit half as hard. You use a lot of techniques and score only one point at a time. If you hit with a move then that is one point and you go back to your places. Rounds last a minute and a half or two minutes. There are three or four rounds per fight.
I do point fighting and light continuous. Light continuous involves punching and kicking continuously. You only stop if you or your competitor turns around turn around the other player or if they touch down on the ground or fall over. Those are the two types I do.
Kick light, another category, is nearly full combat and you have to wear shorts. It is like continuous but you can only kick to the legs. I tried it for the first time ever competitively in Prague and became the world champion.
What is your training like?
I do an awful lot of training. This consists of Tuesdays and Thursdays for up to four hours. On Friday I do fighting training for an hour. On Saturday I do an hour of fighting and exercise specific to me as a one- to-one session and then two hours with fight team members; mainly high intensity stuff. At the end of this we do a burnout exercise of perhaps 400 push-ups, 300 sit-ups, 500 tricep-dips or maybe even 800. We do loads of crazy burnout exercises.
Where has the sport taken you, in terms of competitions?
In competitions when I was younger I did sword sparring. You get given headgear and use a sponge sword and shield. You can do that until about my age although I stopped when I was seven. I then went to Scottish and British championships. In 2012 and 2013 I started winning Scottish and British competitions. I then went on to come second in the World Championship and won the European Championship. In 2014 I’ve won everything I’ve entered.
In terms of places I’ve been to Italy, Greece, Germany, France and the Czech Republic. I’ve been everywhere in England and a few places in Scotland. I’m hoping to go to Germany again next year.
What does it feel like to compete against people older than you?
I’m quite used to it because I train with people who are older than me. Most people start when they are young and quit when they get older. Others start in their twenties. I started when I was young. I only know three people who started at my age and have carried it on right through.
What are your plans for the future, do you have any specific ambitions?
When I’m older I’d like to travel the world and do loads of kickboxing seminars. I’d like to teach kickboxing and start my own club. I’d like to get fifth dan black-belt. At the moment I’m a first dan first star black-belt.
What is your proudest achievement?
The Prague World Championship, also the Athens Challenge where I won the continuous section.
Would you recommend people give kickboxing a try? How can they get involved?
You can get involved by going to places where you can do kickboxing. In Orkney that’s in George Street. There are a lot of leaflets around with information in them. It’s a good thing to do if your friends do it and there are always trial sessions to go to. The first class is free and discounts are available if you pay for several sessions.