ONE Championship: Team Lakay's Gina Iniong Hopes To Continue To Be An Inspiration
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 12, 2019 11:35 AM
"Women can show and prove that we are capable of doing what men can do through martial arts. It is really nice that women are now part of the ever growing mixed martial arts scene." - Gina Iniong (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
On International Women's Month, Gina "Conviction" Iniong hopes to continue to empower women through martial arts.
Iniong, a former National Wushu Champion from the fabled Team Lakay of Baguio City, is touted by some as the best female mixed martial artist yet to hail from the Philippines.
She started to train martial arts as a teenager, and now holds an impressive mixed martial art record of 8-4.
"I started with boxing when I was 16 years old then I transitioned to wushu under the supervision of coach Mark Sangiao. Coach Mark saw potential in me, so we moved to mixed martial arts," Iniong shared..
"It all started as a curiosity for me. I think women should take martial arts. Other than self-defense, it is good for exercise for our well being. It would also prevent an individual from doing vices and being in the company of wrong people."
Iniong, however, admitted that turning professional was not part of the plan when she first started to venture in the sport.
When she realized the excitement of proving that women are also capable of doing what men can do, Iniong started to spearhead a campaign to end the stigma that mixed martial arts is a “boys only” kind of sport.
"Competing was not on my mind when I started training. I liked it too much eventually then that was when I wanted to enter professional fighting," she bared.
"Women can show and prove that we are capable of doing what men can do through martial arts. It is really nice that women are now part of the ever growing mixed martial arts scene."
At the end of the day, "Conviction" is a firm believer that women are given equal rights, but it is totally up to them to have the drive to chase their dreams.
"Women should not be shy about going for what they want in life, even if that is mixed martial arts," she stressed.
"Women should push and work for what we want. We only need discipline to achieve our goals."