Saudi female boxer urges women to fight for their goals

1 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
2 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
3 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
4 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
5 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
6 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
7 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
Updated 08 March 2017
0

Saudi female boxer urges women to fight for their goals

RIYADH: Women should persevere to reach their goals, Saudi female kickboxing and boxing trainer Halah Al-Hamrani told Arab News on the eve of International Women’s Day, which falls on Wednesday.
“Women should go for their passions. There will be difficult times, but they should overcome those challenges with determined effort,” said Al-Hamrani, the only Saudi female kickboxing and boxing trainer in the Kingdom.
A 40-year-old mother to a 7-year-old son, Al-Hamrani says all women must challenge themselves and push their limits.
She has her own gym in Jeddah, and plans to open a similar facility for children. “I have numerous requests from young Saudi women to open such a facility in the capital, and I hope to expand the network to the central province too,” she said, adding that women come to her gym to de-stress. “Some like to keep on punching until they ease out their tensions.”
After graduating from high school in Jeddah, she moved to San Diego, where she majored in environmental studies and minored in international relations.
“I had already been doing martial arts since the age of 12, starting with karate then moving on to different arts. I have a black belt in jujitsu,” she said.
“When moving to the US, I wanted to learn how to throw a proper punch, something you don’t find in martial arts. I’ve been training myself in boxing and kickboxing for a long time, starting with Muay Thai... It’s the only form of kickboxing that involves knees and elbows.
“After coming back to Saudi Arabia, as a woman I wasn’t able to find work in my field, so after two years I decided to start personal training. I got my certificate from NASM (the National Academy of Sports Medicine) and have been training clients for 12 years now.
“I receive countless e-mails from women wanting to learn how to box. That’s their biggest attraction. It’s new and interesting for them, and they do it as a workout. I find it incredible how many women are excited about this sport.”
Her gym Flagboxing — an acronym for Fight Like A Girl — is an all-women’s facility. Classes include boxing, kickboxing, crossfit, calisthenics and tabata.
Usually classes start with a five-minute warm up, moving on to light weights to strengthen shoulders, then high-intensity cardio with a heavy bag.
After that there is conditioning such as push-ups, jump squats, sit ups and abs training, ending with stretching to cool down.
Al-Hamrani said she has never been physically attacked, but knows how to defend herself in such a situation.


Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior has received more than 120,000 applications for driving licenses so far

Updated 14 min ago
0

Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior has received more than 120,000 applications for driving licenses so far

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior has established six driving schools for women in different regions of Saudi Arabia, according to an interior ministry spokesperson.

Mansour Al-Turki said on Sunday that the ministry has received more than 120,000 applications for driving licenses so far and demand is still very high.

Saudi women celebrated taking the wheel for the first time in decades on Sunday as the Kingdom overturned the world’s only ban on female motorists, a historic reform expected to usher in a new era of social mobility.

At a press conference to mark the occasion, Al-Turki said there are 9 districts where female driving schools have not yet been established and there is evidence to suggest women in these areas want to learn.

The interior ministry spokesperson urged motorists not to violate regulations and infringe on the rights and freedoms of others.

Meanwhile, Director General of the Saudi Traffic Directorate, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al-Bassami said the directorate has developed a device to identify and verify driving licenses through a fingerprinting system.

He acknowledged there is great awareness among women in dealing with traffic rules and regulations, adding there are no traffic exemptions for women, only for people with special needs.

The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s plan to modernize and reform Saudi Arabia.