Personal achievements: Enfusion World Champion 54 kilo / Europees ISKA Champion 56 kilo Noboundaryfight at Boston / Get in The Ring Titel 55 kilo / 2 time Power Women Titel Amsterdam.
Ella is a World Enfusion Champion, has won the European ISKA Championship, NoBoundary Fight in Boston, Get in The Ring title and won the Power Women Title Amsterdam not once, but twice. She told us about her journey to become a world champion and taught us that kickboxing is actually a team sport.
Who or what inspired you to become an athlete?
I train at Ettaki gym and eight years ago I was still in training as a recreational athlete. I quickly fell in love with the sport but didn't take it seriously at a competitive level. My trainer is Oussama Ettaki, I also get a lot of lessons from his brother Hassan Ettaki, a golden duo. One evening Oussama called me and asked if I wanted to fight in four days. The fight was in Dubai and had to fill in for a fight. Unfortunately I lost that match, but after this first match I fell in love with the sport and knew this was what I wanted to do. After I came back from Dubai I changed my life drastically. Everything after that was all about kickboxing.
When did you first realize that you were talented and wanted to be an athlete? What made you choose to pursue that talent?
After the fight in Dubai, but i never considered myself talented.
What sports performance are you most proud of?
A while ago i fought for a title in Boston. The journey there was disastrous. Everything went wrong, nothing went as planned and due to the jetleg I had a very surreal feeling before the fight. Nevertheless it was a great fight, which i can look back to with a lot of pride.
Obtaining my European ISKA title, we were under the assumption that the match would last three rounds. So we had trained for three rounds. On the day of the match,it turned out the match was lasting five rounds. Training for three or for five rounds really has has a much greater impact on your fitness. Still won the match tho.
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
I've always been insecure, i never conquered that. But I've learned that as an athlete you don't have to be confident. It is important to realise that with the right motivation, you can beat everyone.
Which sports person is a true warrior (hero) to you?
Nobody. I listen to my trainers and the lessons they teach me about the sport. That’s the only thing i need to know.
What do you think is the key to becoming a successful athlete?
Hard work. Trust that you can always learn everything and conquer anything if you work hard enough for it. Never stop to think about what you still have to do. Do everything round by round, step by step. For a kickboxer, it is especially important to have confidence in your trainer's lessons and decisions. It is a team sport, the fighter and the trainer.
What was the best advice you were ever given in your sports career?
Over the years, I've had a lot of great advice from Oussama and Hassen. I think the best advice is the advice that made me continue with this sport. Atfter the fight in Dubai he said: “keep training and in five years you will be world champion.’’ Eventually, this came true.
What are your favorite exercises and best training tips?
Sparring, pads training and also a lot of kick training. It's heavy, effective and I enjoy it.
It gives me a lot of adrenaline.
What exercises do you recommend to people who are striving to become where you are now?
Count your kicks and do it a lot with both your left and right leg. Plan your training and really stick to the schedule, even when it’s getting tough.
What kind of diet do you prefer & do you always eat healthy food? How important is this to you as an athlete? Do you use supplements?
As a weight consultant I always try to eat healthy, consistent and a lot of vegetables. I rarely take supplements because i want to get my nutrients out of my regular diet.
But, the products from Victus appeal to me because of their simplicity and composition. With long workouts, it can really help you to give that little bit extra.
What sacrifices you made did you think were the hardest to make in your career in sports? How do did you stay motivated?
I sacrificed a lot but never felt any regret.
If you could choose another sport to be great at, what would it be?
I really like football.
Do you have a favorite workout song/playlist or mantra (motivational quote)? And is that playlist public?
What are your goals for the coming year? Any other interesting future plans that we should know?
I still want to face certain ladies. Regardless of winning titles, to me it's more about how you fight against a particular person.
Where do you picture yourself in 15 years, and what have you accomplished by then? Choose your words wisely, because we’ll hold you to it.
I still want to have a connection with the sport, preferably through my own gym.