Karen is fighting fit
Karen Coults isn’t your typical kickboxer.
The 43-year-old mum first took up the sport six years ago for fitness after the birth of her second child.
“I put on so much weight during pregnancy,” she says.
“Then kickboxing just came into my mind. I thought what a great way to get myself back into shape.”
But a decision to start teaching the sport as a personal trainer convinced the Greenlane resident to get in the ring and fight.
“I thought: ‘If I’m teaching this I need to know what it feels like getting in there’.”
After three matches, Karen has had a draw and two narrow losses, including missing out on a New Zealand featherweight title against Rebecca Knox by one point earlier this month.
“She’d had a few more fights and got a flurry of hits in the last round,” says Karen of her competitor.
Despite the loss, she says she loves the feeling of being competitive against girls half her age, although she admits to suffering from nerves before a match.
“You have to find a real mental strategy to stay sharp. It pushes you beyond that limit.”
Karen’s eight-year-old son Liam is one of her biggest supporters. “He said to me: ‘Mum I’m proud of you. I get sad when you don’t win but you’re out there doing it’.”
And with her family relocating to Thailand later in the year, Karen will have the chance to immerse herself in the sport further.
Until then she will continue to train, although she hasn’t decided if there’s another fight on the cards before she leaves.
Karen’s husband Malcolm Coults says he always gets excited when she steps into the ring.
“Occasionally I hold pads for her to kick, but after a while I feel like my arms are about to fall off.”
And trainer Doug Viney, a top kickboxer himself, is confident she can keep fighting at a competitive level for some time to come.
“Karen’s doing well. If she believes she can do it, she can do it,” he says.
Kickin’ it: Kickboxer Karen Coults shows off her skills in the ring, while trainer Doug Viney offers some advice.