Imke (she/her)

I have been training Muay Thai since 2011. I started with Gisa Schraml and Ruth Waldeyer (at Lowkick e.V. / Berlin) and learned a lot from these two very experienced trainers. What fanscinates me about Thai boxing is the way of movement and the feeling that you never finish learning.
In 2013, I started working as a trainer und I am still practicing the sport actively myself. In 2016, ro. and I founded Sidekick.
It is important to me to create feminist spaces in which martial arts can be trained in an atmosphere of solidarity. I gained additional training experience in the Pettonpung Gym / Thailand in 2016 and in the Sit Je Mam Gym and Manop Gym in 2019 + 2020. Since 2017, I additionally train classical boxing.
Trainer licences: Class C trainer licence “Health and Fitness” and “Sport for Senior Citizens”; Class B trainer licence “Preventive Spinal Gymnastics”, certificate: “Posture and Movement through Complete Body Training”; Certificate of Achievement “Muaythai Coach Course” with Kru Manop Yuangyal, Thailand 2019.

ro. (they/them)

I have always loved sports and have tried out all kinds of sports in the past.
From 2010-2014 I regularly trained in Muay Thai at Lowkick e.V. in Berlin, as well as occasionally training at Rapace Berlin and in Sit Je Mam Gym, Santai Gym and Manop Gym in Thailand. I was part of the team that founded the Feminist Thai-Kickboxing Camp for WLINTA* in 2011 and helped organise it thru 2016. I was a coach at Lowkick from 2012-2017.
In the first years I was in training a lot myself, which then gave way to coaching more than training since around 2014. Meanwhile I do more Pilates and Barbell training than Muay Thai.

I am agender and do not use a pronoun like “she/her” or “he/his”. Please refer to me by gender neutral pronouns like “they” or use my name instead. I am a white person.

Coaching licences: Class C trainer licences “Training Kids and Young Adults” and “Health and Fitness”, Class B trainer licence “Preventive Spinal Gymnastics”, certificates for “Posture and Movement through Complete Body Training”, “Pilates” and “official BLACKROLL© trainer”
Certificate of Achievement “Muaythai Coach Course” with Kru Manop Yuangyal, Thailand 2019. Every year, I attend further education in sports-related seminars.

Lotte (she/her)

I wasn’t really that interested in Muay Thai at the beginning, I was just looking for an alternative to jogging around Berlin and its gray pavements. So it came that I went to conditioning classes at Lowkick. In the end – and with Imke prodding me in the right direction- it got me. I’ve been learning Muay Thai since 2014 and started as a substitute coach at Sidekick in 2016.

To me a welcoming and very personal atmosphere is important, so that everybody can be just what they are right now.

Marie (she/her)

I’ve always liked keeping on my toes, getting a good workout, staying in motion… but I’ve never been competitive when it comes to sports.

The first time I went to Conditioning class at Lowkick in Berlin I was hooked. 90 minutes of pure fun, just working out hard, no concentrating on techniques- powering up to power down. For years I got my weekly workout there without really training Muay Thai. Nowadays I train at Sidekick e.V. in Leipzig and became a coach. I hope to be able to share my idea of the fun and enjoyment movement can bring in a relaxed and joyful atmosphere.

As a social worker and trained girls*’ coach I have been working with children and young adults for some years now. In these trainings for MINT* (from the age of 6 onwards) I would like to encourage then to experience and develop their strength and their bodies in a new way. I would like them to experience that sports and movement without the pressure to perform and without competitiveness can be great fun!

Svenja (she/her)

I started Yoga by coincidence, really, in 2003. I’ve stuck with it ever since, practising almost daily. Back then I had a really bad backache, and Yoga kind of helped. The combination of breathing and body exercises that strengthen but also improve the flexibility of your muscles, but also other benefits: A clearer and more relaxed state of mind, better stress management and a positive connection with your body. That was a very empowering experience for me.

I was trained to be a Yoga teacher by Alex Kröker from 2009-2010. Then I learned to connect Yoga with the ideas of the Alexander technique from Regina Poulheim. From 2013-2017 I had further teacher training at Element Yoga Berlin, there learning the correct positioning in the Asanas (body positions). In 2016 I practised Ashtanga Yoga in India intensely for six weeks. In 2017 I trained in Yin Yoga.
From 2012-2018 I trained Kung Fu and Wendo for feminist self-defence in self-organized FLTI*- groups.

I think Yoga and the Martial Arts go well together because Yoga is a lot about how you can be strong as well as flexible through inner body movement. That’s very important for Martial Arts and self-defense.
But additionally to all those things it is mainly an atmosphere of solidarity and the mindful and benevolent way of treating others that I enjoy and that I draw strength from.
Certificates: Yoga teacher (500h / E-RYT) in accordance with the guidelines of the European Yoga Alliance, Ashtange Yoga (300h), Yin Yoga (100h).

Linda (she/her)

In 2012, I started with Muay Thai in Thailand. Primarily, I wanted to train any kind of martial arts to be able to defend myself in uncomfortable situations, which I was mainly confronted with while travelling. After 2 weeks of training, I quickly found myself standing somewhere else: the training had amazed me, gave me so much more than I had expected and since then it is impossible to imagine my life without it. Many attempts by my coaches in Thailand to encourage me to participate in competitions remained unsuccessful at first, as stepping into the ring seemed unimaginable to me. Then in 2014, I felt ready to test what I had been learning all this time. I didn’t really care about winning or losing, I just wanted to experience it. The adrenaline, the endorphins and the amazement of having taken a step into the unknown made me want to experience it again. Since then I have been fighting competitively on and off, otherwise working as a Muay Thai and functional training instructor. I love it when people leave the training happy and amazed and I hope to share the enthusiasm for Muay Thai – alongside a lot of nerdy technical input – in my trainings. In 2018 I began to train classical boxing, as I have – probably similar to some of you – very much neglected boxing in Muay Thai and still have a lot of catching up to do.
Licenses: sports and health trainer for sports rehabilitation and prevention, Fitness A, personal trainer, nutritional counsellor, back school, massage therapist

Lina (she/her)

2016 Sidekick opened – a feminist martial arts club, and that in Leipzig! Ever since, I have been on fire with enthusiasm, training Muay Thai regularly. Before, I had already trained a little bit elsewhere, but it was this club that really got me hooked. Since 2019 I have also been active as a trainer, especially with children and youth, always enjoying seeing how much fun and strength the sport brings to others. In January 2020 I trained at the Sit Je Mam Gym in Thailand.

Tuul (she/her)

I started training Muay Thai at Sidekick in 2018. Until then, I could rarely find real joy in sports and exercise. At school and in sports clubs, I developed the feeling that I could not be “sporty”. The training at Sidekick changed that. I learned and am still learning to enjoy movement, to find confidence in my strength, to develop a feeling for my body and to connect with it. I also learn(ed) to challenge myself and keep going. For me, all this is empowerment. Especially also from social (discrimination) structures that daily affect my body and on basis of my body. In my condition training, the focus is on having fun and enjoying movement and burning off energy. I also want to create a space where empowerment can happen together with and through the body.

When talking about me you can use the pronouns she/her. I am cis, able-bodied, non-fat and person of color. I speak German and English spoken language.

Fritte (they/them)

The topics of self-assertion and self-defense are very personal, and they have been with me for quite a while. The first time I proactively looked out for them in Leipzig was during my job as a social worker in 2014. What i found was a queer self-organized kickboxing group. That was my first contact with martial arts and I was hooked immediately. As a person who enjoyes movement, my passion for this sport grew. At the same time, I realized a change in the way I dealt with critical situations at work, but also in my everyday life as a FLINTA* – I felt stronger, more self-confident, more able to act.
The job ended – and martial arts remained a part of my life. Several years of passionate Muay Thai training began with Sidekick Leipzig e.V. being founded, until I had to switch to other sports due to various injuries.

For many years I have also been intensively involved theoretically and practically with the subject of partriarchal violence. This includes, among other things, a training as a WenDo trainer, which I finished in June 2022. By offering self-assertion courses, I wish to show more possibilities for action and to counteract the feeling of powerlessness of FLINTA* facing different forms of patriarchal violence. In addition, I would like to share with you moments of solidarity in the courses, as well as my enthusiasm for movement.
I am white, able-bodied, and identify as non-binary. When you talk about me, just use my name as a pronoun.

Sally (she/her)

I started martial arts at a very young age, where I learned to listen to my body and stand up for myself and for my needs.

At my old boxing club, I used to participate in competitions but disliked the pressure to perform. Only since I joined Sidekick, I realized how much I appreciate a sports club that is critical of patriarchal and hierarchical structures.

Coming from a pedagogical professional background, I am trained as a girl*worker. My classes are focussed all around the fun of movement. Through that, the participants can develop a feeling for their own strengths: You are the boss who can decide when something is too much for you. A group awareness and an empowering atmosphere without pressure to perform is something I wish to create within the MINT* classes. Every young person should feel welcome and comfortable in the training sessions, regardless of the (physical) conditions they bring along.

I am cis, able-bodied and person of color. When talking about me you can use the pronouns she/her or my name.

Erika (she/her)

I facilitate the boxing training at Sidekick and also Muay Thai classes. I started to train martial arts in 2012, before that I was a passionate couch potato and still am. While Muay Thai and boxing are my main focus, I have also looked into self-defense training and am a big fan of yoga, pilates, strength training and zumba.

School sports were a dreadful experience for me, from which I derived to be “unathletic”. Martial arts has influenced my self-perception and helped me reshape my self-image. What is important to me is that people in my trainings are having fun and are able to face challenges without feeling any kind of pressure or the need to prove something.
To me, Sidekick is an oasis, because I see something materializing that I would never have thought possible at the beginning of my own career: A group atmosphere of solidarity together with a high professional training quality.

Smin (she/her)

My name is Smin (she/her) and I originally come from a soccer family. Besides soccer, mainly athletics and also tennis and ballet played a role for me. Before discovering Muay Thai Boxing (unfortunately very late) I tried Capoeira, Tae Kwon Do and Kickboxing in many different associations, where I was confronted with a lot of sexism and racism and quickly lost the drive.
What I really like about Muay Thai, is that it allows you to easily access the basic techniques, but holds a wide spectrum of possible combinations the more experienced you get. I also enjoy the way it engages both body and mind. Sidekick enabled me to explore my passion for this sport by creating a training atmosphere of solidarity that allows you to really concentrate on the joy of movement.

I am a trainer for MINT* and learn a lot from my role as an instructor as well as from the participants themselves. Looking at the way most schools are structured, I believe that it is especially important to provide a safe space for students to let off some steam. Besides giving trainings at Sidekick, I work as a freelance cultural worker in the field of socio-culture with children and youth affected by discrimination in the Saxon countryside.

Ada (she/her)

I was convinced to be ‘unathletic’ until I accidentally ended up with thai boxing at Lowkick Berlin in 2015. Thanks to my trainers Ruth Waldeyer and Gisa Schraml, I dared to step into the boxing ring. I was lucky to be able to compete in a solidarity sparring event with a feminist crew and have been engaged in sparring ever since.
I’ve trained as a guest at Sidekick since it was founded and became a member in 2020. For me, the solidarity approach and the feminist training environment are a fundamental condition for my long term committment there. I value my training partners and don’t view them as opponents. At the same time, everyone reaching for their own limits without competing with one another poses a challenge for me. Another topic that I’m concerned with – besides the narrative around performance pressure – is body norms in (combat) sports.
I am happy to pass on my technique skills both as an experienced self-organized trainer and at Sidekick since 2022. I hope to inspire even more people for sparring, since there can never be enough beautiful FLINTA* fights!