I have been training in Muay Thai since 2011. I started at Lowkick Berlin, with Gisa Schraml and Ruth Waldeyer. The gym soon became my second home, and that hasn’t changed since. I just love the art of movement in Muay Thai and the feeling of learning something new every time you train, setting free loads of energy- that’s the feeling I want to pass on.
I started working as a coach at Lowkick and in other (self-organised) gyms and contexts in 2013. Since 2014 I’ve been part of the team that organizes the annual feminist Muay Thai bootcamp for FLTI* at Burg Lutter. In 2016, CaRo. and I founded Sidekick Leipzig. In 2016, I trained at the Pettonpung Gym in Thailand and at the Sit Je Mam Gym and Manop Gym / Thailand in 2019 + 2020.
I find it very important to help create feminist safe spaces in which people can train in the Martial Arts in an atmosphere of solidarity.
Coaching licences: Class C trainer license “Health and Fitness” and “Sport for Senior Citizens”; “Preventive Spinal Gymnastics” (class B licence), certificate: “Posture and Movement through Complete Body Training”
Certificate of Achievement “Muaythai Coach Course” with Kru Manop Yuangyal, Thailand 2019
I have always loved sports and have tried out all kinds of things 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 the Santai Gym in Thailand. I was part of the team that founded the Feminist Thai-Kickboxing Camp for Women, Lesbians, Trans* and Inter* in 2011 and helped organisze it thru 2016. I was a coach for Muay Thai, Conditioning and Girls’ Training at Lowkick from 2012-2017. In 2019 + 2020 I trained at the Sit Je Mam, Santai and Manop Gyms in Thailand for a month.
In the first years I was in training a lot myself, which then gave way to coaching more than training since around 2014— I love both.
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
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.
For a long time, sports were just something you had to do at school to me. Something stamped under the pressure of performance, people comparing their bodies in the changing rooms, role models, all that.
This impression changed completely when I discovered Lowkick Berlin and their way of training in a relaxed & more mindful atmosphere in a feminist environment in 2010. Since then, Muay Thai has become a fixed point in my life, regularly pushing my body and mind to its limits and beyond, spawning a level of concentration hardly ever surpassed. In 2013 I started Boxing training in addition to Muay Thai. In 2013/14 I gained my first experiences as a Girls’ trainer at “Mädchenzentrum Wilde Hütte” and at the Alfred-Nobel-school.
I have been training in Leipzig since 2014 now.
I’m happy to be part of a club whose pronounced goal it is to empower people, not giving a sh* about body ideals and undriven by competetiveness.
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.
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 am a substitute coach for Imke and Caro. in the Conditioning classes. 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 girls (from the age of 9 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!
When I was a child I was regularly sent to let out my anger on a punching bag. As time went by I got so used to the Martial Arts as an outlet that most other sports lost their interest for me. I did Ju Jutsu for years and years, started to train my own kids’ group and started teaching self defense, especially for teens (which I still do).
It wasn’t until I moved to Leipzig that I started Muay Thai, training at “8 Weapons” for some years – but without really developing ambitions for it. When I changed to “Sidekick” last year that changed completely. Albeit getting a good workout is still my main ambition I now recognize the sport to be a very positive challenge and the club itself is a great place to experience a unified sense of togetherness.
In August 2018 I started as a substitute coach in the conditioning classes on an irregular basis.
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).
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
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.
Since I was 6 years old, I have always been enrolled in some kind of sports club, but I rarely stayed for more than one year. The pressure to perform and the drill attitudes became too much. Eventually I found a club where things were running a bit differently and so I discovered martial arts for myself. There, I trained Nihon Thai Jitsu (a mix of Judo, Karate and Aikido) for 5 years. Followed by a few other sport experiments, in 2017 I finally rediscovered my love for martial arts again at Sidekick. To me, Thai boxing offers a perfect mixture of fitness training and the possibility to learn and refine an infinite range of techniques. It’s hard to imagine my life without the training and I’m happy to share this passion with others. In doing so it is important to me to cooperate with awareness and in solidarity so as to enable a training space free from body ideals and the pressure to perform. Since summer 2020 I have been offering circuit training fortnightly.
Although I had always been in some kind of sports club during my school days, I could rarely find real pleasure in sports and when I did, it quickly subsided as soon as competition was involved. Spending most of the time on the bench convinced me at some point that I was simply not very athletic, so I stopped doing sports altogether for a couple of years. Several attempts later, my roommate dragged me to Sidekick in 2018, with some persuasion needed. The first circuit training left me totally inspired and made me want to learn Muay Thai techniques quickly. Since then it is impossible for me to imagine my life without training at Sidekick ˗ it has re-enabled me to enjoy movement, to trust my strength, to develop a feeling for my own body, to challenge myself and to stick to it. I hope to be able to pass it on! Since summer 2020 I have been offering circuit training fortnightly.
Feli (currently in parental leave)
I started Kickboxing at Seitenwechsel Berlin e.V. in 2012. After I moved away from Berlin I found it difficult to find a club I wanted to train at; The town I had moved to only had mixed clubs, and I always found myself to be the only woman in a testosterony and sexist environment. So when I moved to Leipzig and found Sidekick I was really happy to have found my club and changed from Kickboxing to Muay Thai, which I much prefer now.
I also train in Modern Dance (since 2002) and -when I have time- love to go surfing.
I want our trainings to give people more self-confidence and inner (and outer :)) strength for their everyday lives. I’m really glad Sidekick exists, creating a safe space where all kinds of different people can train together in a happy and relaxed atmosphere, where things like what you look like or what gender you identity with just don’t play a part at all. Yay!
Coaching licensees: Class C trainer license “Health and Fitness” , trainer license “Progressive Muscle Relaxation (Jacobsen)”, Voice & Body Language coach since 2010
Elisa (currently only workshops, no regular classes)
I am the only female Full-Instructor for Combat Systema in Europe.
I have the 2. Dan in traditional Shotokan Karate (ITKF).
My first encounter with the Martial Arts was in 1997, when I started with karate. I trained in traditional karate at the school of sensei Ibrahim El Marhomy in Paris (France) as well as in Bagua Zhang at the school of Zhang DuGan in Catania (Italy) and Qigong and Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu at the school of Jean-Paul Blond in Paris.
Combat Systema was my love at first sight. After I had spent many years studying different forms of Martial Arts and their techniques and variants, Combat Systema felt like inhaling fresh air, total freedom! I felt how it allowed my whole body to experiment. I felt like a musician who had been playing sheet music for years and who was now starting to improvise. The movement starts inside you, feeling first yourself and then your partner, and creates a new, unique flow.
Since then I have been training Combat Systema hard! I regularly spend time at the Combat Systema Head Quarter (lead by Kevin Secours) in Montreal.
In 2016 I also started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.