I'll talk you through it shortly. Since I was a child I have been dreaming about training martial arts, but I wanted to do it just for me. I wanted to learn how to fight, how to defend myself. I was fascinated by Xena the Warrior Princess, Sonya Blade and Lara Croft. Those were strong women and since I was a child I have wanted to be just like them. We were living in the outskirts of Lodz and there was no option to train. My parents were affraid to let me out anywhere by myself. They were working late, so they could not take me to classes. But when I went to high school I could ride around by myself and I found Krav Maga trainings. It was love from first sight. I wanted to learn that. It was a combination of all martial arts. It was a typical self defense, stand-up fight, ground work, knife and weapon defense. I have liked it from the very beginning and after a few years I have become a Krav Maga trainer. I think I was the youngest one in the world, I was around 19 years old. I did not want to stop at Krav Maga, but I wanted to be a better trainer, learn other martial arts.
I started to read about it and when I was 23 I went to a MMA training. Again, it was love at first sight. I was crazy about it, but at the beginning I did not want to fight. I did not consider it. I wanted to train only for myself. I started with recreational trainings. I have trained 2 times a week as an addition to the Krav Maga trainings. One of the trainers saw potential in me and persuaded me to take part in a tournament. I did not want to, but I finally agreed. I try to keep my word, but then it turned out that there is no Polish MMA league in Poland. So I started in Muay Thai. I had some fights in the amateur division and I fell in love with it. From the first fight I have known that I liked it and I have even won the amateur champion title.
Then there were other amateur MMA women fights. I had 3 or 4 and my family and friends told me to find a real job, because I was already 26. They told me that I should stop training, finish college, find a job and so on.
I started thinking and I decided that I will give myself one year. If I achieve something than I stay and continue to fight. If not I find another way for my life. And after one year I won the KSW championship. So my efforts and risk payed off. Then there were next fights, contract with UFC and my dreams came true.
She has some difficult fights behind her, but on February 23rd, after almost half a year, Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-5-0) will come back to the octagon and face Yan Xiaonan (11-1-0) in New Zealand. We have talked with her about her private life, MMA career and plans for the future.