Native woman earns world martial arts title

The following story was written and reported by David Michaud, Native Sun News Correspondent. All content © Native Sun News.

Ashley Nichols: Muay Thai world champion

Winning world championships and becoming the best that she can be, that’s what Ashley Nichols is all about. 

Nichols has been winning Muay Thai titles for the past 6 years and, in that time, representing her country all over the world. That was not her intention when she began training though. 

“I started training Muay Thai in late 2006 for recreation, physical health and self-defense,” said Nichols. “I began to study the traditions, history and culture and thought it was a beautiful art and wanted to learn more.” 

Her upbringing did not really lend itself to a traditional training sense. Born in Toronto, Nichols grew up moving around Canada, living in several different cities. Moving around does not really allow one to get acquainted in a community or gym. That is not the case now though, Nichols currently lives and trains in Cambridge, Ontario at the MAS Academy of Martial Arts. 

Muay Thai is not Nichols’ only interest. She is currently a full-time college student; attending Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario, where she is active in the Aboriginal Student Association, for the past two years she plans on graduating next year. 

Being well-rounded with her martial arts and education is important to Nichols, as evidenced by her trip to Russia last year for the IFMA World Muay Thai Championships. 

“I took my text books and read the chapters being covered so I could be prepared for a test I was given the first day of one of my courses,” said Nichols. 

Showing her ability to stay focused on all aspects of her life the studying while preparing to fight did not effect Nichols as all. She brought the Gold medal back to Canada and, at the same time, qualified for the World Combat Games in October of this year. 

Having been competing in Muay Thai for the past few years Nichols has been taken to several different countries and given her experiences she never would have had otherwise. 

“Muay Thai has taken me to a few different countries to compete,” said Nichols. “I fight to represent my camp the best that I can and I fight to show beautiful Muay Thai that has been passed down from my teachers to me the student.” 

She plans on showing off her Muay Thai and continuing her winning ways at the World Combat Games and adding to her many Muay Thai titles. Her life is not all about her own accomplishments though. Nichols also enjoys teaching others and staying active in her community. 

“I teach a ladies Fight Fitness class,” said Nichols. “Where women can learn techniques I use in various competitions. It’s a lot of fun.” 

“I also like to visit my community from time to time and spend time with my brothers and sisters. I like to dance, and sing as well. I also enjoy hearing stories from others from our Nations who are doing well in sports, music, art, etc. because it helps motivate and inspire all.” 

Motivating and inspiring is also something she does for others. 

“I have had the opportunity to share my story with a few communities and have visited the elementary school on my nation on a few different occasions. It has been really great to be able to stay connected with them and also meet new people and share our stories,” said Nichols. 

“I do believe that if we are spreading the word of our successes that we will all create a positive vibe in each other’s lives, and this will be the fuel in setting those goals and going for them.” 

Setting goals and pushing herself further, Nichols is also looking into other avenues of Martial Arts. She began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a little over two years ago and is looking at getting into Mixed Martial Arts. She competed in her first fight but lost against a strong grappler. 

After Nichols competes in the World Combat Games she plans on focusing on MMA and striving to be the best she can be in another area of combat. With her history of winning and being on top of Muay Thai it should be no time until she has titles in MMA also.

(Contact David Michaud at bulldawg_252000@hotmail.com)

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Original article at :indianz.com