Our 3rd Awakening Spotlight brings you Britain’s Julie Kitchen. Where do we start with this one?
In the world of Muay Thai, Julie is as revered as a fighter can become. We consider her one of the most inspirational female martial artists of all time. She recently hung up her Muay Thai gloves after dominating the hearts and minds of fans for eleven years. We think it’s only right that we take a minute to look back at her achievements and applaud the woman that has lovingly become known as The Queen of Muay Thai.
Her fight name was actually given to her by the fans. Some believe that Julie was named the Queen of Muay Thai because of her unprecedented fourteen world titles, or her two incredible twenty fight win streaks, or perhaps her impressive record of 61-9-0 after fighting the worlds very best opponents. While these achievements are indeed stately, her fight name was actually given to her for her demeanor and personality. Awakening worked with Julie for the best part of 2012 and we can confirm that the name is fitting. Julie caries herself with poise and regal femininity, with never a bad word to say about anyone – even when goaded into pre-fight trash talking – Julie responds with compliments and pleasantries.
Julie’s Muay Thai legacy didn’t begin until she was 24. She decided to start training to get fit, her father had lovingly mocked her for carrying extra weight after giving birth to twins. Incidentally, the twins; Amber and Allaya, are now in their early teens and young Muay Thai champions in their own right – all three girls are trained by husband and father Nathan. In the beginning, although Nathan trained fighters he was not keen for his wife to fight. Being a protective and loving husband, he had seen Julie cry during those first few training sessions after getting hit during sparring. Julie would take a break and go outside to cry, pull herself together and go back inside for more. It was the very idea that she knew people thought that she shouldn’t fight that spurred her on to do so. Eventually Nathan accepted it and reluctantly arranged a local fight for her. She won. The moment she had her hand raised she was addicted to winning and wanted more. The rest, as they say, is history.
Most people consider Julie a natural, a term which she heartily disagrees with. Julie was always good at sport going right back to her school days, however both her and Nathan will tell you that it has nothing to do with any natural talent. Everything Julie has achieved has been from total commitment and intense hard work. Julie will tell you that anyone can achieve what she has if you simply put the work in.
What does life hold for Julie these days? She continues to influence females globally and indeed Muay Thai fighters in general by delivering seminars and public appearances. In April, representing Awakening, she flies to California for a seminar tour. Of course, the seminars and appearances are only the half of it – she now has more time to focus on training champion Lucy Payne and more future champions. Most importantly of all, retiring has freed up a lot more family time for the Kitchens.
Lastly, this is probably a good time to mention that we are currently building Julie Kitchen’s website. Working with the Kitchen’s we have been able to uncover information that has previously been unknown and will be of interest to her fans. The website will have some treats! We will of course be shouting about it when it is launched in a month or two, so you won’t miss it.
For an Awakening Spotlight, Julie Kitchen really is an ideal candidate. We’re honoured to have worked with someone who represents female martial artists so gracefully. Julie has inspired tens of thousands of ladies across the globe, and continues to do so. Raise your glass to the legacy of The Queen of Muay Thai.