Delia Twaddell challenges stereotypes about females in martial arts

Yeretzy Blanco, Staff Writer

Freshman Delia Twaddell starts her morning a little differently than most students,

“I set my alarm at 4 a.m., wake up and get a big drink of water, workout ‘til around 5:30 a.m. Shower, come to school and do my day here.”

She trains every day except for Sundays. Sometimes she stays after school to get help with work.

“I train at the dojo at around 4:30 p.m., work there, close down at 9 p.m.
and then come home to do some more studying and go to sleep.”

Twaddell has dedicated four years to working with Becca Ross, highly regarded martial arts competitor and instructor. Ross has helped Twaddell not only with earning her black belt but with managing her time between training and her other activities, Twaddell often has to give up time with friends and doing after school activities.

“I’ve lost a lot of friends because we weren’t able to stay connected, took a lot of training and up a lot to train for that, but it feels really good to have it now. So I think it was worth it.”

There are multiple forms of karate Twaddell competes in, traditional, traditional weapons, and fighting. Her favorite being traditional, which focuses on the roots of karate and is a more technique and performance based style. She’s excelled in the traditional style because it is more focused on performance, rather than sparring against someone.

“You definitely get into a headspace, you kinda block everything out, It’s just you and the mat and you kinda just get into the zone. You have to learn how to do that especially when you’re getting into the performance aspect of it”

As a black belt, Twaddell carries new responsibilities at her dojo,

“I have the responsibility to help run the dojo and facility so it’s really cool. Seeing it all work, all the background stuff, what I didn’t realize ”

One of her biggest responsibilities at the dojo is teaching the younger kids, and she focuses particularly on the younger girls just starting out in the sport.

“ is definitely a male dominated sport, which is really good. That’s why I want to encourage younger girls to join and take the first steps into it. I really like seeing when girls start training because girls can do too. Most of the time are very detail oriented so in traditional forms we actually perform a lot better than guys do, technique wise, some of us lack intensity but like people who do have that technique and intensity down for their performance level of the forms they usually do really good because most of the time judges really like to see girls going into the sport.”

Karate is not an easy sport, Twaddell has sustained multiple concussions yet she keeps training,

“I’ve had four concussions. The recovery process has been difficult because I couldn’t train for around a month, and that kinda pushed me back a lot especially in fighting. So I have to be really careful now because everytime I get more prone to concussions”

Looking forward Twaddell wants to continue teaching and competing,

“My next goal would definitely be to get on the Olympic team or at least have the privilege of trying out for that. I want to teach others and encourage them, I want to teach life lessons, because I get a lot out of it. It’s not just kicking and punching.”

“ honestly a life journey, cause you’re learning a lot of things and it’s not like a sport where once you learn a certain set of skills, your done. With martial arts you can do it for a lifetime, you’re always learning more and improving.”