CORNWALL, Ontario – On March 1, Emily Vallance, 17, of Cornwall proved that hard work and dedication can show great reward.
After her first time competing in a women’s kickboxing class division championship, Vallance returned home from Niagara Falls with another national title. Her victory was determined by judges, who favoured her performance over that of her 31-year-old opponent, who has a successful record of 15-4-1 in professional fights.
“It was really awesome to have the chance to fight her,” said Vallance, noting both she and her opponent were southpaws, which can be rare in fights. “It helped me to develop as a fighter.”
Acclaiming prestigious titles is not new for the École secondaire publique L’Héritage student as she has attained two national titles and two world championship wins in Ireland and Spain when competing in the junior division.
“I was nervous (before the fight) but nerves are normal, and you just have to learn how to handle them so you don’t get in your head,” said Vallance. “Whenever you get into the ring, all the training comes in…it’s all muscle memory. It was actually a very fun fight.”
Vallance, who started training in kickboxing at the age of 11, has also trained in MMA and Jiu Jitsu. Through learning different styles, she feels that her grappling and cardio has improved, as well as her ability to learn how others fight. Dedicated to constant improvement, Vallance trains five nights a week and does additional strength training at QuestPTS. Currently, Vallance trains under Rolland Bissonnette at Apeiron MMA.
“It is my biggest passion,” said Vallance about kickboxing. “It’s very fun, intense and competitive… it helps with confidence for sure, and also just kind of learning how to talk with people.”
Vallance said she owes much of her success to her family.
“My family is probably my number one supporters,” she said. “They probably love it just as much as I do. They make sure I’m motivated and they are able to get me to these competitions.”
Going forward, Vallance is hoping to attend St. Lawrence College to study Business and continue training locally. She is looking forward to possibly attending this year’s World Kickboxing Championship with her friend Noah White, who attained silver at the national championship. One day, Vallance hopes to fight in the Glory Kickboxing and possibly transition into MMA.
“I’m working on stay focused for training…my main goal right now is to compete in kickboxing,” she said.