From fashion blogger to kickboxer, Valencia Yip strikes gold for Singapore, Latest Others News - The New Paper

From fashion blogger to kickboxer, Valencia Yip strikes gold for Singapore

In a bid to keep fit and lose weight, former fashion blogger Valencia Yip turned to kickboxing in 2011 and quickly fell in love with the sport.

She eventually became a fitness trainer, focusing on working with women and children, and would later set up Active Zone kickboxing gym with her life mentor Jason Lim a year later. He is now the Kickboxing Federation of Singapore president.

Yip stopped exercising in general after secondary school and wanted to be more active. She said: “I realised that I needed to do something about my health, so I did my own weight loss fitness journey and I was successful at that.

“I decided to take up a personal training certificate and see if I can help people as well because if I can help myself, why not help others as well to achieve their health goals.”

Little did she realise that kickboxing would also lead her to represent Singapore for the first time on the world stage. Yip clinched two silver medals in the creative form and creative form with weapons at the Sept 23-24 Flanders Cup in Beveren.

A week later, she claimed two golds, creative and musical form, at the inaugural Italian World Cup in Jesolo, alongside another two silvers in the creative and musical form weapon events.

Yip had trained intensively for two weeks in England with her head coach Brian Beck before heading to Belgium. Each of her routines last about two minutes with Beck choosing the music for her performances.

In her routines, she performs various high-level moves such as spinning hook kicks, roundhouse kicks and knife-hand strikes.

In her routines, Valencia Yip performs various high-level moves such as spinning hook kicks, roundhouse kicks and knife-hand strikes. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Yip, 33, said: “For Flanders it was very nerve wracking, being that it’s my very first competition. It’s really great to actually compete alongside other competitors that do forms, whether it’s musical forms, or creative forms, because there are no foreign competitors in Singapore. For me, winning is a bonus.”

Despite her win, she felt that there was added pressure as compared to the sparring categories of kickboxing. She said: “I only have one shot. If I make a mistake, or I stumble or fall for my open hand routine, I get deducted points. So I only have one shot to make it right.”

While in Belgium, she also had to chaperone two other debutants Abraham Oh and Alexavier Koh, both 18. Abraham took gold and silver in the juniors 63kg kick light category while Alexavier claimed a silver and bronze in the juniors 63kg light contact division.

Yip competes only in the demonstrative categories but was forced to double-hat when Beck was unable to be with the boys during their tournament.

Alexavier said: “It felt unreal, it was a significant milestone in my kickboxing journey having only done it for a year.”

For Yip, the past two competitions have given her a confidence boost ahead of the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (Wako) Kickboxing World Championships that begins on Nov 17 in Albufeira, Portugal.

Singapore's first female kickboxer, Valencia Yip, with her medal haul from the Flanders Cup and Italian World Cup. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

She will be training in Singapore with Beck supporting her via Zoom until the end of Oct. Yip will then fly to Sheffield, England at the start of November for a training camp with Beck.

Beck, 69, who is the chairman of the Wako referee committee for tatami sports and former Olympic gymnast and represented Britain at the 1976 Montreal Games, has high hopes for Yip.

He said: “I’ve been judging forms for more than 30 years now. Her techniques are sharp and her forms are brilliant. I say this not as her coach, but as someone who’s seen a lot of forms.”

“There’s definitely room for improvement, so I’ll be looking to perfect her form by the World Championship, the biggest stage.”