Photo: Haim Zach
'A great honor for the ulpana.' Kickboxing champions in action
Photo: Haim Zach

Religious girls are Muay Thai champs

Two pious teenagers from Beit Shemesh, Kiryat Arba strike opponents mercilessly to win Thailand-style kickboxing world championship in Bangkok

VIDEO - When talking about the world champions in Thailand-style kickboxing, one usually imagines tough Amazons who would gladly kick one's head or demonstrate a punch in the jaw at any given moment.


Well, two religious teenage girls are out to break that stereotype: The two Israelis, who combine training with Torah studies, won the Muay Thai world championship held in Bangkok several weeks ago.


Video courtesy of


Five times a week, Nili Block, 18, of Beit Shemesh, and Sarah Avraham, 18, of Kiryat Arba, replace their religious schoolgirl outfits with boxing gloves and sportswear and head to the boxing center at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium.


The intensive training with a punching bag led them to the title of world champions: Nili defeated a Bulgarian opponents in the 51-54-kilogram (112-119-pound) class, while Sarah beat her British opponents in the 57-63.5-kilogram (125-140-pound) class.


"Our teachers at the ulpana (Jewish high school for girls) are very enthusiastic about it. They say it's an honor for us," says Nili.


Naama Etzion, principal of the AMIT Noga school where Nili studies, confirms that "it's a great honor for our ulpana. We encouraged her and helped her. She put days and nights into it and reached the top – and we're proud of her."


Nili's teammate Sarah immigrated to Israel from India three years ago. "Most of Kiryat Arba's residents approve of it. It's what I like and what I am good at."


The two religious warriors can put up a good fight against bigger and stronger opponents as well, says their coach Eddie Yusopov. "They are among the best in the team. They have no problem fighting boys. In the arena, religion means nothing. The main thing is the strength of the strike."



פרסום ראשון: 05.16.13, 15:00
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Religious girls are Muay Thai champs "
This will delete your current comment