Dubbed the “12-year-old Fighting Sensation,” over the past three years, from Florida to Las Vegas to Hawaii, Nahe hasn’t lost once in more than 40 bouts and is a two-time International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) World Classic Champion.
A month from now in the Doubletree Hotel in Sacramento, the 5-foot-1-inch little hurricane will be fighting in a historic contest: California’s first official junior full-contact kickboxing fight. She’ll be taking on a top contender, 14-year-old Aneka Otte, who is 3-1 in IKF competition and trains at a premiere mixed martial arts school in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Nahe, who admits to being nervous about the bout, attributes her success in the ring to the hard work she puts in practicing, working out every day for several hours at Guila’s Hawaiian Kajukenbo Kickboxing School in Antioch. Winning the IKF World Classic is the highlight of her career so far, she said, adding that it’s a fun sport and fun to travel. Her friends are excited for her success. In addition to wanting to be a clothing designer, she also has designs on winning more championship belts.
Nahe has been training for half of her young life with Dennis Guila, an eighth-degree black belt and winner of the World Kickboxing Association heavyweight title in 1983. She started out in sport karate sparring, which she wasn’t very good at, before switching to kickboxing.
“Sure enough, when I got her into kickboxing she took off like a wildfire,” said Guila. “She’s fast with her feet and hands. She’s learned to be able to adapt to throwing. She has phenomenal dexterity, mind-hand, mind-feet coordination, where she’s able to combine her strikes effectively, therefore scoring a lot and perhaps knocking out her opponents.”
Full-contact kickboxing, in which knockouts are allowed, was banned for fighters under 17 in California until recently, forcing the younger kickboxers to participate in the semi-contact version, in which the emphasis is on scoring points. The restriction, which has now been lifted, was unnecessary, in Guila’s opinion. “The thing that the athletic commission has never considered is that kickboxing is not much different from boxing,” he said. “And they have allowed boxing for all these years to be legal, even for youths, including knockouts.”
Like Nahe, Guila also came into his own as a martial artist when he switched to kickboxing. “It opened the doors for me to be able to use my hands and feet and not worry about knocking someone out. Kickboxing truly is more of the sport of martial arts, in my opinion.” It’s closer to Thai boxing, which “is known as fighting with eight limbs: hands, feet, elbows and knees.”
Guila, who is now in his 41st year of using and teaching martial arts, provides a variety of styles in his school in a shopping center on Wild Horse Drive off of Hillcrest Avenue. “My specialty is standup kickboxing, muy Thai international rules and American style kickboxing,” he said. His more than 200 students range from kids to seniors, and a variety of classes are available. For more information, call 925-755-3434 or go online to www.guilakarate.com.