Stretch 15 minutes a day - says Instagram kicking star Lauren Edmunds
Lauren Edmunds is a fierce martial arts competitor and performer, promoting Taekwondo and martial arts across the globe. A three times World Champion and many times national and regional champion, Lauren is becoming one of the most well known British martial artists in the world
Her martial arts journey started like many others, joining a local club along with her sisters. Now with 36,000 Instagram followers (and growing daily), Lauren is currently among the most influential in her sport. We recently caught up to talk about her achievements, and her tips for improving your own flexibility.
MAO - Our readers will be aware that you started in martial arts at a young age. how quickly did you discover it was going to be your passion?
LE - "I started out at the age of 5. My dad wanted to get me into some sort of martial art as he noticed I would spend most of my evenings binge watching Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee movies.
My dad eventually took me to my first Tae Kwon Do lesson, I got stuck right in & absolutely loved it. After getting a grade A pass on my very first grading I realised how much I loved it and it became a way of life almost instantly.
I fell in love with the art immediately, going to training nearly every night & training at home."
MAO - You went on to achieve black belt status extremely early, what do you put this down to?
LE - "Yes I earned my black belt at the age of 9. I put this down to my hard work & dedication plus my mum & dad giving me a gentle push to succeed in the art.
Once I achieved my black belt I started to enter the world of competitions which opened up the art to the sport side. I then continued to enter in every competition that was held."
MAO - Many martial arts fans will have seen you performing with your sisters Sian and Lara under the 'Edmunds Sistas' title, do you ever still work together?
LE - "Yes we worked as The Edmunds Sistas for many years & had an amazing time working together, traveling & training.
We no longer work together. We stopped around 4 years ago when serious health issues had arose for one of us. Family comes first and health is way more important than any job.
Since then we have all gone our separate ways (work wise) & decided to work on personal goals. I now do all of my appearances, seminars & any work commitments on my own as Kick Chick."
MAO - Your achievements have come in both performing and fighting. Which do you think is more difficult to win titles?
LE - "For me personally I found fighting something I would put a lot more time & effort into.
There is always someone training as hard or harder than you are. It’s very important to stay at your best."
MAO - And which titles are you most proud of?
LE - "I would say my 3 world titles, not because of the titles themselves but because of the hard work, dedication & time that went into my training leading up to them.
I decided I wanted to give myself a slight edge on my opposition so I took up boxing for the months leading up to the event. This helped to focus on my hand speed & power, as my legs were already strong."
MAO - What would you say the different levels of standard are between TAGB Taekwondo and Olympic Taekwondo?
LE - "It’s hard to say as the styles are actually very different. As in every style of martial arts, there is always an exceptionally high standard & a very low standard.
Olympic Taekwondo is more tactical in my opinion and a lot easier for people to physically see when points are scored.
The TAGB style of fighting can look a little messy and it's more difficult to see what has been scored.
This is why WT sparring is more suited to the Olympic Games. I like both styles and think they each have something to offer."
MAO - Do you regret your choice of styles? Would you have liked the chance to represent Great Britain at the Olympic games?
LE - "I don’t regret it as it gave me a great stepping stone to my martial arts career to start me off.
Previously I had plenty of offers to make the switch but at the time this wasn't something I wanted to do as it’s a big call.
I no longer train with the TAGB & haven’t done so for 4 years. I have no affiliation with them."
MAO - Across all styles of Tae Kwon Do, who do you think are the best fighters or performers?
LE - "Growing up the person I massively looked up to was Mr Warren Vice (TAGB) for sparring. He was someone I wanted to fight like in every way. He won everything he entered & made everything look so effortless.
Performer wise I would say Mr Aaron Gassor from ITF known as Ginger Ninja Trickster. Not only is he an incredible martial artist he is an amazing tricker showing a whole new element to performances. We both work very closely together now & have some exciting projects coming up."
MAO - Give our readers an insight into the day in the life of Lauren Edmunds, just how much training does it take to reach your level of skill?
LE - "I try to stretch 15 minutes a day, personally I think this is a perfect amount as it’s all about muscle memory.
Of course sometimes life takes over and you can’t always find time but as a rule I do try.
My day mainly consists of content creating, appearances & private lessons but mostly spending time with my family."
MAO - What's your top tip for reaching optimum levels of flexibility?
LE - "Stretch 15 minutes a day, train your muscles to remember.
People make the mistake of stretching for a solid hour and then leaving it a whole week before stretching again. This does absolutely nothing.
I also recommend focusing on your breathing whilst holding your stretches this helps get oxygen into your muscles."
MAO - Finally, do you have any words of advice for other martial artists out there looking to promote themselves / their sport?
LE - "I would say if it’s your passion & you want to also turn it into your full time career then make it happen.
Follow your passion, your goals & your career will take off. Always stay humble & respectful to everyone & try to take every opportunity that comes your way."
MAO - Thanks Lauren for talking to martialarts-online.co.uk