Team Arena’s own Ninja Princess, Janelle Freiman, has consistently shown the warrior spirit necessary to succeed in Boxing, Kickboxing and Muay Thai. A lifetime of hard work and dedication prepared her for the uphill battle of learning how to fight in a tough environment. We build fighters and have very high standards for anyone that we would consider fighting for us, Janelle has met and exceeded these standards. Enjoy!
When I first started combative training, the whole gym just went silent like, “Oh no, maybe she’s lost. What is she doing here?” There were a million times I felt embarrassed like, “What are you doing at this age trying to do something like this?” So I just realized like, well, this time’s going to pass either way so if I put the dedication in and do the hard work from ground up, I’m only going to get better.
Prior to fight training I had been a professional dancer. I did ballet. I did modern dance. I started at 18, which is a really, really late age. I had all the odds against me. I started training with ballet just full dedication. I’ve performed actually all over the world and I did that for over two decades.
When I first started training with Basheer I loved his training. I really love technique. I love mastery of a trade and having the technical proficiency. I didn’t know I was going to ever fight or was that even an option? Then I started to realize, “Wait a second here. I would love to get in the ring and do this.” And I think I can do it and I have the right coaches behind me.
The first thing I did was a boxing tournament. I had to fight two people, one of which had already been the previous winner for the Masters title and the World title so I had to fight her first. And I just brought in with me the same composure and focus that I brought into dance performance into the ring. I won both of those fights and I won the title. And then I went on to do six boxing matches. Then I did one kickboxing world championship in Australia, which was a six-round fight. And that was a really great experience. Really great accomplishment, just a dream come true.
I love that, since I’ve been here, I just get in the mix. In the beginning, there was a separation between me and them, female, older, etc. And so then over time, people have seen me putting it in, doing what it takes, having injuries, overcoming injuries, super dedication, and work ethic, and I probably train like three to four hours a day. And I feel like that I have earned the respect and that, over time, I think that age barriers or female/male barriers have just blurred. It’s a comradery here. It’s a “brotherhood” here. I find that everybody help each other, everybody want to see you get better. They see the dedication and then they’re going to honor that. It’s family and feel family here.