Fightergirl on the Rise – Kimberli Smith

485_lgThe future of of women’s MMA is taking the grappling world by storm.

(Kimberli Smith is sporting one of the Fightergirls “Not So Basic Black” Rash Guards, and the Fightergirls Bruised Boyfriend Board Shorts that are now available in the Fightergirls store.)

At age 5 Kimberli Smith started Karate at the local YMCA.

Then at age 7 she began Muay Thai training.

At age 8 she started Grappling and Mixed Martial Arts training.

By age 12 she obtained a Jr. Black Belt in MMA and was immediately promoted to the Adult program, where she was able to start submitting grownups.

By age 13 the young KILLER started training full time, at the Armory of Daytona Beach. Two short weeks later she started competing in BJJ and Submission Grappling with great success.

At this point she added Wrestling and Boxing to the mix. Shortly after that, little Ms. KRO$$FACE began obtaining various sponsorships, thus allowing her to expand her Menacing Reign of Terror to other unsuspecting regions.

Accomplishments include, but are certainly not limited to: Becoming Nationally Ranked #1 in both BJJ and Submission Grappling in 2008 and 2009. She is Florida State Girls Wrestling Champion for 2008. She holds countless various, State, Regional, and National titles. This 2010 season, she plans on dominating the Amateur Muay Thai circuit, starting with her home state of Florida, before traveling abroad. Only to eventually conquer the Planet Earth as the Women’s World MMA Champion.

Just recently, Kim competed in the NAGA World Championships in Boca Raton, FL. She took 2 Bronze medals in the Teens division, and a Silver medal in Expert Womens No-Gi.

Kimberli is currently being filmed by The Next Great Fighter for her own documentary short. Be on the lookout for the KILLER, who’s already on her way, to a tournament near YOU.

Meet Kimberli Smith, aka The KRO$$FACE KILLER, she is a 14-year old phenomenon who is dominating the mats in Florida and Georgia. She is currently ranked # 1 in the nation in BJJ for 2009 and # 1 in the nation in Submission Grappling for 2009. She was # 1 in the nation in BJJ and Submission Grappling for 2008, which was her rookie season. Also in 2008, she was Florida State Girls Middle School WRESTLING CHAMPION and Florida State Girls High School Wrestling Runner-up. Kimberli is only getting started – but has an impressive resume…she is definitely one to watch.

FighterGirls: First of all, I would like to congratulate you for all your achievements, victories, and # 1 Ranking.

Kimberli Smith: Thanks a lot, it’s been a real blast.

FG: So tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into grappling? It says in your bio that you started training at age 5 – how did that happen? Was it your idea or your fathers?

KS: Well, it all started shortly after my dad got custody of me around age 5, we visited the local YMCA to see what sports were available. Realizing they had a kids Tae Kwon Do program, my dad asked me if I would like to watch. The Instructor invited me out onto the floor and moments later I gave my Dad the “thumbs up”, so he went straight to the front desk and signed me up. About a year later he ended up withdrawing me as a punishment for an unrelated issue. After a self admitted realization of his mistake, he slowly started reintroducing me into Martial Arts at around age 7, with Muay Thai lessons from my Uncle Mike, eventually enrolling me in a MMA after school program at age 8. I did pretty good at all of it, but soon realized that I liked the Grappling part the best. By age 12, I received my “Jr. black belt” from the afterschool program and I started doing “actual Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” clinics on the weekends. I also had also started wrestling around then, just to get even more mat time. Soon after that I was asked to move to the adult MMA Program, where it was frowned upon to “tap out” adults. So shortly after that, I was politely asked to train elsewhere. Immediately I enrolled at the Armory in Daytona Beach under the instruction of BJJ Blackbelt, Chita Baroose and UFC Veteran Rich Crunkilton. Two weeks later I entered my first tournament, which was a 1,200 person NAGA where I took 2 first places in my division. A year later I added boxing to the mix, and the rest is history.

FG: Speaking of your father – it is great to see how much support he is giving you and helping you achieve your goal. Do you think you would have made it this far without his support?

KS: I would definitely have to say no, I would have never gotten this far without my Dad. Not only is he the one that got me started, but he’s the one that communicates with all of my sponsors, takes care of all of my sites, handles all of my e-mails and deals with all of my merchandise. He ends up coaching me half of the time, but basically he handles all of my business outside of the ring. I also have a great support group of friends and extended family looking out for me, that helps me get everywhere I need to be. It seems like lately people have just been coming out of the woodwork offering to help.

FG: Besides grappling, what other forms of marital arts to you do/train?

KS: I also train in Wrestling, Muay Thai, Boxing and MMA.

FG: Describe to us what a typical training day is like for you? I read that you train 5 days a week and condition 7 days a week?

KS: I wake up at 4:45am on school days, eat a grapefruit and a handful of supplements (yuk) before stretching followed by push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and crunches followed by a 2 mile run when my knee isn’t acting up. Followed by a MuscleMilk shake and then I’m on the bus by 6:15am. After school I have a light lunch and another MuscleMilk and then it’s off to Wrestling practice or BJJ class followed by some form of striking. Saturdays I usually compete in BJJ with an occasional Wrestling tournament thrown in just for fun and I only stretch and lightly warm up on competition days. If there’s not a tournament then it’s business as usual except i get to sleep in on the way to tournaments and on Sundays.

FG: What are the competitions like for you? Do you face any “discrimination” from other fighters? Other male fighters? Female fighters?

KS: Well, I’m not so nervous on “game day” any more only an occasional butterfly and it’s usually because I’m hungry. [lol] Yeah, there’s definitely discrimination coming from both sexes but it’s mostly the “larger” more insecure females that seem to have the most attitudes with me. (You girls know who you are) [lol] And with the guys it’s just because you’re a girl.

FG: You have a very impressive record for someone so young – what do you feel like is your biggest achievement to date?

KS: Aside from winning several Women’s Absolute Divisions and holding down the # 1 Nationally Ranked spot for the last 2 years. I think it would have to be just getting to this point where all of the hard work seems like it’s starting to pay off. But I feel like I’m just getting started and I really have a lot to learn.

FG: What is your opinion on other female fighters such as Gina Carano and Cyborg?

KS: I think that it’s great! It’s women like them that I look up to and think “that’s where I want to be”.

FG: I know that you stated that your dad is one of your heroes, who else do you look up to?

KS: I look up to anyone and everyone who has enough guts and self respect to be true to themselves and finish what they’ve started.

FG: What is your ultimate goal in the fighting arena?

KS: I would like to eventually fight Pro MMA and eventually own and operate my own school giving me the opportunity to give something back.

FG: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

KS: In 5 years I hope to be in my prime and on Prime Time. $ $ $
Hopefully teaching my own Seminars, still training with World Class Athletes, traveling the world and having a blast while I’m at it.

FG: What advice do you have for the readers of FighterGirls.com and other young girls and women out there who want to get into fighting?

KS: Ignore the haters, set your sights and don’t ever stop when the going gets tough. And all of the blood, sweat and tears will come out with a good detergent and maybe one of those Tide laundry pens.

FG: Anything else you would like to add?

KS: I really want to thank Debi Purcell and the rest of you at FighterGirls, for the opportunity to do this interview. I’m looking forward to representing FighterGirls at the Gym and in my next competition.

FG: Thank you so much for doing this interview and best of luck in the future!

KS: Thank you Lynna it was my pleasure.

FG: Please keep in touch!

KS: Absolutely!

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