Yes! It is Monday and with that comes our favorite of the week. Our next guest comes from France and she already step up to the ring twice. A women that is a start of the cinema voices in France but also when she put her boxing gloves on. Dive in this quick chat and get know a bit more about Zina.

“My desire of surpassing myself and go further in learning boxing has earned the respect from my coaches and that fills me with joy” Photo courtesy: Stéphane Bouquet

jabtojab: please introduce yourself to our readers? My name is Zina Khakhoulia, I have 33 years old and I live in Paris. I’m a comedian. In this moment I work in cinema where I give voice to movies, series, video games and publicity. I also practice dancing since I’m 5 years old, were I studied in prestigious dancing schools. From 2018 I start doing boxing in a club here in Paris. I also play the piano and sing in a band. My passions are the cinema, music, painting, gastronomy and travelling.

When it happen your first contact with boxing? I have always look from far boxing. Had in my mind the biggest fights and champions of the sport. But not necessarily interested to the point of trying. Unfortunately, a difficult moment in my life made me discover this sport. It happen on the third of January 2018 when I was accompanying a friend for his first class.

How is your relationship with your coaches and colleagues when you are training? My desire of surpassing myself and go further in learning boxing has earned the respect from my coaches and that fills me with joy. I feel in them the happiness on teaching me their know-how and that makes me feel happy. Of course, I also love to have boxing lessons with friends.    

What is your motivation for training? Mostly the well-being that goes inside my body after training. I give so much of myself that in the end I don’t have any energy left. Another reason is that once you do it you want to improve and master the art. It is a feeling that I need to surpass myself at all times.

Which is the boxer you like the most and why? Obviously, I’m fascinated by Mohamed Ali and everything he represented during the years he was fighting, inside and outside the ring.

Today I’m a big fan of Souleymane Cissokho for his precision, incredible technique, humbleness and unconditional discipline.

Zina in action at her Paris boxing club! Photo courtesy: Stéphane Bouquet

And sparring? Describe us the feeling you have when sparring with your colleagues? It is a very unique sensation. A vital need to be 100% focus in that moment and don’t let nothing pass. The first punch we received it is always impressive. This type of stage of confrontation with another person gives us proof that we are truly alive.

Ring entrance…Photo courtesy: Stéphane Bouquet

Did you ever participate in a boxing Gala? How was the feeling? Yes, I did participate two times (in 6 months) in gala the club where I trained. It is a unique sensation, incredibly exhilarating and at the same time terrifying. When we put together all the preparation training I did for the fight, the supporters, my coaches advises, the opponent who is also motivated, we mix all these factors and I have the impression that my heart is going to burst. At the same time, I never felt so alive in my life.

Besides boxing been a sport where we have lots of contact do you believe that if everybody practice, we will have less violence in the streets for example? Oh, I’m sure of that. It I not only boxing a sport that helps you channel your energy but also it is an art that requires discipline. Like in life. This discipline is a great help towards resilience.

Do you believed that who practice boxing becomes a better person in work, with family, friends? At work it helps me focus in that particular instant and staying concentrate on what I’m doing. With family and friends, boxing makes be more attentive to them and to share with them unique feelings. For me, I will say that helps me trying to surpass myself. It will allow you to discover yourself and appreciate more and more who you really are. Which intrinsically leads to the quest to be a better person, day after day.

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