Wednesday, July 20, 2011

5 minutes with Vallie Rae Mead

Colorado Fight League Newsletter (Steel City rumble Feature) 5 minutes with Vallie Rae Mead

by Gabe Charboneau on Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 11:23am
By CFL Contributor Liz Solano

To a simple passer by, Vallie Rae Mead seems like a beautiful woman, and that's that! Anyone who knows Vallie, knows that she is more than what meets the eye and she will prove it!


In a sport where men seem to reign superior, Mead is a women who never let her gender be a handicap. Having been exposed to Martial Arts since the tender age of 13,  Mead never let her gender get in the way, “In this sport, it's kill or be killed”, Mead says. She was never babied or treated any different because she's female telling us, “My very first instructor told everyone in our student body, DO NOT treat her any differently”. Starting with Kempo Karate at 13 and then graduating to kickboxing at 18, she knew the discipline and strength it took to train. Training very hard, Mead began to teach students very early, “I felt like I had to establish dominance and show my students who many times were older men, that I knew exactly what I was doing and I would prove it.” Once she stepped onto the MMA scene she says, “I couldn't see myself as a good fighter until I got onto the ground and mastered my ground skills.” While she never felt at a disadvantage due to her gender, she did feel as though she had to prove herself.


Being a parent is trying on anyone. This is even more so the case when you are a single parent, couple that with training and you have a full time job! Vallie has three wonderful children and balancing the three of them with training is the hardest part. Mead is a Martial Artist saying, “This is what I am and what I want, it makes it easier when you know who and what you are... This is what I want!” Mead finds it important to cherish every moment stating, “One day I will be a coach and only a coach, I want to cherish this moment right now!”


When I ask a fighter, “How do you get ready for a fight?” The response is often something in the realm of watching the opponents past fights, or making themselves hate their opponent. Not Vallie, she prepares in a way that is very unique.
“I start two weeks out from my fight. I let the adrenaline build and then I ground myself. I use a lot of visualization and disburse the adrenaline and nervousness I feel to my limbs. It's a full body awakening. At that point, my nervousness takes the shape of confidence.”
On top of visualization, the song that the fighter enters the arena with is also very important. “It has to have that certain vibe that releases everything” Unlike many, to Mead, a fight isn't about hating her opponent, but rather, a test of herself. She finds it to be an opportunity to learn more about herself. She doesn't know much about her opponent and she doesn't need to, “I always imagine that my opponent is bigger, faster, and stronger and I have to push myself to be equal.”


Like many, she would love to thank her parents, training partners and coach at Team Hitman MMA, and of course her children; but there is a man who passed away that she would like to thank as well, Bill Packer. Bill Packer was her first instructor, a man who was very near and dear to her, and a man who has trained the best with 122 World Champions. Mead remembers her first fight, “It wasn't like the big productions that we have today, it was more underground. I walked into the ring and my feet had dust on them and I was afraid of slipping. I turned to him and said, 'Mr. Packer my feet are dusty' he did what I never expected, he sat me on the stool and proceeded to wash my feet, this man who has trained champions got to his knees and washed my feet. It was a very surreal moment for me.” When Packer passed away, Mead didn't train for a while, “It's hard to find someone to train you after you have learned so much and you have developed such a deep bond with an instructor.” Packer shaped Mead into what she is today and she is grateful.

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