On January 31st, LIMMA interviewed Chrissy Yandolli who is fighting Passa Chattra for the PKF New York State Women’s
K-1 Championship. Chrissy holds world championship titles in WPKA pro-am & USKBA. She is also a member of Team USA and
has an impressive fight record. Chrissy has fought in many different types of Kickboxing, including Full Contact, Sanshou,
Sanda & Lowkick, making her a very versatile fighter.
LIMMA: How/when did you 1st get started in the martial arts?
I started 10 years ago in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu at Kazan Dojo. I was not really into jiu-jitsu and wanted more fighting experience.
There was not enough contact so after about a year I switched over to Kickboxing, joined AFC Kickboxing located at 315 Middle Country Road, Middle Island, NY 11953 and trained with Tom Bottone. I immediately fell in love with kickboxing, and everything about it. AFC Kickboxing is located at 315 Middle Country Road,
Middle Island, NY 11953. The school's telephone number is 631-345-0100.
What was your first fight like? How did it feel?
Yandolli: My first fight was
actually when I was still studying Jiu-Jitsu. After about 4 months of Jiu-Jitsu I wanted more contact, so I decided to give
Kickboxing a try. Even though I lost by decision it was an awesome experience. I remember everything about it, the atmosphere,
the crowds, etc. I remember feeling totally overwhelmed; I never realized that Kickboxing was such a big deal.
LIMMA: Tell me about K1, how is it different?
In 2004 I started to train for K1 because I liked the diversity of the matches. It was just different than regular American
Kickboxing. I lost my 1st two fights by very close decision: one to Jenna Castillo in Sanshou; and the other to Sara Ponce
in Sanda. Training for K1 keeps my training diversified especially in sparring, since everything is actually the same, just
the rules differ. For example, in some cases I am allowed to use knees and in others I am not.
LIMMA: So tell me about your training:
how often, what kind?
Yandolli: I train about 3-4 times per week With Tommy at
AFC. The other days I train at home. When at AFC, I train for about 2 hours focusing on speed & sparring. When at home,
I work on my cardio and endurance by cross-training 3 hours a day.
LIMMA: Tell me about your upcoming fight on the 5th.
Well to be honest, I am not really thinking too much about it. I am just going to go out there and fight. She has two arms
and two legs, right. I really don’t know anything about her, nor do I care, since I will be fighting my fight, not hers.
LIMMA: I always ask this question since I think the responses are always interesting. What
are your thoughts about the UFC?
Yandolli: The UFC is really good to watch. There
are some excellent fighters and athletes. It really has brought martial arts to the mainstream and in general has done more
good than bad. I think it has really been great for women’s competitive arts. It has shown that women could be excellent
fighters, aggressive, skilled, etc. and still be women. I actually have a funny story. I was approached and was made an offer
to be on the reality TV show, “Fight Girls”. I unfortunately could not get off of the work for that long and had
to turn it down – it was one of those opportunities that I regret the decision I made.
MMA is now the new catch-phrase in all of martial arts. What are your thoughts about this term?
I don’t think the average person really knows what it is. There is nothing really new about the concept; it’s
just cross training under different styles.
LIMMA: What do you think the future
is for traditional martial arts?
Yandolli: I think there will always be a market
for tradition & history. There will always be people that do it.
LIMMA: Any final comments you want to get across to young readers?
Yandolli: Train hard and fight easy!!
Thanks Chrissy it was nice talking to you.Good luck on the