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  • Community
  • Kate Bacik On Performance And Being A Woman In MMA

    26th August 2020

    26th August 2020

    By Robyn Schaffer

    Kate Bacik is a fighter, a coach and a personal trainer. From MMA, to Brazilian jiu jitsu, to wrestling, and even yoga, Kate does it all, and she’s the ultimate example of high-level performance. We sat down with her (over Zoom, of course) to ask her all about how she ensures she’s performing her best, and how she’s made use of the past few months to get even better at her craft.

    Hey Kate! So tell us, what’s your hustle?

    I’m a fighter, a coach and a personal trainer. I like to mix it up. I do a bit of Brazilian jiu jitsu, some wrestling, kickboxing, boxing. I also enjoy yoga too.

    Who inspires you when it comes to performance?

    I don’t really have role models or particular people I look up to. I never have. But I do find quite a lot of ‘day-to-day’ people inspiring. For example, some of my clients; they might have a really hard day but they still show up, push through and feel better after.

    I also feel extremely inspired by some of the fighters I've seen in Asia. I spent a few months living in the Philippines and there are children there - 10 or 11 years old - putting so much hard work and focus into their fighting, despite the fact that there aren’t really any prospects there for them. There’s not as many opportunities as we have here in the UK, and little money. But they’re putting all the hard work in just because they love it, and they have passion. They get up at like 5am and their coaches are super tough on them, but they do it all with a smile on their faces.



    When was a time you felt you performed your very best?

    That’s a funny one. I’ve had quite a few fights in my life and some have been quite important - for a belt or a title or something. There’s a lot of pressure with those. But some of those I would lose really badly. And actually, when I’ve felt like I’ve performed my best, it’s been in the fights I really didn’t care about. When I only had a week to prepare. I think it was the lack of pressure. When you’re the underdog, or no one expects you to do well, that’s when we tend to do better because there’s less pressure on ourselves. 

    What role does mindset play when it comes to performing better?

    It’s the most important thing. We can train our bodies to do whatever we want. Our bodies are amazing and they’re capable of so much, but it’s a matter of activating that power in your mind. Your attitude can change everything. 

    What’s your pre-fight ritual? 

    I used to have a really set routine. A whole list of things I’d do the day before. I used to think if anything broke the routine, then I wouldn’t win. But sometimes, I couldn’t do the whole routine for whatever reason - like if I had to fly there or do a weight cut. But it made me realise I didn’t need all of it. There was one time I flew in from another country at 5am and fought at 8.30am on no sleep and no food. And I still won. I realised I didn’t have to go through all these steps. I like to just absorb the energy from the people around me and the other fighters.

    Which Innermost products do you use to boost your performance?

    My favourite is The Health Protein. I love how it tastes. I’m not vegan but I can’t really do dairy. And I like that it’s got glutamine because it’s important when you’re training a lot. But I also like The Focus Capsules. I’ve been taking those for about a month now and they’ve definitely made a difference.

    View this post on Instagram

    Those of you that know me are well aware of how 'picky' I'm when it comes to nutrition and, especially, supplements which I genuinely consider not necessary. However, quality natural supplements, picked to suit individual's needs and preferences can be a great addition to one's lifestyle. Especially when you're very active and need a little boost to aid your recovery, sleep, focus and performance but without bombarding your body with loads of ingredients you can't even pronounce. I took a long time to find a brand I'd like to collaborate with but I couldn't be happier about my decision to get involved with Innermost. Bold, bright and different - Innermost provide targeted nutrition for body and mind. Natural ingredients, nootropics, and adaptogens combined to help you think, feel, and perform your best, whoever and wherever you are on your journey. 'We empower people to live a more inspired life because a world where everyone can realise the best versions of themselves is for the good of all.' Agree 💯 welcome in my corner @liveinnermost 💜 thank you for your support. ✨ Grab a 10% off 💷 with KATE-10 ✨

    A post shared by Kate Bacik (@purplesupernova7) on


    MMA is a stereotypically masculine world. What’s it like being a woman in that industry?

    You have to have a thick skin. There’s a lot of stuff that will hurt you and not only physical stuff. When I was younger, I was the only female training and there were a lot of big, tough guys and they’d go 100% on me. Obviously that wasn’t always fair but you had to deal with it. If you flinched they’d make fun of you. 

    Also, I lived in Cyprus for a couple of years and trained there full time in the MMA gym there. The coaches there were lovely and they helped me loads, but a lot of the guys who trained there had never trained with a female. We’d be sparring and the guys would be like: “I can’t hit you because you’re a girl.” But then there’s other guys who would hit you with 150% power just to prove to you that you’re not supposed to be there. But that doesn’t prove anything.

    Why is fitness so important to you?

    It’s what I do all day every day. It’s like my meditation - I’ve got ADHD and get easily distracted. So I can’t just sit down and do nothing. Instead, training is like active meditation where I don’t have to think about any other life stuff. Nothing else can fill that hole in my life.

    So how did you find lockdown? How did you stay active and healthy, mentally and physically?

    It’s been quite difficult because I normally go 100% all the time. I used to overtrain a lot, so I do think for me it’s good that it happened because it forced me to slow down a bit. I was very fortunate to have access to a gym, so I started working on whatever I could and trying to sort out old injuries. It allowed me to get much stronger so I feel like I made the most of that time. It was also a big test that made me ask myself: do I love what I’m doing? You have to distance yourself from it a bit to really assess if you still want it. But I really missed it and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

    Did you take up any new hobbies or learn something new?

    I did a lot more yoga than I used to. Like up to three hours a day, going really deep into the techniques and positions. I tried running for about a month too, but I hated it. Then I decided to be a DJ and hosted a live DJ set with my friend! Hopefully I'll be doing more of that in the future.

    View this post on Instagram

    Back to basics

    A post shared by Kate Bacik (@purplesupernova7) on


    Anything you’ve read, watched or listened to lately that’s inspired you?

    To be honest, no. I needed something uninspiring because usually, I like to read quite serious things about mindset, psychology, self-help, even poetry. I took the time to just watch rubbish and chill out. I’ll probably get back into the serious stuff soon.

    Best words of wisdom you’ve ever received?

    My coach said I should try to listen to people a bit more. I think I sometimes feel like I’m the only one who can give myself advice, but I know that’s not true. So I'm definitely working on that.

    Advice you’d give?

    If you want to perform well, you need to ditch comparing yourself to others. Only compare yourself to yourself. Aim to be better than the you from the past, and as good as the you from the future.

    Any current goals, fitness or otherwise?

    I’ve gained about 5kg over lockdown. I’d like to believe it’s all muscle but I need to drop it to go back to my fighting weight. I also want to go back to MMA as I haven’t really fought MMA since 2017. There’s no more time to keep postponing it, I just have to do it.

    Who or what motivates you and why?

    I don’t really think other people have the ability to motivate me. I’m quite resistant to other people’s influence so I have to motivate myself. 

    To see more from Kate, follow her on Instagram @purplesupernova7. And to read other Q&As with Innermost Insiders, click here.

    Other Insights

    Growth And Goals With Innermost Insider Amy Costello
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It’s definitely a longer term goal, but everything in our foreseeable future is now driven by this end goal. We’re focused on a future of beach walks, BBQs and puppies!  What are the benefits of having a growth mindset? The opportunities! Personally, I didn’t do too well at school. I didn’t get the point of learning for the sake of learning. But I’m pretty proud of the fact that through hard work, applied knowledge and a lot of determination as an adult. I now own two businesses, work for myself and get to travel the world.  Natural talent or academic intelligence is one thing, but a growth mindset allows you to experience success, build resilience and overcome challenges, all through a simple shift in your perspective.  To keep up with Amy, follow her on Instagram and on Salt Escapes.  Read more
    Editorial of Neev Spencer looking to the side
    Innermost Insider, Neev Spencer, is probably best known for her positions as a television and radio broadcaster, having found success in her multiple broadcast roles, including her notable award-winning shows on popular UK radio station KISS FM. Having spent years of her career supporting industry-giants on tour, hosting for some of the world’s biggest brands and being the face of some of the UK’s favourite TV programmes, Spencer is also known for making waves with her advocacy for mental health, particularly following her own experiences with postpartum depression since becoming a first-time mum. The subject of mental health is one that Spencer is hugely passionate about, combining her wealth of industry experience with the topic to interview A-List celebrities such as Ed Sheeran on the topic live on air. 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But, I am also immensely proud of the fact that I was the first British-Asian woman to ever get a commercial mainstream radio show. How did you know that you were ready to become a Mother? I had always wanted to be a Mum. I’ve always loved children and after I met my partner I knew that was a priority. We are so grateful that being a parent was able to happen for us – there were many years when this dream seemed very distant, and this struggle really opened up my wellness journey. Being a parent and having gone on that natural journey is a blessing. Can you tell us a bit more about your mental health campaign work? I use my own lived experiences to help relate to other people and help them through what they’re going through. These range hugely – from domestic abuse, to personal struggles: I lost my best friend to drugs and alcohol when I was in my 20s, I suffered depression in my teenage years, and again, as a first-time Mother, when I was separated from my little one, this took a huge toll on my mental health. I’ve found that being honest and sharing how I got through those moments is what drives me to help other people, and that’s why I make it my mission to do as much mental health work as possible. Do you think ‘optimism’ is something that we can learn? Absolutely. It’s something that we have within us naturally – children are very optimistic, they are innocent and joyful. Life really wears us down – experiences, loss, trauma and grief, all of that plays a part in where we begin to lose that optimism. For me, optimism really is faith. I am Sikh, but this faith doesn’t necessarily have to be in God, if you’re not religious. It’s a faith in the greater good. Faith in humanity – that something good is out there. It is the most important thing you can have as a human. What are your top three life tips for staying optimistic? I think the place we are in as a society with the pressures of social media can lead us to forgetting how lucky and fortunate we really are. When you focus on where you are in comparison to someone else, this can be really powerful. It’s important to ground yourself. Get a blessing box. This comes from Tibetan culture and is a way of looking ahead towards your dreams and never give up on your fantasies. This allows you to really focus on what is important. Allow yourself to see the positive sides of life, don’t focus on the negatives. Do you think that optimism affects our physical health, as well as our mental health? Absolutely – without being optimistic you can begin to feel lost. Optimism gives us direction, and we need this grounding to feel at peace. This allows us to feel less anxious and in control. Being able to look ahead to our dreams is a way of us constantly motivating ourselves. Small practices like setting an intention everyday and using this as motivation to keep this together is a great way of keeping your mental health in check. Optimism is the line that lies beneath all of this – regardless of what your intention is.  This is hugely important for our psyche. You can’t have good mental health without good physical health – they work in synergy. Finally, who are your role models? I’d have to say my parents. They are just wonderful. They’ve been through so much, they care for my little brother who has special needs, and even though they have been dealt with unbelievably difficult cards in life, they have always taught me to persevere. They taught me that you must remain kind and compassionate and have really instilled those morals on me. I’m very proud to be their child. 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