ATHLETE PROFILE: Holly Bird, Karate
Holly Bird hails from Hertfordshire, England and is no stranger to law enforcement. With both parents retiring from a long career with the police, and her brother currently working a neighboring division, Holly herself first started her journey in law enforcement at the age of 18. Since that time, she has worked in many roles, starting out in dispatch, but recently became an Officer! She is passionate about helping genuine victims obtain true justice and that focus keeps her fueled during the long hours and sometimes adverse situations.
Because of the nature of the job, Holly is often reminded of how short life can be. Last year, the point was driven home that we all are only given one life to live, there are no dress rehearsals. Holly says “Life is too short to dwell on things that you cannot change, too short to have negative people bringing you down in your life and too short to not be making yourself happy. I have made some big changes in my life over the last 12 months. But, regret scares me a lot more than change does so I embrace it now. That change of mind set is the whole reason I jumped on the chance to come to Fairfax!” Holly, we are glad you’re making the leap!
Karate has been a part of Holly’s life for the majority, starting with Wado Ryu at the age of 8 and switching to Shotokan in her early teens. Her favorite movies/tv shows were – not surprisingly - The Karate Kid, Power Rangers and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and she wanted to learn all of the amazing moves, including the spinning high kicks. Her father was a karateka (practitioner of karate) and watching him consistently reach his goals and obtain his black belt, she too wanted that same achievement for herself.
Entering European competition when she was 18, she began to love the art of making every technique look as beautiful and accurate as possible (kata). Recently, she has also begun to enjoy kumite as well, which literally translated means “grappling hands.”
Karate is not just a sport for Holly, it is truly a way of life. She says “It’s the constant in my life that I can turn to whenever things feel out of balance. I think most martial artists understand that.” We asked what sport she would love to try or learn and she answered beach volleyball, although she readily admits that while her hand / eye coordination is stellar in the martial arts, when you add a ball to the mix, it all goes downhill.
Citing her parents as her true heroes, watching them live their lives to the fullest serves as great motivation for Holly. What an amazing surprise to Holly that her parents will be coming along with her to watch her compete at the Fairfax 2015 Games!
Outside of her own family, she greatly respects Benny ‘The Jet’ Urquidez for his style, charisma and his love of the spiritual side of fighting. In recent years, Holly has begun to follow and hold great admiration for Ronda Rousey as she develops and smashes down barriers for women in Martial Arts.
If Holly isn’t training or working, you’ll find her surfing! She loves being in the sea, away from the noise of everyday life. Spending time with friends and family is also important to her, especially her adorable 5 year old nephew! Holly is a firm believer of alternative therapies and enjoys growing her own plants and foods and believes in the healing power of crystals. She is an advocate of healthy homegrown foods and loves making them taste as good as the full fat versions!
HOLLY IS MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO: meeting all of her fellow athletes, visiting DC in the summertime and is SUPER excited about seeing the Foo Fighters in concert on July 4th!