Posted on 20 April 2013 by La Habra Journal
By Christina Ledesma
La Habra Journal
Cheyenne Bowman is not your average 10 year old girl. She is ranked No. 1 in the USA for girls wrestling, a heavy competitor in Mixed Martial Arts and Muay Thai, and an honor student who plays football and loves to dance.
Bowman first started competing in Muay Thai when she was 6 years old. Her mother placed her and her brother in a children’s program at CSW (Combat Submission Wrestling), a training center with Erik Paulson located in Fullerton.
Bowman’s mother Suzette Ornelas Medina said that her daughter excelled quickly in the program because she had learned how to be aggressive from playing football with her brother. Overtime, Bowman’s technique became very good and then she started to compete. About two years ago, one of Bowman’s trainers encouraged her to also do wrestling to help build her technique and also help her get a scholarship for college.
Medina then placed her daughter in beginners wrestling. The coaches then noticed how aggressive Bowman was and moved her up to train at a more advanced level. “It’s not because her technique was so good, because it wasn’t. She was just so tough and so used to doing the mixed martial arts and grappling that she took to it really well.”
Bowman recently competed in the USA state tournament in March and took first place in the girls wrestling division. She also competed in an all-boy tournament, but did not do as well.
“That was a tougher tournament she didn’t do too good, but she’s going up against nothing but boys there really no girls at that tournament,” said Medina.
Although competing against boys is a challenge for Bowman, she enjoys the competition and likes to prove that she is just as tough as they are.
Bowman is a fourth grader at Sierra Vista Elementary School; she is also an honor student and understands the importance of excelling in the classroom.
Bowman said that being a student athlete does come easier to her because she is focused and does it every day. “I have a lot of pride in what I do,” she explained.
Medina is constantly reminding her daughter that her education comes first. And is also very supportive of her daughter no matter what she chooses to do in the future. “I think she definitely can have a very bright future and it doesn’t have to be MMA but it’s whatever she chooses to do. School is always first than it’s wrestling and then comes her mixed martial arts because wrestling is her ticket to college hopefully and without education and without having good grades it’s going to be a tough road in life.”
With all the negative media about children competing in MMA, Medina said that it’s very important to focus on the fact that it teaches discipline, consistency and dedication.
“I just don’t agree with the stereotype of what they see on UFC. ‘It’s like oh my gosh these kids are really doing this?’ No absolutely not, there are no head strikes in kids MMA its more submissions, its points, there’s a lot of rules to it. It’s something the kids obviously have fun doing and it isn’t a bad thing.”
Medina has four kids that train in MMA and four that wrestle, she said that there is a lot of bad media on children who are involved in these sports and assume that these children will take these skills to school and become bullies. “That is not the case. You know what, I am really glad my kids are wresting and they’re doing MMA because it’s showing them discipline, they take pride in what they’re doing and they’re staying busy.” Medina wants people to educate themselves on the sport before passing judgment on what these children do. She said that her daughter has never used this sport violently at school.
Although Bowman is constantly training with boys, she does have a feminine side to her and also loves to dance. However, she is not able to compete in dance because it is around the same time as wrestling.
Even with her busy training schedule Bowman still finds time to go to the dance studio after her training. “She recently just landed her aerial, so she can do a cart wheel with no hands.” Bowman also competed for her first jujitsu tournament for CSG; she competed against all boys and came in 2nd place. Here next competition will take place on May 4th in Pasadena, where she will be competing in a MMA League called Kids Pankration. Bowman hopes to compete in the Olympics for wrestling and also wants to become a UFC fighter one day.