When you think of boxing, kickboxing and other martial arts, who immediately comes to mind? George Foreman? Bruce Lee? The Rock?
Our latest Modern Muse Audrey Wolfe strives to change that. As a managing partner at Mezger Martial Arts, an elite Dallas facility that offers group classes and private lessons to men, women and children in boxing, kickboxing, judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and wrestling, she does more than manage the gym, coaches, trainers and staff. She instructs, too, and in particular proud to empower women and girls to be strong, defend themselves and know endurance and persistence through sport.
Who wouldn’t be inspired and feel empowered when your teacher is currently ranked the number two, pound-for-pound female in mixed martial arts in the whole state of Texas?!
Keep reading to learn about Audrey’s incredible journey!
In Her Own Words
“Though I teach men, women and children, the women and girls have a special place in my heart. I am teaching females of all ages how to defend themselves if they are attacked, how to be strong, and how to keep going when you think you can’t anymore.
“I am constantly trying to open more doors for women in martial arts. I work in a male-dominated sport that has shunned me in many ways, but I was Guy Mezger’s first female black belt, and that means something. When they didn’t have female divisions at karate tournaments, I just won the men’s. I fought in the Dallas Golden Gloves when amateur boxing initially became legal for women and paved the way for women and girls after me.”
“We only get so long here, and ultimately, when we leave, the people whom we inspire and influence are all that is left.“
What inspired you to do the work that you do/motivates you today?
“I started training in martial arts when I was seven years old. I earned my black belt when I was 15 years old and then started working at the gym. I had my first boxing fight at 16 and first kickboxing fight at 17. To say that I have loved martial arts since I was young, is an understatement.
“I worked for Guy Mezger while I was in college. I thought I would then get a ‘real job’ but told him I would stay if he got me health insurance. For a while, I had to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet but eventually built up our gym and clientele to where I am today.
“There is a saying that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. There is so, so much truth in that statement. Though I am not finished as an athlete myself, my biggest joys come from helping and watching other people succeed. There is nothing more validating than teaching a woman who was brutally attacked to defend herself and give her a new sense of confidence or helping a morbidly obese woman learn about nutrition, enjoy working out and lose over 100 pounds, or one of my female students that started with me as a shy little girl that was afraid of her shadow go on to work for the secret service.
“We only get so long here, and ultimately, when we leave, the people who we inspire and influence are all that is left.”
How did you get to where you are and what challenges did/do you face?
“I had my first boxing fight at 16 and first kickboxing fight at 17. I was undefeated in boxing for 10 years and won national and international titles but then suffered a devastating loss at the Olympic Trials.
“Instead of quitting, I threw myself into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu where I won the Pan Ams and traveled to Abu Dhabi to compete at the worlds and continued to evolve and diversify my skills. I have competed nationally and internationally in boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and now MMA. There certainly wasn’t a direct path but instead a lot of disappointment and refocus that led me to where I am today. “
Who is your she-ro?
“That is a tough one. Maya Angelou, Audrey Hepburn, Ann Wolf, Pink, Michelle Obama. There are incredible women all around.”
What is your favorite quote?
“I couldn’t just pick one…”
“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” – Maya Angelou
“I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Do you know a #ModernMuse who has an amazing story to tell? Send us her story to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to know her: 1) Name, 2) Age if under 25, 3) Location, 4) Relationship to you, 5) Why you think she is a #ModernMuse (what is she doing or has she done to make Inspire, Empower, Impact the world or the community around her?). We’ll let you both know when we’d like to publish her story, send her a few more questions and will share it on our social media channels. Looking forward to your submissions!