Mestra Edna Lima

Black Belt

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Black Belt | December 1998 | Robert W. Young

Women’s Kumite Champion

In the women’s kumite (sparring) grand championship, Edna Lima came out on top. A native of Brazil who currently lives in New York City, Lima has trained in the martial arts for more than 23 years.

Her secret for winning in a sparring division is a combination of factors. “The foundation is training,” she said. “I like to have a cool mind and a hot body. I try to be creative, and I try to play the game- because that’s what it is out there.”

Lima works out almost every day for two and a half or three hours a session. “I have a trainer, Michael Shorts, who takes care of my endurance and conditioning,” she said, “And I do a lot of training on my own.”

To excel at sparring, she advised martial artists to work both sides of their body evenly. “You can’t train one side and not the other,” she said. “And everything you do with your hands you must also be able to do with your feet. Sometimes that means working real hard to accomplish what you want.”

Lima, who also teaches capoeira, the kick-oriented Brazilian martial art, loves to use her legs to dominate her opponents. In fact, she kicked more than just about any other practitioner in her division, but she never seemed to lose control of her power and bust a lip or mash a nose.

“I trust more in my leg control than in my hand control,” she said. “If I use my hands, I tend to punch a little too hard. I can write my name with my hands, but I can kick and have better control with my feet.”