Longtime kickboxing instructor Christina Rondeau, who is also owner of Rondeau’s Kickboxing in Johnston, was recently inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Kickboxing Master of the Year.
Rondeau began her kickboxing career when she was in high school and has been teaching the sport since 1990. She is currently a 5th degree blackbelt and has won numerous championships in her career.
“I didn’t expect it. I got a letter from a couple of my peers telling me that they voted to nominate me in and then it happened. It was pretty cool, they acknowledged that I have been a part of kickboxing since 1990 and wanted to honor me in the Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Kickboxing Master of the Year,” said Rondeau of receiving the honor.
Rondeau was excited to not only be recognized in a sport like kickboxing, but to also receive the honor as a female.
“I’m pretty humble about that stuff, but it was quite the honor. There just aren’t that many females in the fighting world, especially in kickboxing, everything is popularized now with wrestling and MMA, so it’s a still a slow climb to find American kickboxers,” said Rondeau, whose children book “Wimpy” was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. “They also inducted my children’s book which will be on display in New Mexico. So it is pretty cool to be a female that helped pioneer the sport and to be acknowledged by the other masters.”
Christina Thomas, who also trains at Rondeau’s, was also inducted into the Hall of Fame for her “Lifetime Loyalty to Martial Arts.” Thomas has been studying Martial arts for 35 years and specifically under Christina Rondeau for the last 10 years.
More than anything, Rondeau’s passion for teaching the sport stems from helping others and being able to show people what it offers outside of just the gym.
“I think it motivates a lot of people. There are a lot of new instructors coming up and like I said in my speech, kickboxing is about changing lives. In adults, there is a lot of anxiety and a lot of stress, so we’re always trying to create programs that help build confidence. Empowering people, that’s what it’s all about.”