Student by day, fighter by night


Photo provided by: Skylar Cooper

Skylar during a mitt work session.

Chelsea Bartilad, Staff Writer

You may have seen senior Skylar Cooper busy around campus. From managing her classes to dealing with hectic college apps, she’s one busy gal.

But do you know what Skylar does outside the gates of Rosary Academy?

Here’s a hint: think Batman…but instead of a millionaire vigilante, we have a high school student that not only does boxing, but does kickboxing and Muay Thai as well.

In order to learn about her boxing, I was given the pleasure to interview Skylar.

Q: What prompted you to take self-defense?

A year ago, I was going on a walk by myself when a man I didn’t know started chasing me. Knowing that being by myself, I was in danger inspired me to take self-defense. I started training the day after my attack, having contacted a friend that does MMA. He took me to his coach and I started my long journey of training.

Q: How have your skills changed from when you started to now?

I have improved a lot. When I first started, I had no clue how to punch, but now I know how to use the power behind it. I have built up my endurance to last longer while doing my cardio work. In the beginning, I could barely make it through five minutes of my multi step workout, when I can now finish it in five minutes. My jump roping has improved tremendously. This is my favorite part of practice. I can do different tricks and running in place. I have always learned how to target the muscle I need to lift to help improve my power behind the punch.

Q: What is your favorite form of boxing?

My go to combo in sparring is either a Superman or a switch jab cross and hook. A Superman is jumping up on one leg while moving forward, swinging your arm back, and then throwing the punch. A switch jab cross hook is switching the box standing form I am in and then throwing a jab cross and hook.

Along with my boxing, I do kickboxing and Muay Thai. Muay Thai is a type of fighting that uses all eight points of the body: fists, elbows, knees, and shins. The elbow is the sharpest point in the body and is very useful in combat. It’s like extreme boxing, and it’s very fun to do!

Q: How do you balance your training with school?

It’s pretty tough sometimes honestly. My practice starts at five Mondays and Thursdays. So, when we have Flex on Thursdays I have to rush home and eat something before I leave. My gym Raw Talent Boxing is in Costa Mesa and I need to leave early to get there on time. But it’s worth it, I enjoy every minute in that gym. My team is what I call my “big brothers” that I know I can count on.

Q: Do you have advice for anyone who’s starting out?

Don’t get frustrated. It’s a long process, and just starting out can be confusing and annoying. Trust me, I know. I was always frustrated with myself when I couldn’t get my form right or couldn’t jump rope to the right pace. But you will get better. It just takes practice. Like my MMA fighter coach says, “It’s not practice makes perfect, it’s make perfect practice.”


You know what? I take it back, Skylar is like Batman. Maybe even better.

From dealing with college apps to training long hours at the gym, Skylar Cooper is a true girl boss.