web analytics
April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Two Religious Girls Box-Kick Their Way to World Champions (video)

The IDF gets a new weapon next year. Meet Baltimore-born Nili Block and Mumbai convert Sarah Avraham, both of them religious and the new world champs in Thailand-style kick-boxing.
Nili Block wins gold medal in Thailand’s word championship kick-boxing competition.

Nili Block wins gold medal in Thailand’s word championship kick-boxing competition.
Photo Credit: Bigchili

Two religious teenagers, one a convert from India and the other born in Baltimore, have won the world championship in Thailand-style kick-boxing for their weight class.

Officially known as Muay Thai, the combat sport is known as “the art of eight weapons” because of the use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet.

One might expect that world champs in the kick-boxing sport would be huge gorillas from the Amazon, but two winners in the girls’ championships held in Thailand recently are none other than two religious girls from Israel.

One is Nili Block, who was born in Baltimore and moved with her family to Israel around 15 years ago. The other is Sarah Avraham, whose family was close friends with Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, two of the six victims of the Muslim terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008.

Having already been acquainted with the Jewish religion through their association with the Holtzbergs, they decided to convert and move to Israel after the terrorist attack.

Nili and Sarah train five times a week at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, attacking a punching bag to sharpen their skills under the supervision of a coach. Their rigorous regime paid off in Thailand, where they were crowned champions after Nile defeated her Bulgarian opponent in the flyweight class of 112-118 pounds, while Nili beat her British opponent in the 125-138-pound class.

Nili is an all-round athlete. Before flying to Thailand for the championships, she ran in the 6-mile Jerusalem Marathon in March and win first place in the women’s 16-19 age group, finishing ahead of 500 runners in her category. Later the same month, she won the 10th Amateur-Pro Muay Thai Championships in Bangkok.

“Nili is amazing − slim and tall, she’s built for this sport, and she possesses quite an array of weapons. She can devastate an opponent with her hands, knees and feet, and she has perfect technique,” said Shuki Rozensweing, an Israeli boxer who won the World Muay Thai Association and World Muay Thai Federation unified title in April 2011.

He told the Thai BigChili website, “She is a complete fighter with a high IQ for the sport…. A fight is not only won on strength. Nili won all three rounds against the Bulgarian girl, who was physically stronger, by virtue of her superior technique.”

She is in the 12th grade and has to decide this year whether to enlist in the IDF or serve in “Sherut Leumi,” national service.

The IDF would love to have her in its ranks. She says she is not sure if she wants to miss out serving as a regular soldier and suspend her boxing talents, but Shuki thinks she has a good chance to receive the IDF’s special athletic status, which would allow her to continue to train.

Besides that, let’s see what happens if an Arab terrorist starts up with her.

Nile discovered Muay Thai through her other after the family moved to Israel.

‘‘My mother was at that time a volunteer police woman attached to the Jerusalem police department and she was looking for some kind of martial arts which would be beneficial for her work,” said Nili. “I went with her as she looked for a Muay Thai training camp and I started to train with her. I stopped training for two years while going to school and resumed when I was 13.” Her father, a dentist, supports and encourages her to box.

So much for stereotyped-orthodox families.

The most thrilling moment in the Thai championships was hearing the Israel national anthem Hatikvah two times, once after Nili won her gold medal and the second time when Sarah won.

Sarah’s story is no less spectacular than Nili’s.

Her father is a doctor and was the family physician to the Holtzbergs, who ran the Chabad House in Mumbai.

Sarah was 14 years old when the family converted and then moved to Kiryat Arba, where she learns at a religious “ulpana” high school.

Hevron resident Michael Pollack spotted her talent and put her in touch with Thai boxing coach Eddie Yusopov.

Keeping in mind that Abraham and Sarah were buried in the Patriarchs’ Cave in Hevron, Pollack told the Times of Israel last year, “She draws her strength from where we live in Kiryat Arba. That gives her an inner strength that explodes in the ring.”

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Two Religious Girls Box-Kick Their Way to World Champions (video)”

  1. Roger De Freitas says:

    Why was it necessary to say she is a convert?

  2. Cody Flecker says:

    It is good to see Jews and more specifically Jewish young woman defending themselves and the Jewish People, both in Israel and in the diaspora. Good luck to them now and in the future.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
President Rivlin delivers  Yom Ha'Atzmaut greetings to Jews in the Diaspora.
President Rivlin’s Independence Day Message Thanks Jews in the Diaspora
Latest News Stories
ISIS leader al-Baghdadi.

The good news he is not able to control daily operations. The bad news is that he is recovering.

President Rivlin delivers  Yom Ha'Atzmaut greetings to Jews in the Diaspora.

He thanks Jews who stand up for Israel but didn’t even hint they should make Aliyah.

Israelis sunbathe on the beach in Tel Aviv .

Tel Aviv beaches officially opened on Tuesday under the supervision of life guards and with the city distributing chess and checker board games for the beach crowd. There even will be a portable library for readers, and wireless Internet is available. Tel Aviv expects 9 million visitors before the official season ends on October 12. […]

Khaled Koutineh admits he intended to run over and kill kills with his car.

Police and Israel’s establishment left-wing media initially tried to make believe it was an accident.

An Israeli woman visits a relative’s grave on Mount Herzl on Tuesday, a few hours before Memorial Day begins, at which point the military cemetery will be full of family and friends of the deceased.

A one-minute siren at 8 p.m. inaugurates the day of sadness, followed by the happiness of Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

“He did not know what anger was and never engaged in slander.”

He escaped the death penalty but still faces sentencing for more criminal charges.

Oskar Groening’s admission of crimes and denial of guilt exposes the depths and truth of evil.

A plane is returning after its landing gear was found on the runway.

Police have closed the entrance to Alon Shvut, where eulogies for Har Etzion Yeshiva Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein will begin around 10 a.m. Rabbi Lichtenstein, who lived in Alon Shvut, died on Monday at the age of 81. Thousands of mourners who are expected to attend the eulogies and burial may park their cars in the […]

Forget about Israel, doesn’t Brandeis care about Iran’s abysmal human rights record?

As Iran may be re-supplying the Houthis, US warships steam towards Yemen.

A Jewish man with a Russian accent stabbed an Arab worker Monday in Herzliya, next to Tel Aviv, while yelling “Death to Arabs,” police said. The attacker confessed that he intentionally targeted an Arab. The victim suffered light wounds in his shoulder, was treated on the scene and hospitalized. The assailant is a resident of […]

if Iran tries to move a Russian s-300 antimissile system to Syria or Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel will make sure it doesn’t get there.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his sorrow over the passing of Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein Monday. “Rabbi Lichtenstein’s knowledge found expression in his literary works. He served generations of students,” said the Prime Minister. He added, “When I gave him the Israel Prize a year ago, I saw before my eyes a great rabbi, teacher and […]

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
ISIS leader al-Baghdadi.

The good news he is not able to control daily operations. The bad news is that he is recovering.

President Rivlin delivers  Yom Ha'Atzmaut greetings to Jews in the Diaspora.

He thanks Jews who stand up for Israel but didn’t even hint they should make Aliyah.

Police and Israel’s establishment left-wing media initially tried to make believe it was an accident.

A one-minute siren at 8 p.m. inaugurates the day of sadness, followed by the happiness of Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

He escaped the death penalty but still faces sentencing for more criminal charges.

Oskar Groening’s admission of crimes and denial of guilt exposes the depths and truth of evil.

if Iran tries to move a Russian s-300 antimissile system to Syria or Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel will make sure it doesn’t get there.

“Sexual violence in conflict has become a weapon of choice because it is cheap, silent and effective.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/two-religious-girls-box-kick-their-way-to-world-champions-video/2013/05/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: