Christopher Henrion will be competing in his first professional kickboxing fight in April. The 26-year-old fighter said learning to fight was something that always interested him, and he was introduced to it through one of his friends in the Canadian military.
Henrion started basic training in the summer of 2008, but had participated in the reserves training camp since he was 16.
He has been practicing kickboxing for five years and has participated in tournaments over the past three years.
Within the last year he lost 35 pounds, being very strict with his diet, and decided the timing was right to try his hand in a professional fight.
Henrion will be fighting in the 170 pound weight class, which according to International Kickboxing Federation categorizes him under the Super Middleweight class, against David Callbeck from Saskatchewan.
He admits he’s nervous for his first fight, but it’s a good kind of nervous, he said. He has never fought his opponent before so he can’t map out a strategy, but he will focus on his strengths as a fighter.
His coaches, Michael Jorgensen and Keri Scarr, have been coaching Henrion since he became involved in the sport. Jorgensen and Scarr are the co-owners of Crusher Combat and have fought and taught the sport for 20 years.
Jorgensen said Henrion has always had work ethic, takes instruction well and never complains, but since he started at Crusher Combat he has evolved as a person, physically and mentally, living life with a courageous fight. Henrion is disciplined, making sure he eats well when he travels for work and gets his training in. When he is back in Esquimalt on the base, he trains at Crusher Combat six days a week and never misses a class.
Scarr said in his last tournament appearance a couple months ago, she thought he was ready to compete professionally, but never pushed him to ‘be’ a fighter, she waited for him to approach her.
His coaches aren’t worried about weigh-in on April 5, because Henrion made weight a month ago, Scarr said, so with that out of the way, they will focus on keeping up his cardio and technical skills for the fight.
Henrion works hard at getting better at the little things, at his last tournament he took a hard body shot as he has a tendency to hold his elbow a little high, Jorgensen said. It’s all about adapting as a fighter, “now he glues that elbow to his ribs and it doesn’t happen anymore,” he said.
Jorgensen and Scarr said once it comes to the fight, the work has been done and fighters need to react and can’t think too much, and in doing so they usually surprise themselves.
There are 10 fights on the card and the event takes place at Eagle Ridge Centre in Langford on April 6, doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the first fight starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at victoriaticket.ca.