Mexico native, educator, mother and wife, Angie Lipscomb admits she was a tomboy as a child, and even today can still take a punch, and deliver a few, if provoked. It's no surprise she and her husband, Josh, own and manage the local martial arts academy Mexico Martial Arts, and that in a few weeks, she is bound for Little Rock, Ark., in hopes of earning the Martial Arts World Championship title.
Lipscomb, a third-degree black belt, is ranked top district champion and took third in nationals to earn her spot in the world events. Getting to this point, she said, "means my training has paid off and that I have put in enough work to go on to the next level."
Lipscomb took the 2011 season off from competitions to have her daughter, Morgan. Coming back after that and still being able to get to this level, she said "is pretty cool."
According to husband Josh, Lipscomb has a "very good chance" to take the title. "She hasn't been beaten by anyone she hasn't beat before, so I think she has a great shot," he said.
Going into this season, Lipscomb said she told her instructor Master Jeff Hockman, who is also co-owner of the Mexico academy, that she wanted to be a sparring world champion, and the two set up a regimen to help her reach that goal. To earn her Top 10 ranking, Lipscomb competed from June 2012 to April 2013 in state and regional tournaments and has weekly and daily regimens that she follows.
Lipscomb said she generally bikes, jogs and works with her martial arts students through the week, and takes sparring classes with her training partner, Sarah Friskey, in Columbia on the weekends. Friskey is a five-time world champion.
"I generally do activities one hour a day, five days a week," Lipscomb said. Little Morgan generally accompanies her mother on her bike rides, helping build her cardio and endurance, while pedaling both their body weights.
The world championship fights, scheduled in July, will invite martial arts talents from all across the nation and from outside the country as well. But this does not intimidate Lipscomb. The day of the championship, she will likely fight three to four bouts in her reach for the title.
Though she wears protective gear, Lipscomb has to use her agility to dodge kicks to her head and body, that can be precise and quite painful.
"I've always been very athletic and my favorite part in what I do is the competition," Lipscomb explained, noting that sparring (her qualifying competition) is what she does best.
When asked if she gets an adrenaline rush when fighting, Lipscomb said, "absolutely."
Representing Missouri and being ranked among the Top 10 in her fighting division, Lipscomb said, it would be easy "to get a big head." She admits she sets her standards higher than most, that she goes for the best in everything she does and is disappointed, like others, when she doesn't get it.
Page 2 of 2 - She credits her husband, daughter, family, students at Hawthorne Elementary School and many supporters for helping to keep her grounded.
"I want Morgan to see the red letters on my uniform that say world champ and be proud of her mom," Lipscomb said. "I am grateful to have the support of my family and friends. I could not train as hard as I do without their support. My husband has really been supportive of me and I would not be here if it was not for him. My instructor Master Hockman has also been key in helping me get to where I am, I sat down with him at the beginning of the tournament year and told him I wanted to be a Sparring World Champion this year and we worked out a plan for me, so that he could hold me accountable.