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Generation Next: Jamie Christine Lim

Jamie Lim
Black Belt Plus

Jamie Christine Lim is a Filipino Karateka and SEA Games gold medal champion in the women's kumite. Her legacy started before her birth as the daughter of the legendary PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) legend Samboy Lim. Now attending Imperial College in London in pursuit of her masters degree, she balances training with studies in pursuit of academic excellence.

Jamie Christine Lim
Jamie Christine Lim

Black Belt: No secret you come from a lineage of famous sports in your blood as your father's a legendary basketball player. What inspired you to pursue martial arts, particularly karate?

Jamie Christine Lim: My parents were the ones who enrolled me in a karate class for summer. It was imperative that I joined a sports clinic every summer so I had an activity and not just stay home and watch tv. I tried swimming, gymnastics, basketball and others as well, but my coaches in karate made me continue even after that summer and join competitions. 

Jamie Christine Lim

Black Belt: Being still young and having achieved many great things, what current goals do you have for your martial arts career?

Lim: It was always a dream of mine to compete for the country in international competitions, and especially the SEA games, knowing how important this is for the country, and how we get together as a nation to cheer for all our athletes. I just continue to do my best as a national team member, and hope to inspire more people to be great and dream big, and to not be afraid to go for their dreams. 

Jamie Christine Lim

Black Belt: Could you elaborate on the training approach to returning to competitive karate after a four-year hiatus focused on your studies?

Lim: This was so difficult for me. Jumping back into training, with 5 months to go before the SEA games was so intense. We had training twice a day, 6 days a week. We had weights training, running, and karate training. It was all so difficult for me, I lifted the lightest weight but struggled the most, I was always last in runs, and my reaction during sparring was also so bad. I had to stay the course and accept that I needed to put in extra work just to get back in shape and to actually have a chance. My teammates were very supportive as they helped me through it, partnered with me when I needed extra training, and reviewed my opponents videos so I could have a tactical plan. It all worked out but behind the scenes, it really was one of the most difficult things I had to do, not only physically but emotionally and mentally as well, trying to manage my stress of not being that good in the start, as well as joining a very big competition so soon after my hiatus. 

Black Belt: How have you managed to balance your rigorous karate training with your academic commitments at a university in London?

Lim: It was also so challenging since my MSc in Business Analytics at Imperial College was very fast paced and difficult. I had to spare extra time for training instead of going out a lot, and it entailed me doing this every day until the SEA games in Cambodia. I knew I was at a disadvantage because I was not training with the team, which was more difficult since I needed training partners because my event is sparring. I thankfully had access to a karate gym thanks to our coach’s connections in the UK, where I went there once a week. I knew this was not enough, so I made up for it in trying to get my techniques perfect in front of a bag, and working on my stamina and strength, as well as reviewing my opponents again on video. 

Black Belt: As a female martial artist from Asia, how do you  perceive your role in promoting diversity and representation in the martial arts community?

Lim: I love being a female martial artist. It was not very common especially when I was young, but I hope to show kids that women can do anything they want to do, even when people think otherwise. I want people to know that there are no limits unless we decide there are. It is an honor for me to be called a role model because I am just doing what I love to do, but because of this, I have a platform and a voice to share to people what I believe in. So I hope to simply share my story and hopefully I can touch a few lives. 

Black Belt: : Can you share any memorable moments or achievements from your competitive career in karate?

Lim: The SEA Games are always my favorite competitions, just because it is so important to the country and to the family. I joined 3 SEA Games so far, and all times my family was there to watch. The first one was in Manila, so it was very special. Against the odds since I just came back, fighting the then Asian Champ.

For more about Jamie, check out her Instagram HERE!

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