How to Punch like a Man: Women in Power with Diego De Vera

By now you guys all know about my love for Boxing, MMA, Brazilian JiuJitsu and other forms of martial arts. I’ve found a deep appreciation for these contact sports and my sensei, Diego De Vera, has a lot to do with that.  Diego has been so instrumental in my life that I just had to share his story with the world. Fun fact: he is the first male I’ve ever had on Women in Power! I hope his adventure inspires you the way it has inspired me.

Diego’s story begins in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was an only child raised by his mother and father. During his childhood, his family didn’t have much but Diego wasn’t bothered by it.

At the end of the day, sometimes we would sleep in one room – my mother, my father, grandmother, all in one room but we were happy. We had each other and that was the most important part. Maybe I had one pair of shoes for the entire year, but we were happy.

Diego fell in love with martial arts at the age of 9, (well, his first love was roller skating, but let’s not get into that because he’s not going to be very nice to me if that gets out!).  Even at such a young age, there was no denying Diego had talent. His training began in Taekwondo then spiraled into Boxing, Muay Thai and KickBoxing, where he dominated at every single one. Many competitions, black belts and trophies later, Diego moved to Miami and became a well-known master trainer of his own gym, KO Zone! Think about it for a second, how does someone who came from tough conditions, attaining endorsements, become so well-known in this world and train champions?! Well, Diego doesn’t cut corners, it’s always been hard work.

Before I came to Miami, I was always watching Miami Vice, and said to myself, one day I’m going to live in Miami –  when you always push your best, always push to the limit, you can do anything.

Why did I start training with Diego? Well, I took a tactical shooting class and one of the portions was a fight portion in which Diego was the instructor. On that day, while I was trying to hurt him, I ended up stress fracturing my wrist. During that very moment,  I discovered I could not defend myself if I ever needed to. In order to give myself a fighting chance, I decided to train with Diego and the rest is history. The night before my first day I could not sleep; I was terrified. I will admit, it was a little intimidating walking into KO Zone.

I’m not telling you that it’s easy, because I don’t sell that lie like some martial artists who promise you’ll be a badass in two days – but you will have a chance, says Diego.

Diego and I get into some pretty great conversation during the show – so you’ll have to actually watch the episode to find out more. But in the meantime, I’ll leave you with this:

Obviously, training with Diego was difficult at first. But looking back now, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. For the women who may feel intimidated about joining a place like KO Zone, don’t be. This place is as real as it gets. You will learn REAL techniques that could very well save your life. No offense, but it’s not about you, at KO Zone it’s about the training. Your confidence is going to improve, you will get stronger and you will have a fighting chance.

Build an Empire, 

Elena Cardone