Noy Peles has been training for combat the last ten years, but of a very different form than the struggle to stop Arab terrorists from slaughtering Jewish citizens she currently is waging in Jerusalem.
Peles is a skilled former MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) champion, but last March she enlisted in the IDF and chose to do her service in the Border Police despite the impact her choice would have on her martial arts career, reports Walla on Sunday.
“Even though the strict training regimen doesn’t allow me to continue taking part in professional competitions, I have no doubt that I’ve achieved my true dream,” said Peles, who now holds the rank of lance corporal.
After finishing basic training with outstanding marks, she now serves as a squad commander in a patrol unit stationed in Jerusalem, which has been a focal point in the recent Arab terror wave since last September.
But Peles is indomitable, saying, “no battle is too hard, and no opponent is too strong” – a lesson she learned in the MMA ring.
Amit Hachim, her trainer for the last ten years, said, “Noy was forced to leave the matches, but in essence she didn’t lose but rather benefited. A great part of her childhood was spent with me at the martial arts club, and we became family. I’m proud to see her serve as a combat soldier giving from herself and her abilities in order to defend the homeland.”
According to Peles, she didn’t hesitate with the decision to join the Border Police, despite the impact of the intense military service on her ability to focus on her martial arts.
“I’m at peace with the decision. If I didn’t do it, who would? To be a warrior in the Border Police is a great honor, I’m proud to serve in the force and to wear the green uniform every day.”
“A true fighter”
Speaking about her service defending the capital, she said, “it’s a national mission of the utmost importance. Our presence brings security, and in many cases even saves lives.”
“In the recent period we are witnesses to a large number of terror attack attempts, which Border Police warriors stopped with their own bodies. In those fateful moments, the first response of a warrior when a terrorist whips out a knife at point-blank range and tries to harm them is decisive.”
“In most cases the warriors act exactly according to the training they underwent: they shove the terrorist while using Krav Maga and eliminate the attack,” she said. “It’s like the abilities demanded from an MMA fighter.”
“In order to be a professional fighter, you need to know how to give a quick response. In many cases your body is the defense. I think that the skills I acquired as an MMA fighter together with the training at the Border Police prepared me well for the challenges I will face in the field.”
Peles first got interested in martial arts from the influence of her younger brother Itzik, now 16-years-old. When she was eight-years-old, he enrolled in an MMA course, and for two months she would come with him to every class and watch from the side. A few months later she decided to become a martial artist herself.
Her father Yehuda relates that she had a difficult time, saying, “in the world of martial arts in Israel there are very few girls. To be a girl in an MMA competition in Israel is very hard, most of the participants are boys and Noy had to prove that she was strong and skilled enough to fight the boys she faced off against – and all thanks to her hard work.”
“Her brothers Itzik, who is 16, and Ron, who is 10, are still in the (martial arts) club, winning in competitions and breaking records. Without a doubt we are a fighting family,” said Yehuda Peles. “There wasn’t a single fight that Noy took part in that I didn’t come to.”
“Every time I was proud anew. The day Noy left the club and put on the green uniform of the Border Police was the happiest day in my life, the day in which she became a true fighter. It’s an honor to be part of the Border Police family.”