A thousand words beyond the Hill

Tyler Pelan

Listening to a fast and steady beat, Kwinn Davis, 15, of Madisonville practices punch combinations and kick combinations. Davis warms up for his first exhibition kickboxing match against Aaron Preston at the National Guard in Madisonville.

Davis trains for two hours every Monday and Wednesday at Hayes Karate in Madisonville. He works on kicks, punches, combinations and especially improving his endurance.

“On a 1 to 10 scale, I feel my fatigue level is about a 7,” Davis said. “At first, I was nervous, but then I got into the flow, it was more natural.”

Davis started learning karate when he was 5 years old, and he moved his way up to kickboxing. About a year ago he made the decision to fight.

“It’s (kickboxing) one of the only sports that you can’t blame a win or a loss on anybody but yourself … it’s a team thing when you’re training,” said Merritt “Bubby” Warren, one of Davis’ training partners. “But when you’re in the ring, it’s an ‘I’ thing, you know. I like that about it.”

The match between Davis and Preston ended in a draw. Both took home a trophy for their efforts.

Tyler Pelan is a junior photojournalism major from Champaign, Ill. He can be reached at [email protected]