“BehindNAmeBop”

Ana Moceyawa is a New Zealand champion in three martial arts disciplines, holding national titles in judo, wrestling and grappling. It's not the sport her parents thought she would be doing but there is no doubt she has plenty of skill. As part of the Behind the Name feature, we get to know the Bay of Plenty's talented athletes representing New Zealand internationally. Today, we find out more about Ana Moceyawa, her first job, her favourite place in the Bay of Plenty and the message she would send her 16-year-old self.

What is the first memory you have of martial arts and how has that had an impact on you in your life?

My friend coming to my house in her judo outfit and me thinking 'wow that is so cool I want one of those'.

What is it that you love about judo/wrestling?
I love how you can always learn and improve no matter what level you get to.

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What is your sporting highlight and why?
The 2006 Oceania championships, my first international judo competition in Tahiti and I won both junior and senior in my weight category. It was very unexpected.

What has been the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you while competing at any level?
Probably losing in four seconds.

What has been the biggest injury you've suffered and how did that happen?
A broken leg at judo.

What is the best advice you have been given when it comes to martial arts?
Win or lose it is as long as you are happy with your fight and you gave it your all, (given by) my childhood coach.

What tips do you have for anyone getting into your sport?
Go in with an open mind and be consistent.

If you weren't doing judo/wrestling what would you be doing?
Maybe sevens or another sport.

When you're not competing or training, what are you doing?
Catching up with my friends and doing outdoor activities.

What was your very first job and what other jobs have you had in your lifetime?
My first ever job was at a flower shop. I have worked in cafes, bars, gyms and offices.

What did your parents want you to be when you were younger?
A ballet dancer.

What is something you would tell your 16-year-old self?
Don't worry about your weight.

What has been your biggest personal achievement and why?
Moving away from my hometown and start new in a new city.

What five words do you think your closest friends would use to describe you?
Focused, hardworking, committed, fun and tired.

Where is your favourite place in the Bay and why?
Mount beach!

Tell us three things people may not know about you:
It takes me a lot to make weight and I have to be very focused. I work fulltime and train morning and night. I moved from Christchurch to Tauranga to become a better athlete.