Ani "Mighty Mouse" Hilditch
She grew up in England and moved to the U.S. in 2015, of which she now a citizen. She discovered Muay Thai in her junior year of college. During her third year at Longwood university She took time off to train time in Richmond. After her first competition, which she lost, she decided it was all she wanted to do and committed herself to leaning and training to teach the art.
She is over twenty fights in and still consider herself a student of Muay Thai traveling to Impact Martial Arts Academy each weekend to broaden her knowledge under Kru Irvin Quintin and training at United Front RVA in Richmond daily to learn the finer points of striking, BJJ, and wrestling under some great coaches and practitioners of the arts.
Whether She is fighting, training, or resting, she is kind of goofy. She like to dance around (badly) and mess with her entourage. She doesn’t want to take herself too seriously, she does this because she loves it and so she is happy and energetic before a fight or whenever she trains…unless she running, then she wants to attack everything around her. When it’s time to buckle down the focus level kicks in and she attuned completely to learning and growing in the martial arts study.
When she is not in the gym she spends her time writing, reading, playing videogames, and watching anime. She loves Star Wars and comic books and have written a fantasy novel because she was tired of waiting for her favorite author to finish a series she was reading. She currently writing a second sci-fi novel and enjoy drawing and painting when she has the time.
Q&A Session Between Anita, Ani Hilditch and Elite Sports
Question: What inspires you about Muay Thai? MMA?
Answer: That it is a true measure of strength, endurance, and heart. I love the competition, I am extremely competitive in everything I do. If I’m not winning, I have a compulsion to work until I am. Competing in MMA means that you are willing to test yourself in a way that most never will. It’s one thing to train in a martial art and another entirely to let someone attempt to use that art against you with no restraint while doing the same in return. It is the ultimate form of competition and I thrive in competition.
Question: What are your goals for this year? Next 3 years? Next 5 years?
Answer: This year intend to compete as much as possible in MMA and take my career to the pro level. Hopefully within the next 3 years I will get picked up by Invicta or the UFC. I don’t want this to be my full-time job, but I do want to say I made it there. 5 years from now I hope to have made some strides in Women’s MMA. If I can be a part of the reason that lower weight classes make it into the UFC, I would be happy. I want to be one of the women that demonstrate what we tiny females can do, that we want it more and can give a technical, exciting, and fast-paced fight to the crowd.
Question: Who inspires you, past or present? Why do they inspire you?
Answer: My Husband and best friend. He is constantly pushing me to be better, even so much as to be hypercritical, which I often need because I’m a cocky bastard. He also manages to balance an absurd amount of work while still giving a hundred and ten percent in the gym, which inspires me to get my ass in gear.
My MMA Coach, Keith Parknow. He is always willing to give his time when I want to work on something or put in some extra training. He dedicates hours of his free time so that I can reach my goals and gives me the confidence and tools to get there. He has faith me as a fighter and that pushes me to work harder in each session we train.
And also, my old BJJ Coach, Daniel Frank. I was not really interested in BJJ and had never taken any of the classes I had participated in seriously until I trained under Daniel. He presented the sport in a fun way and was very encouraging. I am the kind of athlete that needs to be told I’m doing a good job or I just don’t put in as much effort. I’m kind of needy in that way, but Daniel never seemed to mind. I think without him I would never have started to train MMA.
Question: Do you have a go-to finishing move?
Answer: My favorite strike is the superman punch; it’s all in the name. My favorite sub is the flying armbar; I like flashy techniques.
Question: How long have you been training?
Answer: About 7 years in Muay Thai, teaching for 5. I have been training BJJ for around 3 years.
Question: How often do you train?
Answer: I average around 10 hours during a normal non-camp week. That jumps up to around 20 when I have a fight scheduled, not including recovery and yoga.
Question: Do you have any advice for your competitors?
Answer: Train hard and keep focus.
Question: What does it mean for you to be a fighter?
Answer: It means alot, fighter is just like soldier which required physical and mental toughness, he or she have to fight alone according to plan.
Question: What do you think it takes to be a champion in your sports?
Answer: Honestly, commitment to the stand up and ground arts is a main staple. Being well rounded and ready for whatever comes your way is very important and the basic building block for any fighter. However, I believe that just having a talent for the fighting arts does not make you a champion; it is in how you present yourself. Having confidence to show what you can do and the patience and respect to answer questions from other fighters and fans is a part of it too. Most importantly, I think that respecting the men and women who train by your side and stand with you through the thick and thin is what makes a champion.
Question: Any major accomplishments you’ve been able to achieve in that time?
Answer: I won the National WKA Muay Thai tournament 3 years running and took second place at world championships three separate times. I held the WKA Straw weight title and defended it before I moved onto MMA. I am currently the 105lb MMA title holder under RFS and intend to defend the title when called upon. However, all the titles and wins, as shiny as they are, do not hold a flame to seeing my Muay Thai students improving and committing themselves to the art so wholly. Their dedication is what truly motivates me to push harder every training session; their growth is one of my greatest achievements as a fighter.
Question: What sort of gear do you usually keep in your gym bag before hitting the gym? Do you have different items for specific days?
Answer: I normally carry No-GI gear and Muay Thai clothes depending on what I intend to train that day, but I always have a set of MMA Gloves and Boxing gloves, a spare Elite GI, and my Elite Belt in my locker at the gym just in case.