Last updated 3 months ago | By Ernest Ndunda
Jackline Muli has emerged to become one of Kenya’s famous martial arts players despite picking up the sport of Tong Il Moo Do martial arts at the age of 26 years.
Perhaps picking up from where her father Muli Kithuku left, Muli has been phenomenon.
Her father, who competed for Kenya Ports Authority, was one of the most dreaded boxers inside their training base at the Makande Indoor Gymnasium.
“I guess my father’s boxing blood still flows inside me. I have this greatness that helps me thrive in my bouts, which include stoppage victories,” said Muli.
Despite taking a one-year break to give birth to a baby boy, Jackeline has bounced back strongly to prove that at 30 years, age is just but a number.
Interestingly, she never featured in any sport at primary, secondary and college level and only decided to follow in her father’s footsteps four years ago.
Born on July 8, 1990, Muli grew up in Changamwe in Mombasa, but went to school in Machakos.
She later joined Mombasa Aviation College for a course in Mass Communication.
“I am a trained journalist and I had a short stint with several media houses in Nairobi and Meru before I returned to Mombasa to venture into small scale businesses of selling motor vehicles spare parts and beverages,” said the player.
In 2014, Muli was introduced to Tong Il Moo Do martial arts by Kenyan coach cup player Elvis Malipe at the Dog Station Training Centre in Mombasa and since then, she has never looked back.
On her first year, Muli won three medals in the Mombasa Open Tong Il Moo Do championships that attracted some top players in the world.
She won medals in female individual forms, sparring and in team forms. Her exemplary performance caught the eyes of the President of Kenya Tong Ill Moo Do Federation Clarence Mwakio, who included her in the 2016 national team that travelled to South Korea for the World Peace Cup.
To repay the faith Mwakio had in her, Muli won one silver in sparring and two bronze medals in individual forms.
“I want to thank Mwakio for giving me the opportunity to make my international debut at the South Korea tournament, where I did not disappoint,” said Muli.
“Mwakio has done a tremendous job in tapping and nurturing talents in martial arts and especially, in Tong Il Moo Do.”
At the 2017 Mombasa Open, Muli gained more confidence as she won silver and bronze before travelling to Thailand for the Asian Martial Arts Peace Cup Championships, where she also won silver and bronze.
The soft-spoken player took a maternity break in 2018. The break didn’t hinder her passion for martial arts as she bounced back last year to lead Kenyan team to successfully defend the Mombasa Open title.
Muli won a gold medal in Team Kenya’s ladies forms, a silver in sparring and two bronze medals in individual forms and special technics categories.
Team Kenya beat world’s top players to retain the overall title.
“Let’s face it, men have always ruled the realm of martial arts and combat sports but this is changing fast. I challenge upcoming players to remain focused on improving their skills,” said Muli.