Skip to main content

Listening Time — 41:13

The term "combat athlete" may not be well known. What is it, and what does it take to be one?

A combat athlete is someone who participates in a "combat sport," which is a sport that involves the direct combat between 2 competing athletes. Wrestling, boxing, karate, and newer sports such as mixed martial arts all fall under this umbrella.

In today’s episode of Move Forward Radio, former amateur and professional combat athlete and current instructor Kirstin Schmidt discusses the injuries she endured during her career, and how physical therapy not only kept her fighting, but how it became one of her tools to staying healthy. Also in this interview is her physical therapist Jessica Probst, who participates in combat sports and treats combat athletes. Together, they distinguish between the different types of combat sports, describe the joys and dangers of participation, and offer advice to anyone who might be considering a combat sport.

Download the podcast on iTunes or listen below.

Kirsten Schmidt

Kirstin Schmidt is a former professional mixed martial artist. She competed regionally as an amateur, winning the 2013 World Kickboxing Association Women's 142 Muay Thai championship, Operation Octagon Fight of the Night honors, Fight Night 135 title, and was also inducted into the inaugural Operation Octagon/Cagezilla Hall of Fame class. In her debut in 2014 as a professional, she was Virginia's Professional Female Fighter of the Year. She continues to coach Muay Thai, MMA, and Krav Maga.

Jessica Probst

Jessica Probst, PT, DPT, is owner of ThriveAgain Physical Therapy & Wellness, a practice established to treat martial artists and fighters. She is manual therapy certified and a specialist in martial arts conditioning, certified by the International Sports Sciences Association. She was published in FIGHT! Magazine and featured in PT in Motion as an expert in physical therapy for combat athletes. Probst has treated hundreds of martial artists and fighters in the Washington, DC, region and has practiced martial arts for more than 20 years. 

Is this content helpful?

Thanks for the feedback!

Thank you. Your feedback has been sent.

You Might Also Like...


Paralympic Swimmer Alyssa Gialamas Sheds Light on Living With a Disability

Sep 2, 2021

Paralympic swimmer Alyssa Gialamas may have seemed unlikely to become a world-class athlete when she was born with arthrogryposis that causes affected


Linebacker Turned PT Hopes to Inspire Healthy Movement and Quality of Life

Mar 4, 2021

As a punishing linebacker for the Texas Longhorns, Robert Killebrew delivered pain. Now, as a physical therapist, he's all about relieving it.


Aging Well: 70+ Adults and a PT Share How To Thrive

Sep 29, 2020

Older adults who sit too much get out of shape. Senior pickleball athlete Andy Leighton and triathlete Patsy Lillehei join physical therapist Becca Jordre