Ali Rosen | The Female Fist | Talkin Fight
EPISODE: Episode 13
Today we bring you Ali Rosen! She is 2X Golden Glove Champion at 60 kg and currently is studying in Miami, Florida obtaining her PhD in Sports Psychology.
A fascinating practice; she talks about is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy.
It’s a psychotherapy technique that utilizes bilateral stimuli through sensory input such as eye movements, auditory sounds, and tactical pulsars to unblock emotional processes that have been stagnated by distress, which can contribute to performance anxiety, mental blocks and decreased concentration.
Watch more on YouTube at or talkinfight.com/live
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Next episode of the female fist, i am super excited to have a really close friend of mine and an amazing athlete she’s, the two-time provincial champion at well golden glove champion, canadian version provincials.
So at 60 kilograms.
Please welcome allie rosen.
How are you doing ally? Hey? I’M so happy to see you virtually so happy to see you honestly.
I know this whole thing.
Well, actually, so our audience knows she is an athlete under box in ontario, but she’s currently in miami florida yeah, so [ Laughter ].
How is everything over there yeah? Well, like i’m obviously canadian, i’m from ontario, i moved here to go to school um.
I guess almost five six years ago now and it’s definitely a lot different here from i guess back home things are a lot more open um, but you know still taking a improper precautions, but definitely missing competing missing being home.
So i guess these haven’t seen.
I get kind of like virtual meetings, is kind of nice to reconnect with the community in some way, especially being so far, and what are you taking it? I know i um yeah.
Well, i did my undergrad and exercise uh physiology a bachelor’s of science, and then i got my master’s in counseling psychology and then now i’m doing my phd in sports psychology, specifically for psychology.
Okay, that is like amazing.
You – and i were just talking about this five minutes ago so before we get to that topic, i’m gon na rewind just a little bit just because i want our audience to know a little bit more about you.
So can you tell us like why boxing? What made you kind of think, like you know what i want to step in the ring, and i want to give a go at this yeah.
Well, i think i actually started in like kickboxing boxing when i was nine, and i remember telling my mom, like my brother and i my older brother and i used to play fight and i used to tell my mom like i need help like.
I need to know how to like win at these like fights, so i think they put me in like kickboxing or martial arts, and i did that for a while and then just accidentally when i was like, i think, 14 or 15 just entered a um.
Just a boxing tournament – and you know i ended up winning the whole thing and i was like i really like this and i think i’m a lot better at this than i am at kickboxing.
So that’s amazing, the boxing and then it’s been that way.
Almost 10 years now you know what i didn’t even know that about you.
I’Ve been like really good friends with you for a long time, and i didn’t even know that you started with kickboxing first yeah.
I actually have my black belt in north american martial arts.
Like i started in like martial arts and then kickboxing, and then then i like did a boxing fight and like that was it.
I never went back to kickboxing after that.
So why i like martial arts so because, like i know your parents, your parents are super sweet and i can’t picture like your parents having like just like fighting like stuff on tv or something yeah like.
I don’t think they like really wanted that.
I think they were imagining like karate and it just turned out that way.
As scarlett knows, my mom has never seen me box, we have 80 something fights and my mom has never seen me box.
She comes she’s very supportive, but she stands outside and then she waits till the fight’s over my dad texts her and she comes in and she watches the decision.
That’S it she’s having people were at the silver gloves.
We were like in the um in the rec center or whatever that place was called, and i was like one minute she’s like no.
I’M gon na stay out here like okay, so she shows her support.
She’S there she’s in the building she’s just not watching.
I guess i couldn’t watch my daughter either though, to be honest, i’m i haven’t slimed.
No, i feel i’d be all about it.
I feel like punch her out.
I would be like i don’t know.
I don’t know if that’s true, because i think when other people are fighting like my friends, i get more nervous than when i’m fighting like, because i feel like i’m not in control like when i watch you fight, i get more anxious than when i go to Fight, you know, like people like carol, remember at nationals when we were watching each other, like oh, my god, that the screaming and the hurrahs and everything – oh, my god, what an excuse when i show people my videos, i’m like ignore the girl that’s screaming.
In the background, [ Laughter, ] yeah, so i didn’t know that, because it’s funny my dad, he actually started me off with k1 kickboxing as well at combat arts, and we made the transition to boxing because he needed help with the female sparring for his boxing athletes.
So that’s how i made that transition over, but like that’s funny, i didn’t know that we had that in common yeah.
I don’t think i could throw a kick of my life dependent on it.
Now i, like my feet firmly on the ground and turning them over to punch.
That’S it as much leverage as we get off the ground at this point, yeah exactly so, okay, so you’re in miami right now for school – and you know you started your boxing journey.
You come back, i think, that’s how you do you kind of come back for the major tournaments right yeah i was before i was home almost twice a month for tournaments for the big tournaments for brampton cops silver gloves golden gloves nationals um.
Sometimes i come back just to train, to you know, um to spar and sometimes for shows for club shows if it was a good match.
You know i was back.
You know i love to see my family.
I love to be home i’ll, be in my country.
You know i would yeah i’d, try and schedule my classes, so i didn’t have classes like friday saturday.
I didn’t start too late on monday, so i’d be able to come to like all the tournaments, and it was a big adjustment.
You know when everything got shut down, not only not competing and traveling like that, but also not seeing my family and not being home, not having tim horton’s.
It’S been a little rough.
Not having time.
Don’T worry the coffee’s gone down great anyways.
Oh no did you roll up the room or anything or is that, like not cool, we got roll up the rim, okay, [, Music, ], like rim, i don’t know, say that one more time my camera kind of went a little botched.
I was just saying i feel like it’s not covered santa, oh with a little like roll up.
Like you know it’s like germs, i don’t know it’s just like everyone, so you do like a lot of back and forth from florida to ontario.
Does that like? How does that affect your training? Like? Do you feel kind of different like when you’re coming off the plane? For example, like do you get like, like? Does jet lag at all bother you when you’re like going back and forth for do what i mean yeah? No, i would try and plan things like the best that i could.
I think the hardest was um just with weight cuts too, because i noticed on the plane like i would retain water.
Sometimes, just from you know the altitude – and that was one of my bigger stressors you know just being like – is at weight before i got on this plane.
Four pounds heavier like what do i do right, um, but the time zone is the same.
So you know that you know was never really a problem.
Um, you know managing you know school.
You know working training traveling.
It definitely was a lot, but like it’s just something, i’m so passionate about and like i, i never really noticed it to be draining like that.
Just the weight that was like the most stress or is it i.
I totally feel like every time i go to florida.
I feel like a balloon just from the flight and then you would like to hot climb, and i just oh, i know exactly what you’re talking about, but that’s about it yeah and like that’s just how dedicated i am to the sport and dedicated to my.
You know career and, like i think, being in boxing in a young age like it really installed, like the characteristics that like to be successful, to be ambitious, to be determined to be resilient to like push through and like to have heart.
You know, and i think that that’s what makes up a great athlete and a great boxer absolutely, and i totally agree with you and the discipline that you have to do because you’re, not you know in college, for business or you know these kinds of programs like You’Re in university for your your md, like you’re, a doctor like this yeah well, i was originally my undergrad.
I was pre-med, so i got my bachelor’s of science exercise physiology and microbiology.
Then i did my math in counseling psychology and then now i’m getting my phd in sporology.
I decided not to go md for multiple reasons, but more so i’m really passionate about helping people, and you know psychology and linking my passion for boxing and sports into you, know sports psychology and working with athletes, and i think sometimes people think sports.
Psychology is like limited to just athletes, but it’s for anyone like mental performance to improve at work to be just your best self.
To achieve your goals, to you, know sports psychology, really it’s more like performance psychology.
It applies to so many things.
Absolutely and that’s see, this is probably why we’re good friends, because i eventually want to get my master’s in sports psychology, because i firmly believe what you say: i’m probably not going to do like well.
You were just talking to me about this really amazing technique that we’re going to get more into, i kind of want to go into more of the counseling of performance, training and performance coaching and getting athletes mentally prepared, like you know whatever, but you are doing something Very unique that i’ve never heard about before can you kind of elaborate on it yeah, and i just think it’s so great that you’re doing that, because i think a lot of people will agree that boxing is like, probably 80 to 90 and the rest is boxing Technique, training, you know because sorry ally, i’m losing you again you’re frozen yeah.
I can hear you okay, you can hear me, okay, perfect, i’m so sorry.
Can you say that? No? No! No! No! No! I was just saying that you know i think at the level that you and i like competed at you – know everyone’s an elite athlete everyone you know, has the skills everyone’s trained.
You know the thousands of hours, the cardio the technique, and what really decides, i think on that day, is who’s mentally prepared to perform.
You know to their best and that’s why i think there’s so much value in in psychology and sports psychology and um yeah, and then i guess what i use i’m trained in.
It’S called emdr therapy and it’s eye movement, desensitization, reprocessing and uh, which is a very long name um.
But that’s why we say amdi.
It was originally um designed to treat people um suffering with ptsd post-traumatic stress, but now it’s being used for like a multitude of uh disorders or just challenges.
Even you know, like performance, anxiety, um, depression, um addiction.
All these things and athletes are really utilizing.
Just because you can hear my dog squeaking in the background there we go we’re good, we froze it again.
Yeah, we don’t know we’re good.
Now, um, okay um.
I was trying to grab left off um yeah and just uh.
Basically, it uses bilateral stimulation.
So you’ll see eye movements, um sounds that basically help your brain, um, reprocess events, so athletes that experience blocks athletes um.
You know with anxiety athletes.
You know coming back from injury.
It basically helps reprocess.
You know your thoughts so that your brain basically makes sense of it on its own, and it really becomes like you know that muscle memory, but for your brain is the best way.
I can just try and sum it up.
That makes total sense, and that’s just i’m just amazed that you know technology and research has advanced to this level.
This is why you see these elite athletes nowadays, because of these kinds of like.
Is this a new i’ve never heard of it before? Is this really new or it’s relatively new um? It kind of was more in the 80s when they started, you know experimenting with it and now it’s becoming more popular and especially more popular with athletes.
Yeah, really, i think we know the power of meditation and visualization, and this is a way of really ingraining it in your brain, like our right side of our brain is much more images and emotions and sensations, which we all experience, and we all have you know, And then takes it to the left side of the brain to process it adaptively in a way, that’s going to benefit us to get the results that we want.
So it’s using our brain’s own machinery to basically drive the results that we want.
That’S just incredible, i’m so amazed by this, and i really wish you were here in ontario, so i could just see you all the time and see this you know.
Well, i have a lot of my friends here.
You know their athletes and my really good friend, um kate, hastings she’s a world champion in jitsu, and i did a couple sessions with her before the world championships and i remember when she won.
I watched her win gold and i remember her coming off the mats and hugging me and being like i’m capable, i knew i was capable it was the emdr like.
I was like no, no, no, it’s like your hours of training and work, and you know everything in the heart that she puts into it.
But she really felt like it was a major component for her that changed her jujitsu and changed her game to allow her to get to that level.
Well, it makes sense because, like you said – and i totally agree like 90 of it – is mental when you’re going into these kinds of things, because coming into these competitions, it’s not like the girls or sorry, i should say athletes just in general, when you’re going to Nationals you’re not having people that have like five matches or five bouts you’re having people that qualify to be at that level as well, so we’re all training hard we’re all getting physically in the best shape of our life.
You know, and it’s small things that are going to make the difference, but the biggest thing is the mental game and going in there like believing yourself that of your capabilities.
Usually, when you see two fighters, especially in the finals of nationals, the best fights ever they’re going like toe to toes and it’s really hard to just to determine.
Sometimes, unless you know one athlete just has an obvious advantage, but sometimes it’s so hard to determine like who has that extra edge, and it’s always the person who just wanted it just a little bit more so yeah leaving themselves just a little bit more yeah.
I think there’s a level of like belief too.
I think everyone knows all you got to believe in yourself be confident in your game and you know and with the emdr.
I think it helps.
You know um close that disconnect sometimes where we know it, but we don’t feel it and we don’t feel it.
You don’t take it to that level.
Oh, it’s there’s a difference between.
I want to win and, like i know, i’m capable of winning.
I’M not capable of performing, and it really like, consolidates that and in your mind that like there’s, no doubt like you really feel it the same way.
I tell you: the sky is blue, like you’re like yep, it’s blue the same way.
You know that you’re good enough you’re capable you are, you know deserving of good things like you know, as an athlete like people, think oh sports psychology only deal with, like you know, visualization for the sport and training and pressures of being an athlete.
It’S every part – and i think it’s a human being at the end of the day and things that we experience and how we make sense of our world and our relationships and who we’re around.
And what we absorb is just as important and to be incorporated in.
In the in the process of you know bringing that athlete to their peak performance, mental and physical.
It’S absolutely amazing – and i’m like so excited to hear about this – i’m so excited to know that this is out there and i’m really excited to see you.
So i could be like: can you do this magic stuff on me? Please, i’m really curious.
So many people be like.
Is this hypnotism? It’S not hypnotism.
First of all like when you say that, like are people like this looks like hypnotism like it’s, not trust me.
This looks like hypnotism.
Are you frozen again? Oh, please, don’t tell me: you’re froze okay.
There we go perfect, i’m so sorry, my internet, it’s going off on me today, [ Laughter ].
Well like thank you for sharing that with me.
I’M sure right, i’m sure, like a lot of people, are going to be super interested in hearing about this, and i know that they’re probably going to feel comfortable reaching out to you about your practice.
You know everybody knows: your name is ali rosen yeah and, like please reach out to me on instagram, it’s the same allie rosen, well, ali underscore rosen96.
You can dm me any questions you have about emdr.
I think there’s a few people i know in ontario.
Well, at least where i’m from i think in kingston, i think there’s one person that does it um, you know obviously i’m in miami, i do it for everyone.
There is an online platform, but we got ta, try and figure out the logistics of that.
But you know people who are interested or have questions like i’d love to i love talking about it.
I’M super passionate about it amazing thing, and i really hope that you do get some buzz, because i think that this is a great opportunity for athletes to really take advantage of somebody who knows what they’re talking about and is passionate about it.
Can i ask you something, though, it’s a little bit coming back to the boxing, so you’ve had fights in both ontario and uh miami? So do you notice a difference with like the competitions and like how they regulate the fights um yeah i’ve actually fought all over the u.
When i was in college when i was in college at the university of miami for my undergrad and we actually had a boxing team and we would travel and compete um with other universities and other colleges, um, okay, so boston through university yeah, which is really cool.
Yeah, it’s usa boxing, it’s called um us iba, which is united states intercollegiate.
Okay, wait a second! Your audio is off no no you’re good.
I can hear you now: okay um! I was just saying that um my internet connection’s, unstable now, wow um.
I was just saying that um with usa boxing, they have like a sub um organization called um usiba, which is um us intercollegiate, boxing association, so colleges in the us would create teams and we would have tournaments and uh fights and it was a way to like Travel and like travel for boxing and meet other students that are, you, know, passionate about boxing and competing.
I was in university of michigan ucla um, virginia tech like all over the u.
s, and it was a really cool experience and um in terms of it being different than being back home in ontario and how roxy, ontario and other canadian uh organizations you know, uh run It it’s very similar in terms of raw under aiba, so you know the rules are very similar um.
You know i feel like in the us.
I’Ve seen a much more uh pro style of boxing more prominent.
You know i feel like is when i really started competing.
You know with boxing ontario and boxing canada and spending most of my time back home in canada, that i saw really that olympic style of boxing and that scoring.
Whereas i feel like in the us, it was a much more leaning towards that professional style and then they also favored more.
You know using using the 10-9 scoring more of a professional scoring too wow.
So that’s really interesting and i love learning more about you.
I mean we’re such good friends and i had no idea that you were like fighting all over the states like that.
I didn’t even know that you could box to the university, because here, like that’s not heard of right, like boxing, is not a thing that they incorporate really with the universities or colleges.
So i think that’s really cool yeah.
It was great, even some of the um guys that i was friends with that were in college and we boxed together, like we’re still friends now the gym.
I train at now a lot of the it’s mostly um boxers.
You know to be honest, they’re all professional.
Now they turn professional boxers and, like it’s just so cool to like we’re all like um like alumni and also boxers.
It’S like another connection.
You know it’s so great right and so like now for yourself, like you’re in miami and, as you said, like things, are a lot more over open over there, as opposed to over here.
Are you like you’re training, i’m assuming right, because it’s more open over there? Am i in trouble for saying this.
Yeah [ Laughter, ] right, legally they’re open over there yeah yeah? No, it is.
It is open.
The boxing gyms.
You know we’re open we’re sparring.
You know we do take precautions, you know in terms of like, if you’re not actually actively, you know, training that coaches wear masks, you know and get covet-tested.
You know the gyms that i go to spa at every two weeks, we’ll be tested um, you know.
Taking precautions but overall like we’re able to to train perfect okay, yeah, and so i heard your last part perfect so like that’s, that’s great, that you have the opportunity, but, okay! So since you are still canadian, you know you are represented under boxing ontario.
How does that work for internationally? Like? Are you allowed right now, like, let’s say they have boxing shows over there? Can you compete in a boxing show in miami right now or like? How does that work? For you, no um, because you know i am under box.
Ontario my book um, my book is a boxing canada book.
You know, that’s, you know i don’t have any affiliation and therefore to box in the u.
I would require a travel permit and boxing.
Canada is not.
You know letting you know letting that thing, because they don’t really want people to travel.
Do the covid restrictions, although i’m here for school, like i’m, stuck here, um honey, you think that there’d be like kind of an exception because you live there like you’re, not like coming back and forth yeah.
I would you know i’ve thought about that, but i also know that a lot of people would probably start talking.
It would cause comments and, like people would be upset like.
I do think that perhaps there should be an exception, because there are events happening down here.
Um not a lot like there is some going on and, like you know, i would like to i’m preaching to fight.
You know it’s been.
I’Ve been a while for us, but i also understand that those are the rules and that’s my like sanctioning body and like to respect that and just hope that we, you know competing soon.
I know it’s.
It’S really really devastating on so many athletes, especially here in uh canada.
Like i know there was an athlete she’s from alberta.
She has a polish citizenship citizenship and she actually took poland for all of 2020 and had 25 amateur bouts in poland.
No really i’m jealous.
I’M jealous no, but so i’m thinking like you know she had the uh permit from boxing alberta, maybe because she stayed there.
So i mean who knows maybe has something to look into, maybe because you yeah, i mean you’re not going to come back here.
There’S no point: if you got your school out there and like you’re, able to train and everything out there yeah and that’s the hard thing is like i’ve been wanting to come back.
I miss my family.
You know like minimally, you know, but the two-week quarantine.
I just like i just can’t bring myself to do it right now.
Yeah, you know like it’s weeks, not training, two weeks, you know not seeing anyone being by myself.
You know i just feel like i want to you know, of course, my family terribly, but it’s just like for my mental health, like i’m, not sure i could like bring my flag, and i totally understand that i think i would probably be in the same boat As you and the nice thing too is in miami, you have the beach yeah sunshine.
I’M really grateful like to have the opportunity down here for school and to train, and you know and be in a place that you know is more open, but at least there’s sunshine and, like you know, i think it’s really important that people don’t lose sight of.
Like it’s important to connect with people and it’s important to get fresh air, it’s important to exercise like you know, don’t let the fear of this you know virus, that’s very serious, but to prioritize your mental health because you know, if you don’t have mental health, that Your your physical health is going to suffer if it’s not from you know, suffer in other ways and to really find safe ways to still take care of yourself.
I totally agree.
I think that a lot of people forget that you have to still have a strong body throughout this and when you isolate yourself into a closed space you’re, not getting.
As you said, vitamin d fresh air, the lack of social interaction that, as you said, will affect your mental health, which will in turn affect your physical health and that’s how people get sick, easier or more susceptible to things.
You have to get that fresh air.
You have to get good nutrients in your body.
You have to eat good food like you need to have that social interaction with your family and friends.
It’S just you know so important and especially athletes.
We all know this very well because our bodies are what’s carrying us through our sport and it’s so unfortunate right now what’s going on, but i’m really happy to hear that you have.
You know things going for you right now in miami like it’s unfortunate, you can’t compete, which you know.
Maybe there might be something we can do about that, but like at the end of the day, that’s good that you have.
You know access to your gym and you can train and you can do all these things.
So what are your like? I want to say, let’s say: covid ended tomorrow.
Let’S just say, hypothetically everything reopened, everything was like full force like ally.
You can compete, we’re all competing anywhere anytime.
What are your goals for the sport of boxing, especially with the kind of career that you’re going into? Why are we frozen? Oh, no, no! We’Re good um we’re frozen! No we’re, not um! You know really really like.
I wanted to like you know: i’ve been trying to pursue the olympics, like with you.
I feel like you’ve been on this journey together and you know so many good memories and you know i would still like to do that and like that was where my heart was was at.
You know, after that last nationals that we had.
I was still like in that mindset and you know then covet happened, and then i saw a lot of my friends, my training partners, you know that are professional and they were able to fight, and so i was like well, i’m not gon na be able to Fight, like maybe i’ll turn pro and then that way i’ll have the opportunity to do so um, but then that provides some complications with me being in miami and being a student and like working visa and all these complications, and you know um.
I really just come to the you know: i guess the realization to just be patient and to you know, when things open up, because they’re going to you know positive mindset, um, you know to go back, you know to go back to you know our our circuit By boxing ontario and you know, work towards like the next olympics yeah and you know what that’s such a amazing like you got this great resilience about you and this really high, intellectually concepted mindset going into this, because, with this covet, everything is so uncertain.
There’S a lot of people that have been suffering from mental health because we don’t know like what’s going on when are we gon na reopen like? Are we going to reopen this year or was it going to be for the next? You know people are saying like five years.
Some people say it was like completely this.
Is it like? This is what it’s going to be from now on going forward for the rest of whatever, but i am on the same page as you.
I think that’s great, that you found that, like peace and that patience, because that’s what we that’s all we can do right now is just be patient and the good thing is you’re, not alone.
You know it’s not just right.
It’S everybody we’re kind of all working together, trying to get through this together.
So that’s a good thing too yeah and you know everything’s happening for you, i think, is the best thing like you know, even things that we don’t understand or we don’t like life is happening for us.
You know, in terms of you know what our path is and to be patient and to trust in the process.
You know what ella can you tell me again what that thing is that that you do uh professionally? What is that called again yeah um? It’S just an intervention: it’s called emdr therapy, which is eye movement, desensitization reprocessing, okay, that’s amazing! So everybody take note of that.
Thank you, so much ali for taking the time to do this.
I’M really sorry for the internet going back and forth in the freezing, but i would catch up with you and it was so awesome to hear your perspective in all this.
And i’m super interested in that.
What you’re telling me about – and i think that we’re going to talk more privately about that, because i’m going to see what i could do to get more information yeah for sure, and thank you for doing this, like.
I think this podcast is so great connecting everyone and learning about everyone’s.
You know, as we said, we’re talking before you know, we’re all competitors, we see each other as competitors and boxers and we don’t really know like everyone’s.
You know story of what brought them to boxing which brings us together, and i just think it’s really great your platform that you’re creating thank you so much ali.
I really appreciate that.
Well, thank you, everybody for joining us and stay tuned for next week’s episode on the female fist.
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