Reena Norville: Becoming a Fighter

Reena Norville: Becoming a Fighter

My MMA journey started back in 2015, when I was living in San Francisco. I was working at one of the biggest General Contracting companies in the nation. I had just been transferred to San Francisco from my hometown of Phoenix, AZ and had zero friends. I decided to check out some workout gyms to get to know some people outside of work. I walked into El Nino and took my first Jiu Jitsu class and after that my first Muay Thai class. I was having a blast getting to know some new friends at the gym. I was finally getting the hang of Jiu Jitsu after about 5 weeks and my company started a pickup soccer league that I joined as well. Finally, I had my first submission in Jiu Jitsu and two days later I blew out my knee in the company soccer game. I was incredibly bummed. I was just getting comfortable with my new friends and I was suddenly sidelined. I needed surgery and after surgery I went into a depression while trying to rehab my knee.

A few months later I was transferred back to Phoenix. I tried to get back into Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. But then a couple months later I was transferred to Israel. My martial arts training was put on hold. I was in Israel for almost a year and during that time I traveled all over Europe. I was able to check off many of my bucket list items. Eventually they transferred me to San Diego and was determined to pick up where I left off in my martial arts. I joined City Boxing, which was right down the street from my apartment and once again fell in love with Muay Thai. It only took me a few months to improve tremendously. So, I decided to start taking Jiu Jitsu classes as well. Shortly after that I started dating my now husband, Shane Kruchten, and he introduced me to his gym, 10th Planet. Once I stepped into that gym I fell in love with the whole environment, the people and their training. I fell in love with working out at 10th Planet and that made me want to better myself. I really had the drive to compete at that time. I naturally have a very competitive personality.

The one thing that was holding me back from taking that huge step into becoming a “fighter” was my job. It was incredibly demanding and required me to work long hours. I couldn’t get the proper training. My husband encouraged me to follow my heart and I quit my job and decided to fight full time. He also wanted me to follow my dream of going back to school full time to receive my MBA degree. I took that opportunity and also started my Amateur MMA career. After training for about a year and working my tail off. I had my first crack at an amateur fight, and I became incredibly nervous. I had confidence in my skills from the excellent training I received in the gym. At the start of my first fight the ref called for us to fight, I froze momentarily while my opponent punched me in the face. At that moment I woke back up and remembered what I was there to do. I knew I was there to fight, so I unleashed my hands and knocked the girl out in 18 seconds. I remember it so well. I couldn’t believe I worked so hard for months to have it all over in 18 seconds. I had so many emotions running through my body. I was so happy that I could celebrate this victory with my mom and all my teammates.

The fight bug was in me and I wanted more. Shortly after that I took 2 more fights and all 3 fights were won within a 3-month period. I finished each fight with early knockouts. Since I was undefeated and winning with knock-outs I had trouble finding someone to fight me. It was a year later that they offered me the opportunity to win the California State Title. During that year I took no time off and was improving my skills immensely. The championship fight continued through all three rounds and I came out victorious in the end. My record was 4-0 and I had to think about what was next.

I realized I needed a little bit of time off.  I was going through some personal issues in my home life and needed to put those personal issues first in my life to resolve them. During that time, I was only training part time. Once my life problems were fixed, I started to train full time again. Then I was ready for another fight. Covid 19 hit and all my fight plans were up in flames. I took almost a month off when the US shut down. I had to get back at it. I was still looking for a fight but the amateur promotions weren’t having any fights. After months of waiting and looking, my coaches finally gave me the green light to look for a professional fight. It didn’t take long for me to sign up for a pro fight. The opportunity came up and I jumped all over it. For the past 6 weeks I have been training harder than I ever have in order to be ready for my professional debut fight with LFA. I am finally at the tail end of this fight camp and so excited to get back inside the cage on October 30th.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *