Linda Pulido inducted into martial arts hall of fame

Gilroy’s Linda Pulido holds up her hall of fame honors during her induction ceremony on Aug. 20 in Houston.

There are three speeds to take on martial arts: Average, fast and Linda Pulido.
Her training regimen of intense cardio and three sparing sessions per week had led her to 24 gold medals on the world stage and an energy that tires out women several years her junior.
Pulido’s success has not gone unnoticed. The owner of Pulido’s Pro Fitness was inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame in Houston Aug. 20.
“I think that’s the coolest part is you’re actually picked,” Pulido said. “There are instructors on a panel who watch martial artists throughout the year to see if they’re worthy to be nominated or inducted into the hall of fame.”
She said she was in shock at first because one of her instructor friends who unbeknownst to Pulido is on the HOF panel. He reached out to her letting her know that she was going to be recognized and all Pulido could think to say “what does that mean?”
“He called and explained and I was like, ‘Oh my God, thanks. That’s awesome,’” she recounted. “I said I was very honored.”
Pulido was inducted along side martial artists from around the country and Canada.
“There was people from everywhere. It was really nice to be lined up with some very important and talented martial artists,” Pulido said.
Pulido has excelled at Filipino martial arts, competing on the highest level of world competition and teaching for the last 33 years.
She is a spitfire in the competition ring, going at opponents with tremendous speed and skill.
Though she has yet to score a “knockout,” where she disarms her opponent three times in the course of a match.
The fire and drive that brought her to the hall of fame also saved her life.
Pulido is not shy about her story that begins as a teenager on the wrong path in life who found martial arts and turned herself around.
Looking back on where she began, Pulido said she is in awe of how far she has come.
“When I get my medals, when I see what I’m doing (pay off), all the hard work, all the hours of such hard training, yes it makes it so worth it,” Pulido said. “Not only is it worth it because I’ve worked with so many people, so many teams, so many kids to help them better their lives because I know what it did for mine.”
Pulido said she doesn’t know where her life would be were it not for martial arts and she wants to pass that passion on to others.
She also gave a big thank-you to her sparing partner Amanda Guevara.
Pulido says her workout is insane and over the top, which she said is the reason why her sport should be in the Olympics. But all along the way, Guevara is there with her.
“I have to thank her because everyone who spars with me does not like to spar,” Pulido said. “I go through people a lot. She’s here for me. She was bruised, she was busted up and she still showed up.”
And it was really brought home as the other inductees shared their own stories of over coming cancer, honoring of veterans and first responders.
“To be amongst all these really amazing people—and they’re all humble—it was quite an honor,” Pulido said.
Pulido had returned three weeks prior from the World Championships where she won five championships, extending her total above 20, including two divisions of stick fighting, team title and open nun chucks and single stick fighting.
She is in a lower age division, albeit tougher division, than she ought to be but said she doesn’t want to give up her title as defending champion just yet.
“I’ve been competing with all these young girls and I think they’re kind of pissed they can’t beat the old woman,” Pulido said.
Pulido said she wants to compete for two more world titles despite taking questions about when she will hang up her sticks and
fighting gear.
“Someone asked me when I’m going to stop, and I said, ‘Why?’” Pulido said. “They said, ‘because you’re older.’ Yeah. And your point is?”