Instructor by day, fighter by night

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Heather Heiney
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
Maintaining peak physical fitness is an ingrained aspect of Air Force life. It's not just because of "the test" that leers over every Airman's head once or twice a year like a military training instructor demanding more pushups, but because physical fitness keeps Airmen ready and able to achieve their missions at a moment's notice.

Daynesha Bumanglag, 334th Training Squadron air traffic control instructor, exceeds the requirements and exemplifies the Air Force core values by teaching and practicing mixed martial arts.

"I have friends who say that they know of better ways to enjoy their time than getting punched in the face," Bumanglag said.

Her most recent fight was against Jaime Moyle from Orlando, Fla., Oct. 1 during Cage Rage 9 at the IP Casino.

"We both were greatly matched and put on a good fight. I lost by decision after three, three-minute rounds," Bumanglag said. "We stood toe-to-toe all three rounds but she got the best of the fight by scoring on me with her takedowns."

To be approved to fight in Cage Rage 9, Bumanglag had to be willing and able to fight, recommended and approved to fight by her training team, have up-to-date blood work to satisfy the state's regulatory commission, attend mandatory weigh-ins and meetings and be ready to go on the day of the fight.

"Along with the training schedule, I made sure I fed my body the essential nutrients it needed in order to withstand such training," she said.

In addition to her duties as an ATC instructor, Bumanglag makes time to teach a women's fitness kickboxing class twice a week.

"It definitely keeps me disciplined, humbled and patient," Bumanglag said. "It keeps me on my 'A-game' fitness-wise and keeps me involved with the community."

Although she grew up with martial arts, she began MMA after moving to Keesler nearly a year ago and trains 15-30 hours per week. Some of her training activities include sparring, mitt drills, heavy bag work and running or sprinting.

"I grew up in a family of fighters so it has always stuck with me," she said. "It is also a great way to stay in shape, relieve stress and, believe it or not, build camaraderie."

Her first fight was in Blood and Sand X on Aug. 13 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum against Paige Farley from Birmingham, Ala.

"(My opponent) had a few fights under her belt already, so I knew she was going to be a tough fight," Bumanglag said. "I lost that fight in the second round by submission, but the feeling I had stepping in that cage for the first time was amazing."

"I believe anything one gives their blood, sweat, tears, sacrifice and time to relates to our core values in more ways than one," she said. "I love fighting, but I love what I do in the Air Force more."