Unlike other Olympians, Ashley is a rare triple threat: she
also has an athletic modeling contract with Wilhelmina
Models, and has studied acting in Los Angeles with
acting coach Bruce Ducat. She’s appeared in various
advertisements, commercials, television shows and films.
Ashley’s success in the entertainment industry paired with
her ability to dominate a karate competition perfectly
describe the best compliment she says she’s ever received:
“I’m beautiful like my mother and I fight like my father!”
Currently, Ashley is working on a children’s fitness project
called Kick It, which is designed to help kids understand the
benefits of healthy eating and fitness. The program involves
workout DVDs, calendars and information packets. She is
also engaged, one step closer to fulfilling her secret dream
of being married and having a family. In the meantime,
she’ll most likely be adding to the Michael Kors collection
in her closet and cross-training for another championship.
Check out our exclusive Q&A with Ashley to read more
about what it’s like to kick butt for a living.
If the best defense is a good offense, what is the best offense?
A step-up round kick to the face!
Quitting is ... Not winning. “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
– Christina Muccini.
Why do you think people quit their dreams?
Because some people aren’t cut out for the determination and drive it takes to make your dreams come true.
What is the greatest thing anyone can donate?
Power is ... Everything.
What is something few people know about you?
I would rather sleep than go to a lounge or club. I’m a bit of a homebody.
What is a memorable quote that had a real impact on your life?
Strive for progress, not perfection.
So your father, Tokey, is America’s only true world karate champion. Explain the meaning of “true.”
My father is the first American to ever win the world championships as stated in the Guinness World Records!
What about your father impresses you the most?
My father’s drive, determination, focus and kind-heartedness impress me the most.
What is more important: vision, heart or talent?
It takes all three, but most importantly, you need your brain because 95% of any sport is how well you use it!
Success is when you give 100% into something, no matter the outcome.
Reflect on your fondest memory growing up.
Hanging out with my family in Ohio during the summers, riding four-wheelers, exploring my grandparents’ farm and getting a few battle wounds.
Happiness is ... Everything.
What do you love most about competing in martial arts?
Winning, and being able to place my foot on my opponent’s face as they are trying to attack me. I learned that from my pops.
The measure of a woman is her ability to ... Believe in herself.
Kids are the best at ... Using their imagination.
What’s the finest compliment you’ve been given?
I’m beautiful like my mother and I fight like my father.
What is one treat in Columbus you can’t say no to?
Cheesecake Factory with my sister Brooke and mother Diane.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a champion, a fitness model and an actor.
Describe a knockout in three words.
Spinning hook kick.
What was one of your most productive failures?
One of my most productive failures was cutting weight for competition. Very ignorant on my part, but I learned from it and will never do it again. When a person cuts weight, it lowers energy and stamina, making it very hard to perform.
What are you afraid of?
What pisses you off? Makes you laugh? Makes you cry?
When my body is out of shape, that pisses me off. When I’m trying to tell a story, but the end is so funny that I can’t finish it, that makes me laugh. And being away from my family can make me cry.
If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
Panda, because they like to sleep and eat.
If Nike made a slogan for you, what would it be?
Kick ass. I do it.
Fear is ... An illusion.
During your 20 years practicing martial arts, what accomplishments matter the most?
Seeing my father’s face when I win. It is better than receiving any medal.
Choose one to be remembered by: class act, tough as nails or smart as hell.
Honestly, let’s put them all together. That pretty much sums it up. Or we could just go with strong and classy.
Single, dating, engaged?
Engaged and excited for the future with my love.
Trait wise, what do you get from your mom and dad?
Mother: knowledge. Father: my bubble butt.
Build the perfect athlete using past and present athletes from all sports to address speed, power, vision and endurance.
Tokey Hill embodies it all. I don’t need anyone else to create a more perfect athlete.
Self-sacrifice: apply it to your career and personal life.
To be elite at anything requires sacrifice, in my opinion. My personal life suffered because of my career. My friends would be at an amusement park and I would be training in Lake Placid at the Olympic Training Center. My friends would be with their boyfriends at the movies and I would be with my coach, my father, visualizing winning the gold.
Given your aspirations and projected future, are you really able to leave it all on the mat at this point in your career? Can you take those risks?
I can take any risk and stand behind it because I am confident in everything I do.
What was the hardest test you took in college? Name the class if you can. Science lab.
What is your most notable characteristic?
Do you talk to your opponent during a match?
If you do, what do you say? No, never.
Any tattoos yet?
Which designer has the most real estate in your closet?
Oh, man. I have such a mixture, but love Michael Kors.
Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris?
Both are great, but Tokey Hill.
What qualities do you like most in a coach?
Passion, strength, wisdom.
What is your most treasured possession?
My memories. My jewelry from loved ones and family. Oh, and pictures!
What do you dislike about yourself?
Teeth! They are uneven now from getting punched in the face.
What do you think is the most important issue facing the world today?
Ego and selfishness.
You’ve always been a sucker for ... Frozen yogurt and sleeping.
Your secret dream is to...
Be married and have a family, and have an acting career.
You can trade shoes with any other athlete. Whose are you wearing?
Are you a wolf or a rabbit?
Ever been in a real fistfight?
No, I avoid street fights.
Time is... Priceless.
Family is the root of ... Of happiness and the answer to the future.
What is your career highlight so far?
World medalist times two.
How many pushups can you do?
How many hours of sleep do you need every night?
Over eight hours. I require a lot of sleep, not because I’m an athlete, but because I love sleeping.
What conversational topic do you avoid at all costs?
Religion and politics.
What would you like to find out about the future?
When is the world going to end?
What is the brattiest thing you used to do as a kid?
Jumped out my bedroom window when I was in time-out.
What is the oldest piece of clothing you still wear?
My mother’s vintage bowling T-shirt, which she denies she ever owned, or my sophomore varsity cheerleading sweat pants.
What is your favorite word/phrase?
Women are the best at ... Nurturing and surviving.
What three words would use to describe yourself?
Love, laugh, live.
What three words would your mother use to describe you?
Sweet, caring, beautiful.
What is your favorite book?
I don’t really read, oops.
Tomorrow you get to hang with God. Make a wish?
I wish to be allowed to enter heaven.
Oatmeal and a banana or steak and eggs?
Oatmeal and banana.