After all, she has etched a legacy of herself and is enshrined in the Black Belt Hall of Fame, as a 2nd degree black belt and a former world kickboxing champion.
Standing tall with a bold sense of adventure and a curiously intriguing capacity for experiencing something new, she took up Yoshukai karate (a Japanese style martial art) at the age of 15, which is defined as a well-rounded style that focuses on all aspects of the fighting arts, including self-defense and a broad spectrum of weaponry. It was a perfect fit for Cheryl.
Cheryl’s instructor, former world kickboxing champion and 6th degree black belt, Gerry Blanck, quickly recognized her natural fighting abilities and invited her to compete as a white belt. She quickly moved up the ranks, accumulating over 250 trophies in a two-year period and soon thereafter joined an elite kickboxing team as the only female fighter. She trained religiously, gaining the respect and admiration of every male boxer at the gym she trained at.
Her first professional kickboxing fight was on July 14th, 1978. She beat Ruth Pippin, of Pensacola, Florida in a unanimous five round decision. Word traveled fast and promoters from all over the country began calling Cheryl, wanting to feature her on their kickboxing cards. The rest is history as her success in martial arts began a snowball effect.
Cheryl fought all over the country defeating top fighters in her weight class. Cheryl fought double world title-holder (boxing and kickboxing) Graciela Casillas for seven exciting rounds in 1981. Cheryl was initially declared the new WKA (World Karate Association) Bantamweight World Kickboxing Champion, but due to a rules discrepancy and a serious blunder by the WKA sanctioning body, the title was later reverted back to Casillas. Not one to dwell on injustices, Cheryl (also known as “Legs”) continued to fight, traveling to Hong Kong in 1982 representing the sole female fighter on the United States Kickboxing Team, which included such fighting greats as Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Gerry Blanck, Howard Jackson and others. Cheryl TKO’d the Malaysian champion Woo You Ling in the 3rd round, successfully defending her championship status internationally.
In 1984 Cheryl fought Carol Limos, a student of Benny “The Jet” Urquidez’s for the WKA Super-Bantamweight World Kickboxing Title in Reno, Nevada. After three months of intense training, Cheryl stepped into the ring in the best shape of her life. She TKO’d Carol Limos in the first round. Cheryl continued fighting and defending her title, eventually traveling to Amsterdam where she suffered a very controversial split decision loss to International Champion Lucia Rijkers. Howard Hansen, the WKA president, declared the fight non-title, due to controversial circumstances that included a biased panel of three Dutch judges (Lucia was Dutch and lived in Holland).
In 1987 Cheryl officially hung up her fighting gloves in full-time pursuit of a successful career in the movie industry. Through discipline, a remarkable work ethic, ambition, a relentless pursuit for physical fitness, and a wildly bold sensibility, Cheryl left her legacy in the world of martial arts and launched her Hollywood stuntwoman career as a result of her relentless pursuit of being the best in martial arts.