47th in an occasional series: A visit with an philosophical athlete who's mindful about her success in boxing.

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47th in an occasional series

With a philosophy degree and a preference for the French existentialists, Jen Hamann is not a typical boxer.

Versed in the Socratic method, she compares getting into the ring “to having a conversation with my opponent.”

But it would seem more like an argument — one she intends to win with head and hands.

“It’s one question after another, but in the form of punches,” she says.

With the body of a soccer player or the 800-meter runner she was at Seattle University, Hamann says, “I’m not a brawler. I don’t have the power to put them on the mat, and brawlers wear themselves out.”

“My strength is quickness, and I have to be lean and faster.”

Her best punch is an angle jab to the body.

“At Golden Gloves (earlier this year in Tacoma) when I won, it was all in slow motion.”

Despite the noise of the crowd, “All I could hear was my coach.”

Head coach Cap Kotz, owner of the gym where she trains, says, “She’s aggressive, a competitive athlete who pressures her opponent.”

And he likes that women are boxing in the Olympics this summer for the first time.

“It gets us past the idea that women can’t be aggressive and strong.”

While the Olympics aren’t on her radar now, Hamann is putting on muscle and working toward a national tournament in the fall.

She says, “I’m very Zen in the ring.”

Zen with a record of 9-and-1.

Alan Berner: 206-464-8133 or aberner@seattletimes.com