Lea “The Pirate” Pedersen – Female sponsored fighter at Sutai Muay Thai.
My journey with Sutai began (as most adventures do!) on 1st January when I arrived in Phuket to be part of the Sutai fighter team.
So far I have had 22 fights and this all began in Barcelona where I lived in Barcalona’s squatter scene, which is one of the largest in Europe. In several of the houses were dojo’s where there were free training in various martial arts but it was when I came to Chaing Mai, that Muay Thai really caught me.
After Thailand, I traveled to South America, where I traveled around alone, the Muay Thai culture is big there and I loved to visit different gyms, in these places I made many good friends that I still have today. In Peru, I felt the universe wanted me to stay for a long time but my fate took a turn when I had my passport, debit card and all my money stolen. Luckily I found a lovely family who took me in and though they were very poor they knew how it was to be without money and they helped me to get by. Every day I was training in a small friendly gym for 14 months and building up my knowledge of the Muay Thai art though I was determined to go back to Thailand and now certain I wanted to fight.
In 2012 I made my decision to go for it and I arrived to train and fight for 6 months in Thailand. I got a good deal in Bangkok and took 6 fights during the 6 months to help me survive. In 2013 I took that knowledge going home to Denmark and becoming Denmark’s champion in K1 and Muay Thai.
The next 3 years goes by working and Muay Thai becomes a meditation, or release in a stressed everyday life. I had a lot of responsibility where I worked and over time my mind and my body became ill with stress. This was an interesting time and led me to try to work out how Muay Thai was serving me. I saw that when our body or minds are exposed to higher demands than we can perform. Some reactions occur in our brain, which in the short run makes us perform better, but if it is for a longer period, it make us sick, this is what we know in the modern world as stress.
In a Muay Thai fight, we expose ourselves to an extreme pressure where our brain uses this stress to make our senses better and we react faster. If we are exposed to a constant pressure though in my case due to the workplace for weeks, months or even years this is bad and becomes dangerous. A Danish study of war veterans who suffer from stress shows that its possible to work on this stress by training his concentration center in brain. I believe it was this concentration training that happened to me when I was training Muay Thai while I was ill. I had many bad days, but after a Muay Thai class, I felt so much better so for me training was necessary I was so stressed and the sport started to give a new reason and a good addiction.
Many people ask me “why choose the name Pirate?”
The name Pirate came to me when I again moved away from the ‘normal’ community onto a boat in a pirate harbor in Copenhagen. Here people live freely in each of their boats, without connection to land, solid electricity and water and felt that this lifestyle suited me and my nomadic lifestyle. For many years I work in a special area in Copenhagen, which comes out of the squatter movement, called Christiania. The mission of Christiania is “to create a self-governing society whereby each and every individual holds themselves responsible over the wellbeing of the entire community.” I grew very close to the community and the resident’s supported me a lot, therefore I sometimes fight under their flag.
By the end of 2017 I felt another change was coming and so made a decision to move from Denmark. I’m now 29 years old and this is my chance to build a solid career in Muay Thai. Sutai Muay Thai offered me a sponsorship in Phuket and I was pleased to accept. I feel it has it all; skilled trainers, a big professional fighter team and the most beautiful place on earth, what more could I need? Now I am training hard each day, knowing that I am moving closer to my dream, whilst living a sustainable “off grid” life with the local Thai community. My next fight is taking me to Kenya and I am so happy to have these opportunities open to me, who knows what is around the corner!
Follow my story via the Sutai website www.sutaiphuket.com and also my personal website, facebook and instagram page.