The breeding of a true champion and a true superwoman in her own right! Meet Sunny Coelst, mother of two, fashion designer, actress and muay thai champion! Is there anything she can’t do?
I was born in Korea but raised in Belgium where I studied fashion. My first job was as a lingerie designer in Hong Kong. I also learnt to tattoo at the same time whilst picking up Muay Thai. I definitely consider Hong Kong home. I love this place and its energy. I feel like everything is possible here.
How did you get into Muay Thai and why did you decide to start competing competitively? Were you not afraid of getting injured?
I’ve always wanted to learn boxing but my dad didn’t think it was a sport for ladies. I’ve always loved the technical side of Muay Thai and I see it as a chess game. I don’t step in the ring to go to war. I want to be cleverer than my opponent and fight with my brain. I was also never scared of getting injured. with muay thai, the damage is mostly superficial (bruises, cuts). A few weeks and it’s gone!
How do you prepare for your fights both physically and mentally?
I would train 5-6 days a week. Twice a day. Mornings would consist of cardio and I would alternate between long distance running with sprints and stairs. Afternoon sessions was muay thai training (technique, pad work and sparring). The hardest part reducing your weight. For 6 weeks, you diet. You can’t drink, can’t celebrate, it’s hard on your social life..
What’s your fight record?
18 fights – 11 wins, (5 by KO!), 1 draw.
Super impressive! As you’ve won several titles to include the WMC and WKBC Asia Championships (please explain what they are), what’s the biggest title you’ve won?
Those are the different federations. For each of them, there are different titles (Asia, Europe, World, Intercontinental). The first title I won was the WKN European title in Belgium. It was probably the most significant one in my career as I won in my home country in front of my friends and family. I then won two more in Hong Kong at the I-1. The WMC Asia belt and the WKBC Asia belt.
I also heard your fights were interspersed between your two pregnancies! That’s incredible. How did you do it?
For both pregnancies, I kept training till the day before I gave birth (I would adapt my training obviously). Being fit before and while pregnant will help you with losing the weight after you give birth (I gained 17kg during each pregnancy!)
Do you have any secrets to defeating your opposition?
I have a good hands… and a secret high kick!
You also recently starred in a movie called “Lady Bloodfight”. Can you tell us more about it?
Lady Bloodfight is the female version of Bloodsport (with Jean Claude Van Damme). It is a Hollywood production about a female underground tournament (The Kumite) and I’m one of the fighters. The director is Chris Nahon, of “Kiss of the Dragon” with Jet Li and “The Empire of Wolves” with Jean Reno; and the main actress is Amy Johnston (Scarlett Johansson’s double in Captain America). Check it out!
There have been some bruises, but the beauty of the movie is that all those fights are fake… You don’t really touch your opponent. So it was actually really hard for me to adjust! (laughs)
So have you officially retired from the ring now?
Yes, with two kids and two jobs, it’s hard to keep training twice a day every day…
Tell us about Ultim8 and how you got into it.
I couldn’t find any cool shorts for ladies when I started Muay Thai, so I started to make my own! They got noticed and I received a few orders, but soon I couldn’t make them all by myself anymore so I found a factory, a brand name, and Ultim8 was born!
Having accomplished so much, what would you say that has been your most major achievement to date?
I have two beautiful, healthy daughters and a very supportive husband (who was my cornerman during my fighting career!). I’ve managed to unite my two passions for a living: Muay Thai and fashion design. I love my job and being my own boss, means I can spend time and take care of my kids too. I truly have a happy life and I couldn’t ask for more!