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Female Fighter Sees Beauty In Her Trade

Posted November. 16, 2005 08:23,   


At the moment when two bodies collide, muscles stretch and harden, and the body creates power.

Is fighting a thing of beauty? Lee Su-yeon thinks so.

Lee believes there is beauty to the dynamics and harmony of fighting in a hand-to-hand contest. She is a mixed martial art fighter trained in professional wrestling, Brazilian Jujitsu and other martial arts skills. She has fought seven matches in total over the course of her career, with three wins and four losses. One of her wins was in May this year, where she took the championship belt at Korea Max Girl, the first-ever women’s mixed martial arts competition.

She also auditioned and got hired to work as a round girl at a recent K-1 match held in Seoul. “As a member of the martial arts community, I want to try many different things that have to do with martial arts.”

“Fighting is a way to express beauty with one’s movement and poise”-

Lee will be participating in Spirit MC Amateurs Competition on November 20. Because there are only about 20 female fighters in Korea, women’s competitions are rare.

Lee participates in amateur competitions as often as she can, in order not to lose her competitive edge. She trains at Giant Gym in Hwaseong City, Gyeonggi Province. Her height is 173cm, she weighs 52kg, and she sometimes beats male gym mates who are 20kg heavier than her. “Why would a girl compete in fighting matches? That’s like asking a woman in love why she loves that man,” says Lee.

She elaborates when asked for more practical benefits of fighting: “You get to use every muscle in your body, and build your stamina. It’s hard when people around me see me as a woman rather than a fighter.” She says there is no law that says fighting is only for men; as long as the match is one-on-one, and the opponent is in the same weight class, a woman may beat any man.

As a pioneer for women in the world of mixed martial arts, she might be fighting society’s prejudices as well.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com