Friday, May 18, 2012

Fighter Babe Lauren Sugihara Returns to the Ring Tomorrow

Fighter babe Lauren Sugihara returns to the kickboxing ring for a title fight tomorrow at Fight To Win Superheroes in Denver, CO. We recently caught up with Lauren to learn more about her background and upcoming fight.

Every now and then we learn about a troubled past saved by the martial arts and help from others and Lauren is one of those amazing ladies fighting her way back. At the age of six Lauren and her sister were brought up solely by their mother after a divorce. A good student who kept out of trouble until she found the troubled crowd her sophomore year of high school and began to party. Lauren went on to become an international model in fashion shows and magazines including an International Playboy Playmate, centerfold and cover girl but she continued her partying ways throughout. Her alcoholism left her often feeling lost, lonely and being dishonest to others while still putting on a happy face to those around her. Eventually Lauren sought help through a 12 step program and has now been sober for many years. Kickboxing was a tremendous help in her progress but the 12 step program ultimately saved her life. As a model the focus was often being as skinny as possible but her body image soon changed when she picked up kickboxing and now she strives to be as functionally athletic as possible. Lauren has recently returned to modeling but now markets herself in the sports and fitness areas. Lauren also shares her story with others to help those with the same problems of alcoholism and the awareness to seek out help. Congratulations on your recovery Lauren and thank you for sharing with us and our readers. Check out the rest of our interview about Lauren’s martial arts background below.

How did you get involved in kickboxing and how long have you been training?

-An ex of mine Brandon Thatch was a kick boxer and introduced me to the sport in 2005.

Where are you currently training, and what's a typical training week like for you?

-I train with several wonderful coaches, Clarence Thatch (3d Elite), Oscar Martinez (Colorado Muay Thai), Neil Dykins, and Chris Williamson (Conditioning at The Gym). My training consists of five days of kickboxing practice and two days of conditioning and hard sparring.

Tell us about your upcoming fight, who you're fighting and where?

-My next fight is on the Fight To Win Superheroes card in Denver, CO on May 19th. I’m fighting Crystal Parrish out of North Carolina. I am super excited! Its K1 rules with no head gear and 12 ounce gloves. I've been working really hard getting ready.

What is your best experience as a fighter? What is your worst?

-I’ll never forget my first fight. The excitement was completely intoxicating. I had a lot of friends and family there and I was recently sober so it was a big accomplishment for me. My worst experience is every fight the few minutes before the fight. The nerves are difficult. Once it begins I’m fine.

What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in kickboxing?

-I would say you are in for the best time of your life. The irony is you'll get to be in the best shape of your life but you won't care how you look anymore if you're anything like me =). It’s wonderful for women mentally and physically, and yes you can do it.

When do you think we will see your debut in MMA?

-That will be when I receive my blue belt so it’s up to my coaches.

What or who are your inspirations in kickboxing, MMA and life?

-My coaches inspire me. They walk the talk. They care about their students and dedicate their lives to the betterment of others. My sister, my mom, and the rest of my family are my safety net. My fiancé inspires me because of the wonderful man he is. He reminds me everyday why life is worth living.

-As far as fighters I love Tara LaRosa, Ronda Rousey (I trained with her a bit in California), and Kat Zingano. They are amazing women and are great examples of what female fighters are capable of.

How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting?

-My favorite time is with my family and friends just being together, and eating food. =) I love playing with my fiancés two kids who are 3 and 5. My life has changed a lot from my partying days I guess. LOL, I teach kickboxing at Combat Zone, 303 training Center, and Seasons, and I adore all of my students.

Of course we have a few questions for the male readership as well.

Are you single?

-I'm engaged.

What do you look for in a guy?

-My fiancé is my ideal. He's smart, hilarious, athletic, loving, and honest (best part).

What are your turn-ons?

-Someone tougher than me =)

What are your turnoffs?

-People who are who I used to be before I got sober, dishonest, fake, and manipulative.

What would you say is your best feature?

-Physical would be my long legs. =) Personality wise would be my awkwardness. I’ve learned to like myself.

Any future plans or dreams?

-I hope to be able to take my fighting far and in turn become an inspiration both to women and recovering alcoholics and show them that no matter what, you can make life amazing if you just try.

Any shout outs you would like to make?

-Love to all my coaches, family and friends.

Thank you again Lauren for your time, sharing your story with us and best of luck tomorrow! For those looking to learn more about Lauren, her story or her fighting career reach out to her on Facebook, her DJ Facebook page and on Twitter.

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