Heart of a Fighter: Tomomi “Windy Tomomi” Sunaba
One of the most challenging things that can happen to a fighter is injury. No matter how much you train and prepare, no matter how ready you are to fight, injuries are something that plague every athlete. That can range from minor bruises and sprains to far more serious injuries that can jeopardize athletic careers. Windy faced the later of the two. In what might be one of the most gruesome. For those of you unfamiliar with Tomomi, she holds a kickboxing record of 12-6-2, and an MMA record of 16-13-1. She’s light, fast and has excellent kicks and more impressively some of the biggest display of heart, which is what truly makes a fighter. In her 2007 fight against Rosi Sexton, she landed poorly on a takedown and ended up completely snapping her ankle 180 degrees. This resulted in 3 surgeries to correct the damage, yet none of this stopped her from stepping into the ring again a year later to defeat opponent Emi Tomimatsu. Windy is an absolute warrior and a testament to female fighters everywhere.
I was first introduced to Tomomi at AACC. She had fought Megumi Fujii who invited her to come train the renowned women’s team. I had the honor of visiting her at her home gym in Kita-matsudo, Chiba Japan as she was getting ready for her fight against well decorated boxer Monica Lovato. Windy had a really impressive black eye, pretty much swollen shut, but of course this was easily shaken off by the veteran fighter. I got to do some light sparring with Windy. She hooked me up with tickets to Pancrase Passion Tour 8 where she defeated Lovato by decision keeping the boxer at bay with her lighting fast kicks and some great submission attempts. Monica put on a great fight too and impressively slammed her way out of some arm bar attacks with formidable force. I look forward to the opportunity to return to Japan and to get to train again with women such as Windy, who are shining examples of the spirit of competitive fighting.
Love & Respect,