The (F)Empower Project Presents: The Champ is Here

Meet Theodora Pistiolis, mother of two, hairdresser by day, Professional Muay Thai fighter by night. One of the nicest and funniest ladies you'll ever encounter, she shares her (F)empower Story and motivation for training in today's post! 


I’m a mom of two girls ages 8 and 3 and run two full time businesses.  Owner and professional fighter at Hook Up Muay Thai and hairstylist in my personal hair studio.  It’s an odd combination but I love both.

"When I first started training, it was all about weight and size..."

When I first started training it was all about weight and size but after all these years and now raising two girls it’s so much more to me than that, and to be honest “size” seems to be the furthest in my mind.  Feeling healthy and strong is what drives me.  Setting an example for my kids so they stay active is most important to me, and...

hearing my 8 year old tell her friends"My mom is athletic" is priceless.   



I started Muay Thai 18 years ago.  I was out of shape, bored and needed motivation.  I took a class for fun with a girlfriend and was hooked instantly.  I began training for my first fight a few years later and the addiction was apparent.  I haven’t looked back since.

I train 5 days a week which consists of bag and pad work along with specific sports related strength training.    A professional Muay Thai/K1 bout consists of 5x 3min rounds.  My goal and focus during training is to deliver power and speed for more than the required time without “gassing out”.   

"Long term, keeping my body fit and strong through basic strength training, cardiovascular workouts along with healthy eating habits will allow me to keep punching and kicking for at least the next 20 years."

Being as busy as I am, it’s a priority to get my training done as early as possible during the day.  I keep it consistent throughout the year and increase the intensity leading up to a competition.  The strength training is usually heavier weights when I’m not in a competition stage and once we get closer to an event it becomes sports specific with an intense anaerobic component.

When I have a fight scheduled motivation is never a factor.  Bottom line…stepping into the ring to fight is just that.  I stay fit and work hard to be safe and win.  The rest of the time has become a routine.  I exercise because it’s a necessity, like food, and I love to eat.  If there’s a day I’m not motivated I will head into the gym anyways and once I start I’m usually ok.  If I have an off day and I still can’t get going I shut it down and move on.  

I’m convinced that exercise helps me mentally and emotionally especially in my sport.  There’s nothing better that hitting a bag to let off steam or clearing my mind.

Being a female fighter has never been an issue for me.  I do have to prove myself every now and again but I understand that fighting isn’t a typical sport for women.  Finding women to spar with has always been difficult so I spar with men.         

One of the issues I encounter sparring with guys is that at first, they are hesitant to hit me; once I explain that they’re not doing me any favours it usually changes or I’d hit them hard enough to show them that I’m serious.  

My daughter has been kickboxing since she was 4 and she has never backed down.  She wears pink boxing gloves and pink head gear when she spars and she regularly trains with boys. She is equal that that's the empowering message I want her to hear 


"She is equal and that’s the empowering message I want her to hear."   

" I feel that exercise and strength gives women/girls independence.   Life is full of things you have no control over but you absolutely do have control over your body, what you do with it and what you chose to put in it."


Theodora Pistiolis