Building up to BHM: Pirkka Suksi

Building up to BHM: Pirkka Suksi

Pirkka Suksi (FIN) started with Kickboxing in his twenties, but says that he is in his best shape now, almost twenty years later. He is five-times Finnish champion, and has just qualified for his first edition of The World Games in 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama. He is this week’s athlete Building up to Birmingham!

“I have always been interested in martial arts, and when I got home from the military I saw a notice about an upcoming kickboxing basic course and went there. Kickboxing is special because it requires coordination, body control, cardio, technique, power and more, so all the time you have something to develop,” Suksi says.

His goal for the next year is clear: “I want to win a medal at The World Games. I also want to win my 6th gold at the Finnish Championships.” He already knows how to plan to attain his goal. “I had a good programme that I followed when I was preparing for the World Championships this year, so I will make adjustments to that, and it will work as my guide. I will also participate in Finnish championships in boxing and kickboxing during the coming months.”

This is Pirkka Suksi’s first time at The World Games. “I look for good and fair fights, and athletes excelling themselves in Birmingham. It will be a trip with our team that we will all remember in the future.” If he gets the chance, he would like to watch breakdancing and wakeboarding besides the kickboxing competitions.

Suksi competes in the heavy-weight class, 91+ kg. “Athletes in this class can be 20 kilos lighter or heavier than me, or 20 years younger than me,” he says. He feels that he is in his best shape right now. “Maybe it’s a cliché, but I see my career as a constant development. I have set realistic but challenging targets for myself, and work hard and try to make the best possible decisions for reaching the next target, and when I reach that target I already have the next one in mind. Good planning and a high work ethic have taken me to this point.”

Pirkka Suksi also competes in boxing and does a lot of cross-country skiing, running and mountain biking. Besides his own training, he coaches his own team and works full-time as a project manager. When asked about challenges in his career, he says: “I have had my share of injuries, but the body heals when given time! I do not know if you can call it a challenge, but it requires quite some planning to keep a balance between family, work, training and coaching others.” When asked which of The World Games sports he would compete in, if not in his own, he says: “This is difficult, as all the other sports have such different skills requirements. Maybe Tug of War.”

Suksi trains for several hours on a normal day: “When there are no competitions coming up, I run to the gym (30 minutes), do 60-90 minutes of kickboxing training and 90 minutes boxing training, and then I run back home. Besides kickboxing training, I do cardio, speed and weight training.” He weighs around 120 kg and needs a lot of energy to train: “I eat 4 meals and 2 snacks per day. My meals are quite often chicken, chili (lots of it) and vegetables. As snacks and straight after a workout I eat fruit - bananas and apples.”

 The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and over 100 countries will take part in The World Games.

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