Joanna Jędrzejczyk is a Polish Muay-thai master and MMA ( Mixed Martial Artist) fighter signed with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).
This former UFC Strawweight World Champion carries many records but is also actively working on her charity for children, her second biography, and HBO is about to release a documentary about her that’s been 4 years in the making.
Besides being one of the biggest fighters in the world, Joanna loves to wear and support La Michaux.
We’re obsessed with the UFC, so it’s a great honor to see Joanna wearing our bikinis.
Joanna’s most marketable feature is not only her crisp striking, but her personality as well. Let’s tune in for an empowering talk with “ 5 Minutes with La Michaux” and get some golden advice from this champ.
I’m very excited that we could do this! If I’m not mistaken, you’re currently in Poland. How is it to be back home?
It’s my pleasure talking to you and it's such a great idea to interview strong women.
Yes, I’m currently in Poland and I divide my days between the United States and Poland. I moved to the United States in 2016 and there was one year I spend 7 months in the US but I love my life in Poland so much.
Back in the days, Poland had to go through so many things but I feel that we’re a very strong community and country. I’m super proud of my country, where I was born and raised, and the white and red flag color.
I’m as well a family person, you know, you can travel to the Maldives, New Zealand, Peru, but the people around you make the place beautiful.
Of course, I love to travel, explore, and meeting new people, but the most beautiful place for me on this earth is just next to my family.
Family is really the most important thing, but I do love the States and being in Poland. I’ll be soon heading back to the States, to start my next camp.
Yeah, I had to think of this quote: “Everyone needs a house to live in, but a supportive family is what builds a home “.
Boxing and Muay Thai is one of my biggest passions, how did you get into the sport?
I was always into the sport since I was a little girl. I have a twin sister, I’m 25 minutes older and I was always more active, more charismatic and I was always full of energy.
However, my parents didn’t push me into the sport, I was trying different sports on my own and in school. My gym teacher did see this ‘fire’ inside of me, but I wasn’t into combat sports at that time.
I thought that I didn’t deserve to ‘be someone or that I didn’t deserve to succeed in something. Of course, that was so wrong, we always have to believe in ourselves!
After that, I started to believe in myself and I find it so important to have a plan and follow that plan. It’s not only about winning or having dreams, it’s all about helping the dreams, helping the luck to bring even more luck.
When I was 13 years old, I joined the pro basketball team, but after a few weeks of training I had some health issues and I felt like it was a sign of God that he was preparing me for what will happen a few years later in my life.
When I was 16 years old, I put on some weight and I started doing Muay-thai to lose a few kilograms and I actually lost 10 kilograms in 3 months.
I noticed during my first training that I really loved it and this was what I wanted to do.
That time I had a plan and I wanted to go to the Polish center of Martial Arts, so I was taking pictures and bought an expensive camera. I was working during the summer holiday and I fell in love with Muay-Thai.
Not because of punching people, but because I love to compete and push myself to the edge. So every time, every training, every step, every exercise, every day, and every year in my life, I want to do more. I always want to be one step ahead.
Also with bruises, the ups and downs, I just want to enjoy life and this who I am right now and this is what helped me to become a successful woman in the sport and business.
"I always want to be one step ahead in life and that's what helped me to become a successful woman in the sport and business." - Joanna
Yes, life works in mysterious ways, I always say it: “ Rejection is God’s protection”, so health issues for you when playing basketball, lead you to be World Champion in Mixed Martial Arts.
What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
We are all fighters, we all have to fight for the first breath since our first second on the planet, so we are all fighters.
I have so much respect for people who are struggling with cancer, or other diseases, or just with life.
My life is good, I train every day and it’s hard to be a professional fighter or better said, a female professional athlete, but life itself is the biggest fight.
Daily life is the biggest challenge, but I’m very proud of being a female fighter and punching like a girl :) .
There’s even a hashtag #punchinglikeagirl or #hitlikeagirl and I’m very proud of it.
Being a fighter means as well being humble, being disciplined, and believing so much in yourself to succeed. Fighting for yourself and for your dreams.
If you’re happy, the people around you’ll be happy as well, it’s contagious.
"Being a fighter means as well being humble, being disciplined, and believing so much in yourself to succeed. Fighting for yourself and for your dreams." - Joanna
Wauw, “ we are all fighters”, that’s SO powerful, thank you!
Which team are you training with in preparation for your next fight? What do you like so much about working with this team?
In 2015, I moved to American Top Team in Florida and I’m very blessed with them, the owner, the coaches, teammates,… There are so many people training there, so many champions from different organizations and countries. It’s a pleasure and honor to train amongst them.
I always have so much respect for my coaches and teammates, we’re like a family. And you know, when I moved to America, I really noticed that it’s true.. you can become anyone you want to be and it doesn’t matter what your religion is or what type of skin that you’ve.
You can follow your dreams, you can follow your own “ American dream”, it’s all up to you!
It all starts with having dreams, a vision and I always believe in people.
Like I said at the beginning of our conversation, I love people, I love talking to and meeting new people and I love learning from them.
So I’m very blessed with American top team and I feel like they’re gonna be my team forever.
"I always have so much respect for my coaches and teammates, we’re like a family." - Joanna
I love to hear you speak from experience and inspire people. You would be such a good motivational speaker!
Mentality is everything when being a fighter and you are such a confident, humble, and kind soul. Have you always been like that? When do you feel the most confident in your life?
I was always very confident, but I was not assertive enough. People know me from the octagon and from UFC, but I’m actually a very sensitive and emotional person.
Also tough of course, because I’ve had a rough time when I turned 30, personal, business, and sport-wise.
This made me only harder and stronger, so I can come up for myself more and negotiate for myself. I know my norms and values and I don’t allow anybody to cut my wings.
Yes, tough times make tough people, but you can tell that you're very empathic. Which I find a very beautiful personality trait.
What life advice would you give to your younger self at this moment?
Just go for it and believe in yourself! And I would say, J, everything and anything is possible!
What kind of tips & tricks can you give to young girls pursuing a career within MMA?
Just train, keep on training and learning. Be open to everything in life and every day, but especially in Mixed Martial Arts. Open yourself and learn from everybody, don’t burn a bridge.
Like if you’re ‘open’ for it, your enemy can be your best sparring partner.
So train, learn, and most of all… ENJOY!
"Your enemy can be your best sparring partner." - Joanna
How do you like to spend your free time? What makes you happy and gets your mind off of training?
I work a lot, so I love to spend my free time with my family and sisters. I love to cook for them and doing exercises together outside. Biking, roller skating, traveling,… I love to be active.
I also love to read books and like to plan my next steps.
Empowered women, empower women! Which other women inspire you daily and why?
My mom is my biggest inspiration, but as I said before, we all have heroes. I like ‘Wonder Woman’ from Warner Bros for example, but I feel we meet “ Wonder Women” every single day.
It is the lady from the supermarket, the lady from the bus stop, the lady who drives the bus. They are the biggest inspiration for me.
I love as well Rhonda Rousey or Anita Włodarczyk, who’s multiple times Olympian champion from Poland. I have many girls like this.
How does your favorite summer holiday look like? What are your beach essentials? Favorite activities?
I love spending time at the beach, the pool and just being in the water. The place where I live in Poland, the area of my city has only around 200 000 people, so it’s not a big city but we have 11-15 lakes. So I like to spend time around the water.
I have so many summer clothes and La Michaux swimsuits, so I like paddle boarding, etc.
Back in the days, I couldn’t just lie back down in the sun, I always wanted to train but now I love it. So I like to change my bikini 2 or 3 times a day when I go to the beach haha.
Which holiday experience will you never forget? What was so special about it?
I love Thailand and Bali, so many places there I love. I also have my favorite hotel in Miami or maybe even Poland, where it can be cold, but I love it though.
My next place, I want to visit (which I wasn’t able to last year, because of Covid) is Machu Picchu in Peru, where I want to climb and enjoy life for 2-3 weeks.
Also the Maldives, but yeah, still so many places I want to see.
I highly recommend visiting Poland as well, I’m exploring my country more and more and it’s so beautiful.
OMG, we’ve so much in common! I used to go and train Muay Thai in Thailand and I'm now thinking of setting up an office of La Michaux in Bali as well, then you should come and visit :) !
Machu Picchu is on my bucket list for so long, can’t wait to see one of the 7 wonders of the world!
Last, but not least, ready for our Question Roulette?
Beach or Pool? Pool or no Beach, haha I can’t choose! Actually both!
Which design of La Michaux is your favorite? Fierce red bikini
Favorite movie? Man on Fire
Favorite music during training? I love to listen to Adèle when I’m running, I know it’s weird haha.
Favorite podcast? The Joe Rogan podcast
Last message from you to our La Michaux community?
Girls, boys,… go for it! Chase your dreams, everything, and anything is possible. I wish you all the best and don’t let anybody cut your wings.
Believe in yourself and love yourself.
I can’t thank you enough Joanna for taking the time and the insight into your personal and professional life. It was super motivational and you’re not only a champ on the outside, but on the inside as well. I’m very honored to have you supporting La Michaux.
Click the images below to shop Joanna’s favorite La Michaux bikini's: