Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio has reached the top of the mixed martial arts world, and now he wants to help others achieve the same.
Before he became one of the stars of ONE Championship, the Baguio City native trained to be a teacher.
He graduated from the University of Cordilleras with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education – and later a Master’s Degree in Physical Education – so he was expected to pursue a career in that field.
Expect Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio to go ALL OUT in his ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix alternate bout against ultra-tough Japanese warrior Yuya Wakamatsu!????: Manila | 2 August | 5PM | ONE: DAWN OF HEROES????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/oneheroes19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, July 22, 2019
However, after a year in his ‘traditional’ job, which is what his mother and father wanted him to do, he decided he wanted to follow his other passion, instead.
“I was pushed by my parents to apply what I had learned, and I did,” he says.
“After that one year, I came to a reflection that I love teaching, but I also love martial arts. At the end of the day, I needed to manage my time wisely.
“Now that I am still young and strong, I can do both, but I need to find a balance. While I’m at the right age, I need to do martial arts first because I will not be able to do this at the level that I want to when I’m 40 or older, but I can still teach then.”
While he trained to be one of the world’s best under the tutelage of Team Lakay’s Mark Sangiao, Eustaquio realized he could combine his two passions by instructing a new breed of athletes.
“Gravity” asked his head coach if he could teach at the gym, and his help was gratefully received.
Even though the Filipino warrior’s pursuit of gold in ONE required a lot of focus, he was driven to devote some of his time to anyone who wanted to learn new skills.
The way he sees it, martial arts can change lives – especially among those in the community who come from a background of poverty.
Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio's road to redemption must go through the young and hungry Yuya Wakamatsu on 2 August! Who you got? ????: Manila | 2 August | 5PM | ONE: DAWN OF HEROES????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/oneheroes19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, July 21, 2019
“All of us started from nothing, and we have to keep it as a cycle, so that there will be others who can become like us,” he says.
“They will prove to the world that impossible is nothing. In spite of everything, despite poverty, and no matter what their story is, at the end of the day, you will be the one who will decide your fate and your future.
“This is what we want to do – that’s the vision that I learned from Coach Mark, and I hope that the next generation will continue it too.”
While the diverse stories and backgrounds of his students can be challenging, he finds satisfaction in seeing them improve and reach new heights.
Among the next generation of athletes he has taught, and exemplify his vision, are ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semifinalist Danny “The King” Kingad – who will also compete on 2 August at The Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines – and ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio.
Eustaquio admits he could not tell they were destined for greatness when they first arrived in the gym. However, when he saw how they applied themselves in practice and took heed of what they were taught, their potential became clear.
“After spending a year with them, that’s when you see their potential to be World Champions –because of their attitude, how they think, and how they perform,” he explains.
“As we say in Team Lakay, ‘Champions are not born, they are made.’ We don’t believe that when you go in the gym and show that you are very skilled, you are automatically going to be a World Champion. We always look for the attitude, because the attitude really makes the champion.”
Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio will need his full wushu arsenal against knockout artist Yuya Wakamatsu on 2 August! ????: Manila | 2 August | 5PM | ONE: DAWN OF HEROES????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/oneheroes19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, July 19, 2019
Above his enjoyment and the creation of elite athletes, Eustaquio is driven to pass on his knowledge to educate people about the values of martial arts.
The way he sees it, the more people who embrace a life of discipline, honor, and respect, the better.
“I have walked in these shoes, I have experienced it, and I think the community needs it,” he adds.
“It’s not all about education – I believe that if everyone has these martial arts values within them, this world would be a much better place to live in.”
One of the keys to his success as an instructor is through his methods – honed through his own experiences as a student, his education at university, and the time he spent at the head of the classroom.
Everything he has been through has helped him create his own brand of teaching to give everyone who steps on his mats the chance to absorb life-changing knowledge.
“I’m not a strict type of teacher, I’m actually quite democratic,” he explains.
“The way I teach, as much as possible, I make sure that my students enjoyed my class, and they walk out of the classroom with something on their mind or experienced something from me. That’s the ultimate goal for me as a teacher.”