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How Danny Kingad Escaped A Life On A Dark Path Through Martial Arts

ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semifinalist Danny “The King” Kingad’s all-action performances have made him a hero to millions of Filipinos and a fan favorite around the world.

However, the 23-year-old – who will face Reece “Lightning” McLaren at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on 2 August – looked unlikely to reach such heights as a teenager.

Will Danny "The King" Kingad catch ⚡ in a bottle when he faces Reece McLaren on 2 August for a spot in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix finals?

Will Danny "The King" Kingad catch ⚡ in a bottle when he faces Reece McLaren on 2 August for a spot in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix finals?????: Manila | 2 August | 7PM | 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 Saturday, July 13, 2019

As an 8-year-old, the man from Baguio City started to walk down a dark path that he almost got lost on when he experienced a heartbreaking loss.

“My childhood life was not happy because my father died, and I didn’t know what to do,” he explains.

“Everything was so sudden. He was still strong and playful, but when he went to the hospital, we were shocked to learn that he already had Stage IV cancer.

“It was difficult without him in my life at the time because he was the one who really watched over me. He was my buddy, and we were really close. I followed him wherever he went, and then, he was gone.

“At that age, I felt so alone at home. I didn’t have anyone to wait for – there was no papa to wait for.”

His mother sacrificed a lot to keep the family together, but the trauma of such an unexpected tragedy hit the youngest of her six children particularly hard.

Danny Kingad is determined to share his martial arts gifts to inspire the Philippines ???????? and millions around the ????

Danny "The King" Kingad is determined to share his martial arts gifts to inspire the Philippines ???????? and millions around the ????????: Manila | 2 August | 7PM | 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 Thursday, July 18, 2019

Without the guidance from his father, he tried to fill the void in his life by spending almost all of his time with a bad crew.

The moment he started running with them instead of spending time with his family or focusing on school, his life started to spiral out of control.

“I only came home when I wanted to, and I was always with my friends,” he says.

“It affected my studies. It affected my life in general because we got drunk anytime, anywhere.

“I repeated first grade. Later, I also had to repeat fourth grade because I did not come to school for days.

“We went to town looking for money – that’s what we did when we didn’t come to school. We gathered plastics and sold those. We used the money to buy food, and we used some of it to buy liquor and get drunk.”

Alcohol was only the tip of the iceberg for the gang of truants, as it also caused them to get into confrontations on the street.

How does Danny "The King" Kingad stack up against the other semifinalists in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix?

How does Danny "The King" Kingad stack up against the other semifinalists in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix? ????: Manila | 2 August | 7PM | 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 Wednesday, July 17, 2019

“I got into fights due to petty things,” he admits.

“Liquor is really a common reason for getting into fights. When drinking out with my friends, it was not uncommon for us to get into fights because some of them were easily provoked, and we were all dragged into their battles.

“We would even get into fights with each other at times because of drunkenness.” 

Salvation came not a moment too soon in 2012 when Kingad’s eldest brother, Dante, returned from working in Korea, and helped bring him back to the family. 

Dante was an amateur boxer in their province before he flew overseas to work in a toy factory when Danny was 4, and he kept his passion for martial arts burning by teaching “the sweet science” part-time while he was away. 

Back home, he encouraged his youngest sibling to follow in his footsteps, and it changed his life.

What does "The King" need to do against Reece McLaren to advance to the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix final?

What does Danny "The King" Kingad need to do against Reece McLaren to advance to the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix final?????: Manila | 2 August | 7PM | 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 15, 2019

“When my brother came back, that’s when I was introduced to martial arts,” says “The King.”

“That’s how my life started to change. It taught me to avoid alcohol, bad influences, and vices, and it also taught me self-discipline.

“Martial arts had such a huge impact in my life because it helped me distinguish right from wrong. I learned what is best for myself.”

His new passion led him to Team Lakay, which became his second home, and gave him a set of teammates he calls his brothers.

As part of the collective, he has raced to a 12-1 record in his mixed martial arts career, and now he is riding a rich vein of form that has seen him become one of the most exciting athletes on the global stage for martial arts – all while he has collected the best wins of his career.

A win on 2 August against McLaren will launch him into the biggest match of his career – the World Grand Prix final at ONE: CENTURY 

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Manila | 2 August | 7PM | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneheroes19