Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon knows there is a certain magic in Team Lakay.
The Baguio City, Philippines-based team has long been considered one of the top martial arts squads in Southeast Asia. Just last year, four of its members — including him — claimed ONE World Titles.
According to the 31-year-old, he believes it is the sacred bond among the gym members that has propelled the stable to such great heights.
“It’s like being with family if you’re with Team Lakay,” the ONE Bantamweight World Champion says.
“It’s always happy inside and outside the gym. In the team, we consider each other as brothers and sisters, so we treat each other like family.”
Traditional family members show their love for each other through emotional support and words of encouragement, but the members of Team Lakay also express themselves through their actions.
“When it comes to sparring, everyone is serious,” Belingon offers.
It comes as no surprise that the athletes push each other to their limits inside the gym walls, as their blood, sweat, and tears have helped them develop into elite martial artists and World Champions.
However, as committed as they are to their respective goals, they understand the value of injecting fun into their training.
At times, “The Silencer” will even incorporate some moves he picked up from watching movies of Bruce Lee — his childhood martial arts hero.
“It is important to have fun because it builds our team chemistry, which helps us in focusing on our goals together better,” the bantamweight king adds.
Outside the gym walls, the team members also make it a point to hang out with each other.
For instance, some of the Team Lakay representatives ride their mountain bikes on trails together and retreat to the woods.
While that activity may not appeal to some of the athletes, everyone is always willing to share a meal together and help one another out in times of crisis.
“Usually, we go out to restaurants when we’re out of the gym, and we get together when there’s a birthday celebration or other special occasions,” Belingon explains.
“When a teammate’s family is experiencing difficulties, we all pitch in with whatever we can do to help because that’s like our family as well.”
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Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, December 28, 2018
Baguio City is known as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines,” owing to its relatively cold weather in the tropical country. But Team Lakay’s accomplishments have slowly put the northern city on the map as the home of the best Filipino martial artists.
Even though many martial arts fans across the globe recognize Baguio City for Team Lakay, “The Silencer” does not see that as the group’s primary goal.
“We just want to prove that we can compete on the highest level of competition,” Belingon says.
“We train together and we share our ideas with each other, especially when it comes to preparing for upcoming bouts because we all want to win.”
Should he win, “The Silencer” will most certainly thank the gym family who helped him prepare ahead of the trilogy bout at the historic Ryogoku Kokugikan.