“The Boxing Computer” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex did not become a World Champion on his own.
Along his journey to superstardom, the Thai hero – who will return to action against Samy “AK47” Sana in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix at ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON this Friday, 17 May – has been aided by a team of people who have helped to hone his skills and guide him to greatness.
An old proverb says it takes a village to raise a child, and in Thailand, that applies to a Muay Thai athlete, too.
This ‘village’ is made up of everyone who guides a competitor throughout their life – from mentors who teach them lessons about values, to the coaches that shape their combat skills. Their influence is vital from their first punches on a worn-out bag on an open plot of dirt, to the finely tuned kicks on the pads in an elite gym.
Throughout his career, Yodsanklai has relied on the advice, lessons, and counsel from the people from four foundational pillars of this community to make him one of the most decorated competitors in the history of martial arts.
Without these mentors, the 33-year-old says he would not have become the World Champion who has dominated his competition in kickboxing and Muay Thai for the last decade.
#1 Family Ties
⏱ 90-SECOND REWIND ⏱Yodsanklai's craziest knockout yet! Singapore | 17 May | 7:00PM | Watch on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedragon19
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, April 26, 2019
Family fuels all of Yodsanklai’s efforts inside and outside the gym – and no one has had a bigger impact on his life than his mother.
His mother’s work ethic, spirit, and sacrifice helped the family survive through tough times during his upbringing, and shaped her son’s values – he is dedicated to his craft and providing a secure future for all of his loved ones.
“A lot of fighters in Thailand come from very poor backgrounds and need to support their families, but parents need to help their kids grow up first, so that later on they can better help their families,” he explains.
“If you want your kid to have a future in this sport, you need to raise them to be appreciative and tough, and that is what my mom did for me.”
She is responsible for getting his Muay Thai career started when she took him to his gym and even now, she is always there for “The Hero” when he needs to find solace away from the day-to-day grind of training and competing.
“My mom always supported me and pushed me through the difficult times, telling me to stay focused. She raised me to be very strong, I’m really grateful for everything she’s done for me,” he says.
“My mom taught me that quitting isn’t an option. When times were difficult, she didn’t try to get involved in my career, but instead, she was my emotional rock.”
#2 A Guide In The Gym
ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix quarterfinalist Yodsanklai is ready to ROCK! Singapore | 17 May | 5:00PM | Watch on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Facebook: Prelims LIVE | Twitter: Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedragon19
Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, May 13, 2019
Every student needs a teacher, and Yodsanklai is eternally grateful to the coaches who helped mold him into a legend of “the art of eight limbs.”
From his early days in Nong Bua Lamphu, to his decade at Sit Kru-Ott in Nakhon Ratchasima, and his current seven-year undefeated streak under the Fairtex banner, his trainers have pushed him to improve every day.
They have offered their insight through countless hours of instruction, as well as the wisdom to give essential advice that has nurtured his winning mindset throughout his development as an athlete.
“You need to have a trainer that really loves that fighter, and is willing to put in the time to build them. It is a long and difficult process,” says “The Boxing Computer.”
“They need to take care of the fighter and all of their basic needs like making sure they get enough sleep and are eating properly. You also need someone who is going to go to that next level and act like a parent, too.
“Sometimes the trainer must keep the fighter at the gym, and not let them go out with friends.”
#3 Career Management
Flash????: On 18 May 2018, Yodsanklai made his highly-anticipated ONE debut! This Friday, he enters the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix!Singapore | 17 May | 5:00PM | Watch on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Facebook: Prelims LIVE | Twitter: Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedragon19
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, May 12, 2019
An athlete’s talent and skill can go to waste if their career is not handled in the right way – and that responsibility falls on a manager, or often in Thailand, a gym owner.
Their responsibilities are varied – keeping a competitor motivated, making sure they are matched with the right opponents, and guaranteeing they are fairly rewarded for their achievements.
“The gym owner must be capable of building the fighter. They have to take care of their basic needs and stay firm with promoters,” Yodsanklai explains.
“Managers shouldn’t let their fighters fight someone too big. Getting them the right opportunities, knowing their value, and getting them a purse that matches that is crucial.
“The gym owner must constantly work hard to build their fighter so they can reach their highest peak.”
For Yodsanklai, no man was better at balancing everything than Philip Wong – founder of the world-renowned Fairtex Training Center, and former promoter at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok.
With his help, “The Boxing Computer” got the opportunity to win multiple World Titles, become a world-renowned athlete, and earn enough money to provide for his family.
#4 Looking After Number One
The famed left kicks of Muay Thai legend Yodsanklai return to ONE on 17 May! Singapore | 17 May | 5:00PM | Watch on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedragon19
Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, May 6, 2019
The efforts of everyone in a martial artist’s ‘village’ will come to nothing if the athlete does not dedicate themselves to their craft, and give every ounce of their effort toward their success.
Doing so is the best way to repay everyone who has supported them along the way.
“Overcoming difficulty has taught me to endure. You have to really want it, more than anything else. And you have to think about why you want this. For me, it is to help my family,” Yodsanklai adds.
“I’ve overcome many obstacles to get me to where I am, and I could not have done it alone.”