The ONE Championship superstars have achieved a tremendous amount of success in their respective careers, and many of them believe their fathers have played a crucial role in their martial arts journeys.
Aside from providing love and support, their fathers have also shaped these world-class athletes into the kind and noble individuals they have become today.
In celebration of Father’s Day, our heroes recall the impact their dads have made — and continue to make — in their daily lives.
“My dad has given me guidance my whole life.
“I remember before my title fight, my dad showed me his phone. It had a screensaver of me holding the title belt and he said to me, ‘We are not going to stop, we are going to prepare for this, and you will be a World Champion.’ This was at the start of the year way before the title shot [against Shinya Aoki] was even a possibility.
“It’s just amazing because we prepared so hard every day, working for that moment. When it came, we were ready, and I was able to become a World Champion.
“Credit to my dad — he called it. We prepared and never looked back. Because of that, I owe him this World Title. It’s definitely all because of him.”
“He is the most loving and caring father in the world. I believe that he is the reason [why I am] where I am in my life right now and why I was able to grow up to be the person I am today.
“During my down times with Tourette’s, I lacked ambition and I wanted to be a victim. My dad snapped me out of it and reminded me that everyone had their own struggles, and it was up to me to decide if I was going to overcome them.”
“It is Father’s Day, every day, in our family. I always make sure to let my father know how grateful I am. We always go out when given a chance.
“I am proud of my father because I remember no matter how big he was, he kept his cool during the times where he could have fought others. He always kept his composure. He was a role model to us, in taking on life and poverty.
“For me, whether it’s Father’s Day or not, we should always make our fathers feel that we love them and that they are really important to us.”
View this post on Instagram
No luck for this fight, will come back strong for my next fight, thanks everyone who ever support me, appreciate you all. #OneChampionship #sampurimuaythaigym #harrygymwarrior #98group #streetbarbershop_ #kiaraphysio #teamjordanboy???????? #malaysiatopteam #TempurFight #infightstyle #evomania
“My dad’s wish is for me, and my siblings, to do better than him in life. He wants us to be a role model for others and to reach that point, we need to work hard and strive to be the best. We’re lucky because we have a wonderful role model in him.
“It’s funny because, in the beginning, he never wanted me to compete [in Muay Thai]. But now, he just continuously supports me — from making sure I have enough rest to whether I’m training hard enough.
“Dad said that he’d be there for me every step of the way. He doesn’t want me to go it alone or fail, so he ‘walks’ with me. He has taught me so much, and I’m thankful I’ve got such a big role model to look up to.”
“The meaning of Father’s Day for me is to provide appreciation and love to my father, who has raised me into the person I am today.
“My dad constantly reminds me to be a person who always does good for others and to be consistent in whatever I am doing, as well as always being humble in every aspect of my life – from my professional work as a fighter to social interactions with people.
“He has been a great dad, although sometimes he was firm and hard when I was still a child. But if he was not firm and hard, then I wouldn’t have become the man I am right now. If I had to make a wish, I would wish for his corny jokes to stop, or at least reduce a bit.”
“My best memory of my father is learning not by what he tells you, but learning by what I see.
“I see him doing. He is a very positive person and always sees the good in things. I don’t see him complain or act negatively, and he always taught me that rather than just talk about things, it is important to do.
“He is my number one hero and superstar. All the things I do, I try to make my mom and my dad proud because I know they will be happy to see me doing good. I feel the one thing that I can do for them is to make them happy.”
“I found martial arts because of my father. I was following him on his way to work, and he found this gym. We were interested in doing a tryout, and that’s how it started.
“He has always supported me. He never discouraged me. He was with me for every competition. When I first wanted to go to the U.S., [Brazilian] Jiu-Jitsu was just an amateur sport. It was hard to fly [to the U.S.] just for that.
“We were short on money, but we managed to find a way. Without his support, I wouldn’t have won those competitions, and if I didn’t win those competitions, I wouldn’t have been able to move to Singapore and coach at Evolve, and I wouldn’t have gotten married.
“Everything is possible because of him, and I always tell him I am so grateful. Life is a series of choices. He educated me in a way so that I could make good decisions. All these decisions [have led me to] where I am right now. If it wasn’t because of him, I wouldn’t be here right now.”