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Martial Arts Stars Reveal How Life Will Change After COVID-19

Apr 15, 2020

Though many of ONE Championship’s elite athletes have tried to train and keep things as close to normal as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear these are unique and unprecedented times.

The whole world has been affected by the coronavirus, and it will leave a lasting legacy on the lives of the global population when the worst of the outbreak is finally over.

Here, our martial arts superstars share their thoughts on the future, and how they believe humanity will react in the wake of the pandemic.

Shinya Aoki

Japanese martial arts icon Shinya Aoki celebrates his victory in Tokyo, Japan

“I consider this to be a long war. For example, there is a tendency to switch in-person meetings to video conferences. People will start to realize unnecessary things and seek a more efficient way of living. The number of people who will start to lead their own lifestyle as they genuinely like – regardless of other people’s opinions – will increase.”

Thanh Le

“I think this can go two ways from here. Life could completely return to normal and everyone goes back to their old ways, or this is going to be a learning tool for our leadership on how to handle global disasters, and when and how to handle the spread of deadly diseases.

“Overall, I think it has educated people on how to be more sanitary and how being in overall good health is a huge deal when things like this pop up. It could really change the way people approach their health and will drive people to take better care of themselves.”

Keanu Subba

“It’s scary, man. It proves that you never know what tomorrow is going to be like. There’s been a lot of change in the past month, going from panic buying to not being allowed to go out. I can’t even go see my mom. It’s serious. I hope things get better.

“I don’t even know what’s going to happen. I think we all take it for granted that we can go out every day and do a lot of things that you don’t normally appreciate. When things calm down, I think people will be more grateful for the little things.”

Troy Worthen

Evolve MMA's Troy Worthen steps into the Singapore Indoor Stadium for his bout with Mark Fairtex Abelardo

“In a perfect world, I really hope it makes people realize how good we have it on an everyday basis. People get used to what they have, and they want more. You’re always seeking more, which is not always a bad thing, but it’s good to be happy with what you have. Also, I think for a lot of people, it’s going to be an eye-opening experience.

“Life in Singapore, we have it very well, and we complain about stupid little things, and sometimes we aren’t the nicest to each other. So, hopefully, this opens people’s eyes and makes them realize we have a really good thing here, normally. Hopefully, after this has gone on, we have a more positive outlook as a community here and around the world as well.”

Leandro Ataides

Brazilian martial artist Leandro Ataides makes his return to Jakarta, Indonesia in February 2020

“I think it will change because now, we can see more people are enjoying their lives with their kids. Before, they just went to their jobs, they got busy, and they had no time to talk to their kids or their partner, or exercise, or enjoy nature. Now, people are really paying attention.

“People now are more kind. They pay attention because, at any second, things can change. They can lose someone, and they have to be grateful for the time they have with their family and partner because people forget to spend this time with them. Just simple things – talking, laughing, watching a movie, and to be human, I think people will do that more.”



Amir Khan

Singaporean mixed martial artist Amir Khan is ready for action

“I feel like before the virus happened, we got carried away with all the other factors that don’t really matter – like maybe the way we look or the way we think about what people think of us in society. I feel like those things don’t really matter right now.

“The lesson we can learn is to appreciate what we have. Not only me, but everyone is in a different mindset. It’s like, ‘I can’t believe I was worrying about that small little thing a few months ago when, right now, it doesn’t even matter.’”

Mohammed Bin Mahmoud

“I believe life will be different for everyone directly or indirectly affected by it. I can’t speak on other people’s behalf, but for me, I believe I will be looking at hygiene more importantly. Some people might change temporarily, and that’s okay. At least it’s a start.”

Eko Roni Saputra

“After this pandemic ends, and hopefully soon, I think we will all learn how to maintain our health better. For me, personally, I’ll be more vigilant on cleanliness, particularly because I am an athlete.

“Luckily, we live in an era where technology is advanced, so there are many things that we can do remotely. This situation teaches us to be more efficient, too. I’ll definitely connect with my big family and extended relatives more frequently, particularly because now I live in a different country.”

Aleksi Toivonen

“I can’t predict any of these things. I can only hope that maybe by the time the next pandemic comes around at some point in human history, all nations and people, in general, are maybe a bit more prepared for a situation like this.

 “Also, maybe there have been some effects on the environment – maybe positive effects – and maybe different countries can get something out of it.

“But, like I said, sometimes people and nations overall learn and adapt because of the situations, and sometimes they just double down on what they did before. I’m not one to judge, point fingers, or to give advice to anyone. I’m just focusing on myself.”

Radeem Rahman

“One thing I realized is that we can’t be complacent. We need to be observant about the stuff happening around us. Based on what I’ve seen, people tend to take things for granted. After this happened, nearly everything you read or watch on the news is always about hygiene.

“But some people are still kind of lazy. They just think, ‘Okay, when I go home, then I’ll wash up and I’ll do this stuff.’ So they don’t care, and this is what happened. It spread the virus even more. So, I think now people should start to understand more about personal hygiene and how important it is.

“After this virus is done, people should look back and say, ‘We are not going to get this thing anymore. We are making sure we need to be careful with our surroundings. Like, if you touch the door handle, then you need to clean your hands.’ These are basic things people should do, but we don’t because we have been too complacent.”

Rudy Agustian

Indonesian rising star Rudy Agustian makes his way to the Circle

“There are some positive things we need to keep. More people are aware of the importance of keeping hygiene, doing sports and exercise, sunbathing in the morning, and consuming vitamins and healthy food to improve their immune systems. We need to keep this habit even after the pandemic ends because health is the most valuable thing.”

Read more: ‘Evolve At Home’ Brings Free Online Instruction To The ONE Super App