The absolute best in martial arts all gathered under one roof last weekend, as ONE Championship hosted the ONE Elite Retreat at the Shangri-La Resort & Spa in Boracay, Philippines.
The promotion’s brightest athletes participated in an eye-opening trip filled with a series of activities and seminars aimed to help develop their respective careers, with speakers including Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, Victor Cui, CEO International of ONE Championship, and Renzo Gracie, martial arts legend and Brazilian jiu-jitsu pioneer.
Following the spectacular ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES in Manila last Friday, 26 January, the athletes hopped on a plane the next morning and flew to the nearby Boracay resort. Upon arrival, the athletes were greeted by a message from Sityodtong, who stressed the significance of the ONE Elite Retreat.
“This exclusive event is pivotal in ONE Championship’s history and is reserved only for the greatest martial artists on the planet. We are gathered here together with the sole purpose of elevating our greatest passion in life, martial arts,” Sityodtong wrote.
Later in the day, the attendees learned first-hand about the organization’s partnership with Global Citizen, the world’s largest social action platform supporting the end of extreme poverty.
Over the course of the retreat, the athletes then attended a variety of key information sessions to learn how they could take their careers to the next level in all aspects of the industry, including social media, sponsorships, and marketing.
In addition to that, ONE’s heroes participated in several activities, which included water sports such as parasailing and jet skiing, a dinner and beach party, and free time to explore everything Boracay had to offer.
The retreat not only provided the athletes with a relaxing getaway to an exotic island destination, but also an opportunity to spend time together, and bond as martial artists outside of a competition setting.
As a result, that led to some very powerful memories being made.
For instance, former ONE Lightweight World Champions Eduard “Landslide” Folayang and Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki met face-to-face for the first time since their epic November 2016 clash that shook up the lightweight division.
The Filipino hero also took note of the nourishing aspect of the retreat, which provided athletes an avenue to learn many of their sport’s intricacies outside of the cage.
ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, who attended with her fiancé Bruno Pucci, was grateful to see her fellow athletes outside of the usual environment, and was thankful for the overall experience.
She made it a point to bond with as many martial artists as possible, as well as enjoy all the beautiful scenery that Boracay has to offer.
Geje Eustaquio was also part of a timeless photo taken over the weekend. Merely days after defeating Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov for the ONE Interim Flyweight World Title at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES, the two posed for a picture with their rival and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes.
While they are the only three martial artists to hold ONE Flyweight World Title gold, they have also competed against each other inside the cage. But this weekend, they were not adversaries, but brothers-in-arms.
Overall, it was a very uplifting and positive experience for both the athletes and the ONE staff who attended the event. This retreat is the first of its kind, and it certainly will not be the last.
ONE has already experienced an incredible first month of 2018, which has undoubtedly set the tone for what should be a phenomenal rest of the year.