About Chatri Sityodtong
Greetings from Singapore!
I am lounging by the pool at home under the hot tropical sun as I write this short note. I decided to launch a personal blog to share my thoughts, experiences, and lessons on life, love, entrepreneurship, martial arts, and everything else. I feel truly blessed to live the life of my dreams today because I know that my life could have turned out very differently. I plan to share my failures, mistakes, successes, and lessons so that you can learn from them and also achieve your dreams in life. Hopefully, my blog will inspire you to live your greatest life.
At the lowest point in my life, I survived on $4 a day in poverty when I was living in the US. All of my worldly belongings in life fit into one suitcase. I lived on one meal a day and I worked insane hours just to make ends meet. I walked everywhere because I could not afford the subway, bus, or taxi. I didn’t grow up in poverty as a child in Thailand. In fact, I grew up in a loving, comfortable home. Life only changed when my parents lost everything in the Asian Financial Crisis, and became homeless. Poverty ripped my family apart. My father eventually abandoned the family, leaving us to figure things out by ourselves. Through a combination of luck, perseverance, and determination over many years, I pulled my family out of poverty. Along the way, I earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, helped to put my younger brother through school, provided for my mother financially, and became a self-made entrepreneur. Today, I am living the life of my dreams. I don’t share this story with you to garner sympathy or to brag. I share it with you simply because it is an example of the power of martial arts to change lives.
In the Thai language, my first name (Chatri) means warrior. I was not a warrior when I first started Muay Thai as a kid at Sityodtong Camp in Pattaya, Thailand under the legendary Kru Yodtong Senanan. After years of training, he eventually bestowed upon me the ring name, Yodchatri Sityodtong, or the Extraordinary Warrior. Unfortunately, I did not live up to that mighty name in the ring, but I have always done my best to live up to it outside of the ring. For more than 30 years, I have been involved in martial arts in some form or another – as a student, a fighter, a teacher, and a coach. The biggest misconception about martial arts is that it is about fighting and violence. The true essence of martial arts is the journey of continuous self-improvement mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Through the practice of martial arts, I inherited confidence, mental strength, courage, tenacity, work ethic, humility, respect, discipline, integrity, patience, loyalty, and so much more. Above all, it empowered me with an unbreakable warrior spirit to conquer adversity in life. I truly believe it is one of the greatest platforms to unleash human potential. Martial arts is about unleashing your true greatness as a human being in every area of your life. Without martial arts, I really don’t know what would have happened to me. Martial arts made me a warrior in life.
I don’t believe that we were put on this Earth just to pay bills, buy a big home, and drive a nice car. I believe that we were put on this Earth to unleash our potential so that we may give back to the world more than we receive. Martial arts has the incredible ability to change lives, to turn weakness into strength, to mold fear into courage, and to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. My mission in life is to unleash greatness in the world through the power of martial arts. Through my companies and foundation, I hope to alleviate some of the injustices of poverty and discrimination throughout the world. I strongly believe that all human beings are created equally and that everyone deserves fair, merit-based opportunities to pursue his/her dreams in life.
Whether you are a martial artist or not, I hope that you read my blog and take away the key lessons in life that have helped me to succeed. Together, we can change the world. Together, we can make a positive impact on the lives of others. Together, we can do extraordinary things in life. Here is to unleashing our greatness in life!
With much respect,
Chatri Sityodtong is a self-made entrepreneur and lifelong martial artist from Thailand. His rags-to-riches life story has inspired millions around the world on BBC News, CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, Harvard Business School, Sports Illustrated, and other major media.
He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ONE Championship, Asia’s largest sports media property in history with a global broadcast to over 1 billion potential viewers across 128 countries around the world. Institutional investors of ONE Championship include Sequoia Capital, Temasek Holdings, and Mission Holdings. Forbes recently selected Sityodtong as one of Asia’s next generation tycoons. Sityodtong was also most recently named “Asia’s King of Martial Arts” by Financial Times, and the “Most Powerful Person in Asian MMA” by Forbes, Yahoo! Sports, and International Business Times.
A motivational speaker and guest lecturer, Sityodtong is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, one of the world’s top business schools. He has also been a featured keynote speaker at top global conferences such as Forbes Global CEO Conference, CNBC Asia Business Leaders Awards, Bloomberg ASEAN Business Summit, Milken Institute Asia Summit, INC Conference, Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Connect, All That Matters, RISE Conference, TEDx, Slush, and others. He has also given motivational business talks at Fortune 500 companies such as Citigroup, Bloomberg, Fidelity Investments, Dentsu Aegis, etc as well as at institutions such as Harvard Business School, INSEAD, Singapore Management University, Vienna University of Technology, and others.
Sityodtong plays an active leadership role in the community. He donates a meaningful amount of his time, money, and resources to Boys Town Home (Singapore’s home for orphans and troubled kids), Singapore Children’s Society (an organization focused on helping underprivileged children), and Children’s Cancer Foundation (a charity dedicated to helping children with cancer). He also serves on the Board of Directors of Project Sunshine, one of the largest volunteer organizations in the world dedicated to terminally-ill children with HIV and cancer.
With over 30 years of martial arts experience as a student, a fighter, an instructor, and a coach, Sityodtong is a certified senior Muay Thai instructor under the legendary Kru Yodtong Senanan of the world-renowned Sityodtong Camp in Thailand. He also holds a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Master Renzo Gracie.
Chatri Sityodtong holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.