I like to think about life in terms of happy moments and firsts. I don’t like to think about life…
Warriors And The Circle Of Life
This photo was taken when I was around 13-14 years old before a training session at Sityodtong Gym. Papa Daorung (or P’Tu in Thai) was my first Muay Thai teacher when I was just a kid at Sityodtong Gym in Thailand. He has the most beautiful heart of gold. In those days, he took me under his wing and cared for me like a little brother even though I had nothing to offer. P’Tu taught me the beautiful art of Muay Thai, and many other things about life. And over the years, we went through some of the craziest shit together.
When the circle of life blessed me with the precious opportunity to repay his kindness to me, I was thrilled. P’Tu was the first guy I invited to come teach Muay Thai at EVOLVE when I opened it almost 12 years ago. At the time, he was still living in poverty at Sityodtong Gym, earning around $250 per month with zero life savings. (Today, he earns approximately 30 times that amount every month at EVOLVE, and now has a meaningful nest egg for retirement). Our Grandmaster, Kru Yodtong Senanan, encouraged him to leave Thailand to join me in Singapore for a better future even though P’Tu had never been outside of Thailand in his whole life. A funny story is that we held hands on the plane ride here because he was scared out of his mind. It was his first time on an airplane. To be clear though, P’Tu is a certified badass who can knock you out with either hand. It is crazy to think that we are still together today 35 years later.
We all stand on the shoulders of the great men and women who came before us. Thank you for everything you have done for me throughout the years, P’Tu! WAR PAPA!!! #gratitude #loyalty
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, and other major media. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ONE Championship, Asia’s largest global sports media property in history with a global broadcast to over 1.7 billion potential viewers across 136 countries around the world. Forbes most recently selected Sityodtong as one of Asia’s next generation tycoons. He was also named “Asia’s King of Martial Arts” by the Financial Times and the “3rd Most Powerful Person in Sports in Asia” by FOX Sports. He is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Europe’s top business school. Sityodtong holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.