As a young student in the US, I used to read Black Belt Magazine every month to learn new technique…
The Real Meaning Of Martial Arts
Even though I have been doing Muay Thai since I was a kid in Thailand, I still train almost every day. I also picked up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu over a decade ago. You see, the quest never ends. I am on this beautiful journey of striving to evolve into the best martial artist I can be. A fighter does it for money. A martial artist does it for love.
The biggest misconception about martial arts is that it is about violence. Yes, it teaches you how to kick ass and how to defend yourself in real life. However, self-defense is only the surface of what martial arts teaches. After 35+ years of martial arts, I can tell you that the true essence of martial arts is the journey of continuous self-improvement mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Through the practice of martial arts, we inherit confidence, mental strength, courage, tenacity, work ethic, humility, compassion, integrity, kindness, respect, honor, discipline, and much more.
Friendships born in training are often more real than anything else in life. All the bullshit societal stuff like job titles, social status, education, and bank accounts evaporates on the mats or in the ring. In training, we are all equals. It is a powerful thing to be able to share the extraordinary journey of unleashing our potential together.
Above all though, martial arts empowers us with an unbreakable warrior spirit to conquer adversity in life. No one is perfect and no one is meant to be. We all fall down. We all make mistakes. We all fail. We are all simply on a journey to be the best version of ourselves possible.
You see, I don’t believe that we were put on this Earth just to live an easy, comfortable life. For me, life is not about buying fancy cars or acquiring luxury things or attaining social status. No, I believe that we were put on this Earth to unleash our greatness 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. Martial arts is what I love. Martial arts is who I am. #gratitude
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 2.6 billion potential viewers across 150+ countries around the world. Forbes most recently selected Sityodtong as one of Asia’s next generation tycoons. Sityodtong was also named “Asia’s King of Martial Arts” by the Financial Times and the “2nd Most Powerful Person in Sports in Asia” by FOX Sports. He is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Europe’s top business school. Inducted recently into the Black Belt Hall of Fame, Sityodtong is a Kru in Muay Thai and a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Sityodtong holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.