Running a multimillion-dollar sports property, ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong already has a lot on his plate in his day-to-day life.
But despite being so busy, the Thai-Japanese executive never turned his back on his first love and continued to hone his martial arts craft.
Just last week, Chatri Sityodtong shared on his official Facebook account that he was awarded a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu via the Renzo Gracie Academy, proving that it's never too late to pursue one's passion.
“By my rough calculation, I have spent at least 2,400 hours on the mats (if not more). It has been a long journey with many ups and downs (and injuries), but I would not change any of it,” he wrote in his Facebook post.
“I have been submitted more times than I can remember. I have gone home discouraged more times than I care to admit. I have wanted to give up more times than I can count. For sure, I am not the most talented jiu-jitsu student, but my love for the gentle art is unbreakable.”
It has been a long and winding road for Chatri Sityodtong
Chatri Sityodtong started his Muay Thai training in Bangkok as a young boy and continued to teach the sport to his friends even when he moved to the United States.
He first got into BJJ in 2005 when he joined the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York, reaching blue belt status in 2007 before training exclusively in No Gi for the next decade. It was in 2018 when he wore the Gi anew, determined to claim that black belt in BJJ, and a year after, gained his purple belt.
"Despite my crazy work schedule, I committed myself to training five to six times a week again. It was hard to get back into the gi after so many years without it, but I am now genuinely addicted to it,” he wrote.
And now with a brown belt around his waist, Chatri Sityodtong has reached a level in BJJ where practitioners already have near-flawless techniques and can operate without assistance from their professors.
It's a great achievement, to say the least, but like what Chatri Sityodtong has achieved in ONE Championship, the journey is definitely far from over. The road to that black belt still continues.
“It has not been easy, but it has been a truly extraordinary adventure. Martial arts is what I love. Martial arts is who I am,” he wrote.
ONE Championship returns on Friday, 24 September with ONE: REVOLUTION, live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Christian Lee defends his ONE Lightweight World Title against Ok Rae Yoon in the main event.