These four incredible Martial Artists are also shining examples of amazing fathers
- These Four Incredible Martial Artists Are Also Shining Examples of Amazing Fathers.
- These four men have given their children the gift of martial arts, but more importantly have proven to be amazing dads.
Father’s Day comes but once a year, and is a time to celebrate the incredible patriarchs in our lives who have guided us through our toughest challenges. They are the foundation of every family, working tirelessly through day and night to make sure the people they love are happy and safe.
This Father’s Day, let’s honor the men in our lives who embody strength, discipline, and loyalty.
Great fathers provide their children with a feeling of security, both physically and emotionally, but aren’t afraid to let them stumble and fall for them to learn the lessons they need to make it through life.
These four men have given their children the gift of martial arts, but more importantly, they have proven to be amazing dads.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu and taekwondo black belt, Ken Lee, introduced martial arts to his children at a young age because he believes it can help develop them into great fighters, not just in competition, but also in life.
Together with his wife Jewelz -- also a champion martial artist -- they’ve raised four incredible children, including reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, and ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee. Their two youngest children, Adrian and Victoria, are both on their way to following in their footsteps.
Needless to say, martial arts is a family tradition.
“Martial arts has always been a way of life for my family,” said Lee.
But as much as he is the powerful voice in each of his children’s corners whenever they compete, Lee takes pride in being their father first and foremost. Guiding their careers, he says, is only his second priority.
“I will always be their father first and coach second. As a father, the most important thing for me when it comes to my children is their safety and good health, that they are happy and able to live their dreams,” said Lee.
Filipino martial arts icon Mark “The Machine” Sangiao is a well-known pioneer in the Philippines’ local martial arts community. He is a loving father to two boys, and a father-figure to his students in the famed Team Lakay.
Many seek Sangiao out for his wisdom, not just in competing at the highest levels of martial arts, but also for his experience in traversing the hardships of life. The principles he imparts on his two sons, and many young Team Lakay athletes who could very well be considered his children, have helped guide them down the right path.
“As a father, what matters most for me when it comes to my children is providing them what they need,” said Sangiao.
“I’m not just referring to their material or financial needs, but most importantly giving enough attention to their emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being. It is essential that I can provide these to my children because these are the very core of their development and formation as good and responsible people.”
Sangiao has cultivated and developed many world champions, including former titleholders Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario, Geje Eustaquio, and Kevin Belingon, as well as ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio.
While his eldest son Jhanlo has decided to take after his father in becoming a martial artist, Sangiao says he would support his children regardless of their chosen profession.
“I may end up raising a martial artist, a gardener, a businessman, a lawyer -- it doesn’t matter. I will raise them the same way. I will support whatever they want to be in life, and what they want for their future. I just want to raise my children to be good, strong, and responsible people,” said Sangiao.
For two-time former ONE Lightweight World Champion and Team Lakay veteran Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, being a father means imparting his wisdom to his children and helping them become good members of society.
Folayang is a proud father to two young girls and hopes to instill in them the right values and principles.
“I think we have to give our children the right principles to live by. They must be strong in both the body and the mind, but also kind and generous,” said Folayang.
While he will support his children no matter what they decide to do when they get older, Folayang still plans on introducing them to martial arts, which is what helped turn his life around as a young man raised in hardship and poverty.
“Being a father feels great. I do want my children to practice martial arts. It’s a great way of life and will teach them a lot of lessons. I just want them to find their own talents and help make the world a better place,” said Folayang.
Former ONE World Title challenger and ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Finalist Danny “The King” Kingad is relatively new to fatherhood, with his son Gleurdan Adrian becoming his pride and joy after being born just two years ago.
Being a father, Kingad says, is his single greatest purpose, and he vows to do everything in his power to give his son a good life.
“I want to spend every day with my son. It’s important to me to be there for him. I want to help prepare him for the challenges life will bring,” said Kingad.
Kingad grew up a troubled youth who fell into bad company and many vices. It wasn’t until he discovered martial arts that his life gained meaning and direction. He hopes to one day introduce martial arts to Gleurdan when his son is ready.
“Martial arts was a saving grace for me, and I learned a lot from training and competing. I would love for my son to learn the core values that martial arts instilled in me when I was younger. I think it will teach him a lot about respect and honor. But of course, I’m here to support my son in whatever he wants to be in life,” said Kingad.
“What’s important to me is that he learns to be humble and respectful, and most especially strong, to be able to handle tough times. Having a strong mind is the best asset of a martial artist.”Published 20 Jun 2020, 13:41 IST