Chatri Sityodtong marked another significant milestone in his martial arts journey.
On Saturday, 18 September, the ONE Championship Chairman and CEO earned a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) brown belt promotion via the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York. The self-made entrepreneur took to Facebook to share the momentous occasion, describing it as an extensive yet fulfilling experience.
“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,” the post read.
“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.”
The picture attached with the post showed Sityodtong clad in his ONE Championship gi looking overjoyed as BJJ and MMA World Champion Alex Silva tied the belt around his waist.
Sityodtong’s last BJJ promotion came in 2019 when he earned a purple belt from BJJ World Champion and Evolve BJJ coach Leandro “Brodinho” Issa. This latest achievement is yet another feather in the cap for the lifelong martial artist.
He started training in the discipline in 2005 at the Renzo Gracie Academy while he was building his career in New York City. Two years later, the lifelong martial artist received his blue belt just before he relocated to Singapore.
For the next 10 years, he switched gears — testing his grappling knowledge at no-gi. In 2018, he donned the gi once again and re-embarked on a mission to master the more traditional way of the art.
Switching hats from being a role model, martial arts practitioner, and running the show at ONE Championship may seem like a daunting task, but Sityodtong reiterated that he has enjoyed every moment leading up to this occasion.
“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,” Sityodtong said.
The Thai-Japanese entrepreneur also took time to thank a couple of names who have played a pivotal role throughout his journey leading to a brown belt. The list includes professors Rafael Lima, Teco Shinzato, Alex Silva, Leandro Issa, Almiro Barros, Gamal Hassan El Amin, Valdir Rodrigues, Eduardo Novaes, Guli Kozama, Rodrigo Marello, Thales Nakassu, and Martin Hartono.
“Without each of you, I would not be here today,” he said in the Facebook post.
“Each of you gave me a piece of your game and generously shared your love of the gentle art with me. You beat me up and made me suffer, but I am eternally grateful for all of the lessons on and off the mats.”
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.