SINGAPORE — Singapore-based martial arts academy Evolve Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has launched its Future World Champions Program to identify and nurture top talents.
Athletes who are selected into this program will receive over US$100,000 in scholarship support through free lifetime training at Evolve MMA priority instruction by the world-champion coaches, as well as full sponsorship for tournament expenses and training gear.
They will also enjoy free strength and conditioning training, diet and weight management, individual marketing support, as well as access to the training camps, cryotherapy recovery centre before competitions, and all Evolve guest seminars.
Three Singapore athletes have become the first inductees to the program: Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion and SEA Games gold medallist Constance Lien, SEA Games gold medallist Noah Lim and his brother Paul, who is also a SEA Games bronze medallist.
Lien, 21, is grateful for the the support she has received from people who see the same potential in her as she does herself.
“One thing that I really look out for is how I can fix the little mistakes I have in my game,” she told Yahoo News Singapore. “By being part of this program, it allows me to work with different athletes all around the world to fine-tune my game and make it better in every way, whether it’s top game in passing or bottom game in playing guard.”
While training has been complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lien said the past few months have taught her to take charge of her training by researching exercises to help incorporate specific movements in Brazilian jiu-jitsu into her strength and conditioning training.
“This is really important to still allow your body to drill techniques and movements without actually needing to spar with someone. I’ve been very focused on strength and conditioning so I won’t lose the muscle memory,” she said.
New ideas, new techniques
Likewise, Noah has been thinking of new ideas and trying out random techniques that interest him during this COVID-19 period.
“Brazilian jiu-jitsu requires you to think a lot, and I have taken this opportunity to think about the small details, work on my weaknesses and occasionally try out new ideas and techniques on my friends and siblings,” he said.
The 18-year-old believes that the Future World Champions Program provides a boost financially, and allows him and his brother to focus on training without worrying about the financial burden on their families.
Paul, 22, also believes that the program will help him become a more well-rounded athlete, as he plans to incorporate more martial arts techniques.
“One key component of the program is complimentary access to Evolve MMA seminars from guest international world champions instructors, and that’s something I’m really looking forward to learning a lot from,” he said.
“To succeed in the sport, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athlete has to be analytical because there’s many complex positions to be studied and practised. I will be looking to be a more well-rounded athlete, and I also plan to train more No-Gi to be an all-rounded grappler.”
The Future World Champions program is open to martial arts athletes from muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, No-Gi grappling, wrestling and MMA. Applications are open to all Singaporean residents at Evolve MMA’s website.
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