A Letter of Gratitude

To My Evolve Family:

This is Chatri Sityodtong here today, writing an open letter in our blog.  I am writing this open letter as a small token of my sincere gratitude and appreciation to all Evolve students, instructors, and staff members for allowing me to be a small part of your lives. 

On November 14, 2008, I walked into an empty room with a bare cement floor with my brother warriors from the Sityodtong Gym:  Nuengpichit Sityodtong, Yoddecha Sityodtong, and Daorung Sityodtong.  Together, we labored away day and night to build the ring, to assemble the cage, to lay down the mats, to hang the heavy bags, and to decorate the little place called Evolve.  We had big dreams to make the world a better place - in our small and humble way.  Our dream was to create a place that people could call home and a place where everyone was family.  Our dream was to share our greatest passion in life.  Our dream was to touch lives and to inspire positive change.  Our dream was to make dreams happen for others.

There is a saying in Thailand that when you drop a pebble into a pond, the ripples can be felt all the way to the edge of the pond.  That night, we dropped the little pebble called Evolve into the pond.

Little did we know how big the ripples would become.
Since then, Evolve has grown into a wonderful family of lifelong friends.  Together - students, instructors, and staff - we push each other to become better, we challenge each other to grow, and we inspire each other to be the best that we can be.  We are from all parts of the globe like Brazil, Singapore, Thailand, US, Japan, Korea, UK, Canada, Germany, China, India, Pakistan, Russia, Latvia, Venezuela, Indonesia, Spain, Australia, Hong Kong, and many other countries.  We are dentists, pilots, students, laborers, office managers, doctors, administrative assistants, professional fighters, oil service engineers, advertising executives, cleaners, immigration officers, investment professionals, video game makers, nurses, entrepreneurs, bankers, logistics specialists, CEOs, and so much more.  We are old, young, fit and not-so-fit, and everything in between.  We are all great.  We are all different.  Yet, we are all one.

We are EVOLVE.  

Tonight, when all of you presented me with the surprise birthday cake for Evolve's 1st year anniversary at the Team Evolve BBQ, I was deeply moved.  I was stunned and really didn't know what to say.  When I got home tonight, it made me reflect on this past year and everything that we accomplished together - students, instructors, and staff.  Some of us have lost 20 kilos.  Some of us have inherited confidence and mental strength.  Some of us have gained discipline, focus, and physical prowess.  Some of us got our blue belts in BJJ.  Some of us achieved Level 2 in Muay Thai.  Some of us overcame bad habits like smoking.  Some of us have learned to become warriors.  Through it all, we shared laughter and tears.  We shared the joy of victory and the pain of defeat.  We poured our hearts into Evolve and we all gained different things from Evolve.  Above all though, we gained a wonderful family.

One of our students asked me tonight what I am most proud of when it comes to Evolve.  I didn't even have to think of my reply because I already knew the answer.  Yes, I am proud that Evolve is #1 in Asia.  Yes, I am proud that our Instructor Team is the largest and best in Asia.  Yes, I am proud that Evolve has become one of the top academies in the world.  But truthfully, I am most proud of the fact that Evolve is what we dreamed it to be on November 14, 2008.  Evolve has become that special, wonderful place where everyone is family.  Evolve has become that magical world that inspires people to new heights.  Evolve has become that little home where dreams can and do happen.     

All of you inspire me every day to become the best person that I can be.  I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You have all changed me for the better as a martial artist and as a human being.  Evolve lives in my heart.  I only hope that Evolve has helped you too, in some small way, to become all that you can be in life.  Thank you once again for everything.  I truly mean it.

Here is to helping each other to Achieve Greatness Within! 

With all the love and respect in the world,
Kru Chatri