Interview with Chatri Sityodtong

SG Pro Fight Community recently did an interview with our fearless founder, Chatri Sityodtong! 

SG Pro interviews Chatri Sityodtong!

SG Pro – Fight Community brings to you the first of a series of interviews with the who’s who of the Singapore and Malaysia Mixed Martial Arts scene! For our inaugural interview, We talks to the man behind Evolve MMA, Chatri Sityodtong. First of all a little information on Evolve MMA; Based in Singapore, Evolve MMA is the number one MMA gym in Asia with world-class instructors, state-of-the-art facilities, and one of the largest selections of courses and times. Evolve MMA is the first and only MMA gym in Asia with accreditation from two of the most elite academies globally in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. Evolve is also an official Renzo Gracie Affiliate Academy. Evolve is also the largest overseas branch of the legendary Sityodtong Gym, the most respected Muay Thai gym in Thailand.
SG Pro: Chatri, first of all i would like to thank you for finding time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with SG Pro – Fight Community.
Chatri:  It is my pleasure, guys.
SG Pro: First of all, Chatri, tell us how did the idea of Evolve MMA come about? Did you just suddenly wake up one day and decide, “Hey! I am going to start an MMA gym!”?
Chatri: Martial arts has been my greatest passion in life for as long as I can remember.  I love training, fighting, and teaching. 12 years ago, I wrote my dreams in life on a piece of paper.  One of those dreams was to start a Muay Thai gym one day since I am from Thailand from the Sityodtong Gym.  As you may or may not know, Sityodtong Gym has produced the most World Champions in the history of Muay Thai.  So, as a fighter and instructor from Sityodtong Gym, I have always wanted to spread the beautiful art of Muay Thai.  As fortune would have it, I started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for fun (I am terrible at it, by the way.  But I hold a Blue Belt under Renzo Gracie) to complement my Muay Thai background.  I even competed in a couple BJJ tournaments for fun while also fighting in Muay Thai and MMA.  My passion for martial arts is what inspired me to start Evolve Mixed Martial Arts.  I truly believe in the power of martial arts to change people’s lives in a positive and meaningful way.
SG Pro: No other MMA gyms in Singapore had had the same amount of publicity that Evolve did. Look at the amount of media publicity that Evolve received; Evolve was mentioned on ESPN Sports, Channel NewsAsia, 938live Radio and Class95 Radio. Evolve was also mentioned in the Straits Times, TODAY, My Paper and many other magazines. Do you own a genie or something and she does everything for you?
Chatri: It is better to be lucky than smart as the saying goes!  I can assure you that I am not smart…
SG Pro: It’s no secret that all the media coverage of Evolve MMA has lead to a surge in the interest in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA in Singapore. There are already a couple of MMA gyms in Singapore before the emergence of Evolve MMA, however the level of interest back then wasn’t that huge. So what are your views on the current state of MMA in Singapore?
Chatri: MMA will continue to grow as a sport in Singapore and the rest of the world.  First, it is absolutely fun.  Second, it is a fantastic workout and you can burn over 500 calories an hour doing it.  Third, it is perfect for self-defense.  Clearly, the UFC has had a lot to do with the success of MMA around the world.  The events are always electrifying.  From what I have seen so far, Singapore has a lot of potential talent for MMA!
SG Pro: Evolve MMA is the only MMA gym in Singapore to have the largest pool of world class instructors from the legendary Sityodtong Gym and the Renzo Gracie Academy. How difficult is it for you personally when people question the authenticity of the level of training at Evolve?
Chatri: Hmmm, the good news is that no one has ever questioned the authenticity of the Evolve Instructor Team or the level of training at Evolve.  I’m not sure why anyone would. You can see the bios of the Evolve Instructor Team at www.evolve-mma.com. Evolve has the largest instructor team in Asia with the most experience at over 300 years of elite world-class experience in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and more.  Actually, Evolve is the only MMA gym in the world with multiple World Champions in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  At Evolve Brazil, we have professional fighters who compete in the UFC too.  For example, one of our students in Brazil, Rafael dos Anjos, just lost a very close fight to Tyson Griffin at the UFC.  As for our students in Singapore, Evolve is only 6 months old.  With time, I believe that Evolve Singapore will produce some outstanding students in the future. Every member of the Evolve Instructor Team has learned, trained, and taught at some of the top academies in the world. The talent in Singapore is unbelievable.  I would not be surprised to see a Singaporean on the world stage one day.  Nevertheless, Evolve provides excellent instruction for everyone – from a total beginner to a World Champion.  In fact, some big superstars in Muay Thai, BJJ, and MMA from around the world are planning to come train at Evolve to upgrade their skills in the near future.
SG Pro: What can we expect from Evolve MMA down the road? You have already brought in World Champions and legends like Samart Payakaroon, Rafael “Gordinho” Correa, Mauricio “Tinguinha” Mariano and the list just goes on and on.
Chatri: Well, there are a lot of great things in store for Evolve.  I can’t talk about them right now.  Let’s just say that the best is yet to come.  We have some major – and I mean, major BJJ, Muay Thai, and MMA superstars – that have expressed a desire to come to Evolve to train.  You will have to wait and see!
SG Pro: Obviously, if you talk about Evolve, the name is synonymous with MMA in Singapore. So What are the plans you have for the Evolve brand name?
Chatri: Again, I can’t talk about things just yet.  I don’t mean to be rude, but it is just that Evolve has a lot of things in the pipeline.  Our staff is unbelievable.  They are as passionate about Evolve as I am.  Many of them work all day and night!
SG Pro: I am sure that we can expect alot of other surprises from Evolve. Now let’s talk abit about you, Chatri. We know that you are the man behind Evolve MMA, that you are the one keeping things running and that you fought in over 30 fights across different disciplines (Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and MMA). Tell us more bout yourself and what makes you tick.
Chatri: My greatest passion in life is the martial arts.  I truly believe in how it can change lives for the better.  In fact, this is how I came up with the name, “Evolve” in the first place.  The technical definition of the word evolve is “to undergo continuous change, development, and progress.”  Martial arts can help a person evolve into everything he/she wants to be.  For me, martial arts is about the continuous improvement of the self – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  If you don’t evolve as a person, you wither away.
SG Pro: You’ve rubbed shoulders with some of the best in the business, names like Renzo Gracie, Rafael “Gordinho” Correa, Antonio Braga Neto Teixeira, Samart Payakaroon, the likes. Do you have anything to share with our readers about what you learnt from these World Champions and legends?
Chatri: Yes, I’ve been lucky to have all those guys as good friends and training partners.  Hmmm, what have I learned from them?  The biggest lesson that I have learned from all those legends and World Champions is that their standards of excellence are different from the average person.  They all have the craziest and most intense desire to win.  Their love for the game is unparalleled.  They train 6-8 hours a day, but think about martial arts the rest of the hours of the day.  I love martial arts, but they live it every minute of every day.  The other interesting thing about all these guys is their humility and kindness.  You would think that they would be arrogant or something.  But they are actually all very humble.  Yes, humble…
SG Pro: And now for a little words association, I’ll name someone from Evolve MMA and you will have to describe that person in just seven words or less. Here goes nothing, Kru Yodtong Senanan.
Chatri: THE Greatest Teacher of Muay Thai.
SG Pro: Nuengpichit Sityodtong.
Chatri: Charismatic, Funny, and TECHNICAL.
SG Pro: Yoddecha Sityodtong.
Chatri: Monster KO power.
SG Pro: Daorung Sityodtong.
Chatri: Wisdom, patience, and kindness.
SG Pro: Mitch Chilson.
Chatri: Cardio machine.
SG Pro: Leandro Thomas Issa da Silva.
Chatri:  Flying Triangle.
SG Pro: Renzo Gracie.
Chatri: Original, Fearless, Generous.
SG Pro: Rafael “Gordinho” Correa de Lima.
Chatri:  Friendly, intense, perfectionist.
SG Pro: Antonio Braga Neto Teixeira.
Chatri:  Future legend.
SG Pro: Setsuma Takeda.
Chatri:  Triangle choke.
SG Pro: And last but not least, Chatri Sityodtong.
Chatri:  Still evolving…

SG Pro: That was some pretty interesting words association there. Chatri, what advice would you give to all the aspiring MMA fighters out there in Singapore and Malaysia?
Chatri: Surround yourself with good people – good friends, good training partners, and good teachers.  Never be content.  Keep learning and growing as a martial artist and as a human being.  Keep EVOLVING for the rest of your life!
SG Pro: Any parting words for our readers?
Chatri: I will leave everyone with one of my favorite quotes by Confucius, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”  So dream big.  Love what you do.  Believe in yourself.  And may all of you be blessed with health, happiness, and success.
SG Pro: Thank you for your time, Chatri and we look forward to seeing the evolution of Mixed Martial Arts in Singapore!
*SG Pro – Fight Community would like to thank Chatri for finding time to do this interview with us. Do continuing visiting SG Pro – Fight Community for more MMA goodness!

Evolve Mixed Martial Arts. Achieve Greatness Within.