Interviews

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Ying Wen

Capoeira
Name:
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Born:
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Ying Wen
Gata Mimosa – “Pampered cat”
National University of Singapore
School of Business (Major in Marketing)
NUS Capoeira Club
155 cm
57 kg
25 May 1991
Singapore
Singapore
Capoeira
2 years

 

 

 

 


 

THE PATH TO GREATNESS

A petite sophomore at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Ying Wen’s joy at being a part of the NUS Capoeira Club comes to the fore as she engages in complex action sequences that spell danger for any who cross her path. A fluid martial art that has its origins in Brazil, Capoeira combines elements of dance, music, and acrobatics and is known for its quick, intense moves that require exponents to be quick and agile of mind and body as they execute a series of kicks and spins.

A swift, flowing demonstration highlighted Ying Wen’s growing proficiency at the ancient martial art, one that she demonstrates to great effect at the monthly inter-school sparring sessions that bring together capoeira clubs and associations from tertiary institutions, allowing for healthy competition amongst the student trainees.

When asked what drove the spunky young lady to be a part of the NUS Capoeira Club, Ying Wen replied, “Upon my acceptance into NUS, I sought out many active, athletic programmes to join up with. None of them made me feel as welcomed as I did when I linked up with the capoeira team. The friendships I’ve built here have sustained me through difficult periods, and capoeira as a martial art has helped me grow as a person, teaching me discipline, respect and giving me peace of mind.”

A 2nd year student in the School of Business, Ying Wen dreams of becoming a Marketing Specialist, consultant to the best firms and driving marketing campaigns that will have audiences sitting up and taking notice. A dream set to take flight in 2015 upon her graduation, Ying Wen is grateful to have had discovered capoeira whilst studying, crediting the martial art with bringing her much needed relief in the face of challenges from pursuing her academic degree.

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AhmadAsyraf



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Ahmad Asyraf

Silat

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is about taking the very best of different components of various martial arts styles, and combining it together to counter one’s opponent and to get a victory under one’s belt. So every week, Rebel Fighting Championship will interview individuals from different martial arts to find out more about their martial art, what it teaches them and their future ambitions. Ahmad Asyraf’s eyes light up when he talks about his favourite sport – Silat. Having recently walked away with a Gold medal for Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) in the Silat during the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) games, Asyraf speaks about Silat with renowned passion and enthusiasm. 

Beyond just his recent win for SIM, Asyraf has represented Singapore previously for a total of five years, and even captained the Silat National Team for three of those years. Asyraf breaks it down simply for those who are unsure of what Silat is all about. “Silat is very culture based. Different places practice different styles and it comes from different parts of Indonesia, like Western Java. So different places have different cultures, and different cultures have got different kinds of needs – and that is where they adopt different types of fighting like the Tiger style. The best thing about Silat is that it’s very versatile, so you can find new styles wherever you go.”

After being in the sport for 13 years, like any sportsman, Asyraf felt his passion for Silat waiver, admitting “it isn’t easy, there were ups and downs.” However, his love for the sport ensured he found his way back to training and competing and made the National Team in 2001.




 

THE PATH TO GREATNESS

With every sport, you’re bound to take away some core values and lessons in which you will be able to impart in your every day life. For Asyraf, it’s discipline. “I can actually be quite a joker. However Silat has taught me to be disciplined with certain things, like when things need to be done, it just has to be done, especially when planning for competition.” It never hurts to dream a little, especially when a martial artist talks about fighting professionally. Ambition has brought Asyraf this far and he still harbours belief in his own ability to want to fight professionally one day. “If it’s possible, why not? I’ve been doing it for 13 years and competing for almost 10 years.”

We wish Asyraf and SIM Silat all the best in their upcoming competitions!

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Syafiq “The Slasher”

Weight Class : Lightweight

Determined. That’s probably the best way to describe Syafiq “The Slasher” Samad. If you have any clue about local Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), then this name will definitely ring a bell.

Syafiq is currently pursuing a Diploma in Sports and Exercise Science in Republic Polytechnic, and at the same time, trains at Juggernaut Fight Club and fights professionally in MMA and Boxing.

His journey towards becoming a professional MMA fighter is not as straightforward as it seems. As a young boy, he started out with a dream of becoming a professional soccer player out of his love for the sport but according to Syafiq, “it didn’t turn out well.”

What instead ignited his passion for fighting was through self-defence. Reflecting on an unfortunate slashing incident by 15 Chinese gangsters during his teenage years which left him with scars on his leg and arms, he chanced upon “The Contender Asia”, which is a reality television that follows 16 aspiring Muay Thai fighters who compete in a variety of challenges and fights.

“I wanted to be like them so I started looking for Muay Thai gyms in Singapore and that was when I found Fightworks Asia and met Arvind,” Syafiq describes, full of passion and gratitude.

Arvind Lawani has been a mentor to Syafiq throughout his fighting career. It is no wonder Syafiq describes him fervently, acknowledging that he’s been a “big brother and like a second father to me”. It was also Lawani who convinced Syafiq to join Juggernaut Fight Club when he thought about quitting the sport altogether.

 


 

THE PATH TO GREATNESS

Syafiq started his fighting career with a focus more so in Muay Thai and Boxing. It was Andrew Leone, one of his former coaches at Juggernaut Fight Club, that convinced him to try out MMA and he has never looked back since.

“I only had six weeks to train for my first amateur MMA fight, especially the Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling aspect. I just tried my luck and did it and won in the first round via TKO against a Japanese oppenent. That’ s when I got interested in MMA and wanted to fight professionally.” Syafiq admits gleefully, letting his amiable personality shine through.

He started off his professional MMA career in DARE FC against Donald Tong, which he won via submission. It was then when PXC came calling and offered him a three fight contract. In the PXC ring, Syafiq was up against Wesley Machado, who was on a three-fight unbeaten streak. The odds were definitely stacked against Syafiq but he didn’t let that get to him. Instead he worked hard and studied his opponent to see how he could get the better of him.

“I thought his striking was alright but when I look at his Jiu Jitsu, it was not that good. So that’s when I thought that my gameplan would be to try to get him on the ground and submit him.” Syafiq mentions, with a fire in his eyes, and indeed he did, with Syafiq taking the match against Machado via submission.

However, the road to success never comes easy. Syafiq admits it’s a constant struggle to balance school, training, work and social life but good time management is key to ensuring he copes with every aspect of his busy schedule.

Syafiq gaily admits that besides time management, the biggest challenge for him in the lead up to a fight is his diet, because of his love for his local Malay cuisine and his sweet tooth.

“Usually the diet is really hard for me, especially for the first two weeks. You can’t eat the food you like, and I like to eat Malay food sometimes like Rendang or Nasi Lemak but I can’t,” says Syafiq, with a hint of sadness in his voice.

However like any athelete, he definitely has the bigger picture in mind, knowing that hard work and sacrifice now will lead to greater glory. In the lead up to his fight, he will put in a 30 to 45 minute run, followed by two hours of martial arts training.

“The hardest part is mid week when your body is sore and you think to yourself, I have to go to the gym and your friends are all sitting down and chilling out but that’s when I tell myself I have to go because I have a fight coming up. I’m always thinking of that!” exclaims Syafiq with a certain grit.

So what does a local MMA rising star want to tell any aspiring local fighter who wants to make it to the big stage?

“Just do the hard work and let God do the rest” Syafiq mentions earnestly. “When you work hard, one way or another, something will go your way. If it doesn’t, then just take it as a learning experience.”

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