MANILA, Philippines – Team Lakay’s Mark Sangiao has inspired a lot of people to take up martial arts for fitness or as a livelihood.
So it comes as no surprise that his son, Jhanlo, is treading the same path. (READ: Young stars Pacio, Kingad leading Team Lakay’s New Generation)
“When I was a boy, I always watched my father compete in MMA until I thought to myself, ‘I want to compete as well,'” the 17-year-old said.
Now Jhanlo has taken the first steps in his promising mixed martial arts career, competing in amateur tournaments where he has yet to taste defeat.
Coach Mark is willing to help his 17-year-old son, who trains with Team Lakay after classes at Benguet State University, but he will be the first to say that it will be a challenge for the high school senior.
“As a coach, I always tell him that if he wants to reach something in this sport, then he has to work the same as his teammates. That’s what he is going through right now,” Mark said.
“If he wants to be a champion or if he wants to reach something, he has to go through everything. No special treatment. There is no son here – everyone is treated equally.”
For the second generation martial artist, Jhanlo wants nothing less than the hard route, the same route his “kuyas” Eduard “Landslide” Folayang and Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon had to go through. (READ: Team Lakay confident about return to glory days)
“Right now, it’s all about hard work and being really dedicated to training,” Jhanlo said.
If given the chance, coach Mark hopes to one day see his son with him in ONE Championship.
“In ONE Championship, they treat their athletes right. That’s where I want my son to be if he decides to be a professional mixed martial artist,” he said.
“I saw how they take care of their athletes. For example, Honorio (Banario) lost 5 straight, they still gave him a chance to recover. Compare that to other promotions where a loss or two gets you cut. Here, everyone is given chances to prove themselves,” he added. – Rappler.com
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