“I currently teach boxing and Muay Thai at Onyx MMA. Working here these last three years has been great; everyone feels like family to me.

I’ve actually been doing martial arts for the past 10 years, and I started when I was still in National Service (NS). Three weeks into NS, I fell very sick. I had pneumonia and fell into a coma for three months, and I was hospitalised for a whole year after I woke up. You can see a lot of scars on my body now from the operations I underwent.

Passing my IPPT during NS was tough due to the pain in my ribs from the operations. After I was discharged, I knew that I needed to get back to my previous level of fitness because I didn’t want to grow old sick. That’s when I tried Aikido to work on my cardio. It’s a very gentle form of martial arts which redirects the opponent’s energy and force towards him.

Two years later, I moved on to Muay Thai. I thought that the physical demands was going to push my body that much harder. It took about 10 years for me to fully recover from pneumonia, and it was only recently that I could do physical activities without feeling any pain in my ribs, or at least my threshold for pain has gotten much higher.

One thing martial arts has taught me is the fighter’s spirit. No matter how the odds are stacked against you, never give up.  It also taught me to adapt to situations. Never see life as being unfair to you, but see it as challenging you to become a better version of yourself.” – Hazim, 29