Chatri Sityodtong – Life is a fight for your dreams
Chatri Sityodtong,’s idea is one that sparked a revolution in Asia sport, and definitively influenced the way people watch sports.
Chatri Sityodtong, born Chatri Trisiripisal, was born in 1971. The date and month of his birth are unknown as at the time of this documentation. Sityodtong was born and raised in Thailand, known to be of half Thai and half Japanese ethnicity. Growing up in Bangkok, Thailand, Sityodtong was captivated with martial arts, taking up Muay Thai at a young age. He wasn’t naturally gifted for the sport but when he saw Muay Thai, he was completely drawn to its teachings and values. He saw grace and beauty. It was just like magic to him. This was his passion and later down the years this played a crucial role in his life and career. Chatri grew up in an averagely wealthy and loving family. His life only changed for the worst when his parents lost everything they had in the Asian Financial market during its crisis.
His family lost everything and became homeless. Chatri’s father resorted to selling fruit on the streets in Thailand, and later abandoned them. They would survive on 1 meal a day and the future certainly looked bleak for them. Times were hard, but Sityodtong knew that with his father gone, he had to step up and take up the responsibility as provider in the family.
Chatri’s mother suggested, on a whim, that Chatri apply to Harvard Business School, get an MBA and rescue the family. At the time it was just a silly dream with no money and little confidence. Chatri did not have the funds to pay for school fees and living expenses. But against all odds he went. During his 2nd year at Harvard, his mother eventually flew to live with Chatri in his tiny single dorm room as she had nowhere else to go. The only thing Sityodtong had was his Martial Arts training, the discipline and focus and the desire for continuous self-improvement an unbreakable willpower to conquer adversity. He harnessed the warrior spirit that Kru Yodtong had instilled in him years earlier. No matter how exhausted he was and no matter how much he wanted to quit at times, Chatri fought for his loved ones and for a better future. During his college years he taught Muay Thai, delivered Chinese food, walked and ran instead of taking public transport and survived on US$4 a day. Ciatri was determined to make a go of it. And the rest is history.
A turning point for Shatri Sityodtong
Despite the struggles, He managed to graduate with a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, United States and obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1999. His early business career started while in School. In order to afford to stay at Harvard by all means, where he was pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration , Chatri got out bank loans and started out where he taught “Muay Thai” , the Thai martial art that is likened to kickboxing. Simultaneously staying on course with his studies at Harvard business school, with teaching Muay Thai, Chatri also found the opportunity to launch a start-up venture with a fellow student. Their business was the software start-up called “Next Door Solutions”. Upon graduation he continued to run the company and his business partner moved to California and secured $38m worth of investment.
Some few years later they sold the company for an undisclosed amount. While Chatri says he didn’t pocket “enough to retire on”, it was his “first taste of escaping poverty”. After Next Door Solutions, he decided on a complete change, and moved to New York to pursue a career on Wall Street. He was always fascinated by the complexity and technicalities of the stock markets, and wanted to learn about the world of global financial market.
Working for two large investment funds, Chatri was lucky that in 2005 he got some support to launch his own business. His business Izara Capital Management looked after $500m of investments.
Today, Chatri Sityodtong is a world renowned self-made multimillionaire, Martial artist, entrepreneur and owns stakes in sports, real estate, technology, retail and media. Sityodtong is also the owner, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ONE CHAMPIONSHIP; Asia’s largest sports media property with a global broadcast to over 1 billion homes in 118+ countries of the world. He has been awarded with over 7 national awards and regarded as Asia’s 3rd most powerful person in Sports.
Despite the many obstacles, how poor his family had become or how he was abandoned by his father, Chatri Sityodtong never let his guard down. He was never knocked down by life’s troubles. He stood on his feet till he made it! From the countless hours of training under his master, Kru Yodtong, Chatri imbibed an unbreakable warrior spirit, a steadfast determination to conquer all obstacles and to achieve anything in life. This very spirit enabled him to overcome failure, rise above circumstances, and defy odds. Above all, it gave him the ability to get back up on his feet every time he fell down in life. Martial arts also taught him humility, courage, discipline, work ethic, integrity, loyalty, and so much more. This is a lifetime worth living and learning from.
Though the allure of MMA in a safe and competitive environment has drawn fans from all over the world, its popularity in Asia can be credited to Sityodtong and his work in taking ONE from being a promising, young upstart to a multi-billion dollar property in a span of just five years.
What drive his in the face of adversity is to change the world of inequality He still trains martial arts to this day.