I first started learning Muay Thai in Holland nearly 2 decades ago. I then did some more in Thailand and connecting with Chris has inspired me to take it up again. It is a great sport!
What’s your story?
I quit my studies to train and dedicate myself to Muay Thai while still in my teens. I have since been into the art with my heart and soul. I won numerous international contests and gained myself international titles and belts and have now been the owner of my muay thai gym for over 6 years that is based in Singapore. I also own and sustain a muay thai gym in Thailand which supports local children from unprivileged families where they eat sleep, train and learn. Currently my team and I are developing a few more exciting sports projects that I can not wait to share with all.
What excites you most about your industry?
My ‘industry’ is way too often misinterpreted by most. Many see any form of fighting or martial arts as something violent, negative, often unhealthy and something with little to no relation to an actual sport. What I find most exciting is opening my client’s eyes to deeper understanding of muay thai. It an art, with a beautiful cultural, ethical and spiritual background that all fall in love with after their discovery. This is also the reason to why I named my gym – Muay ART Fitness.
What’s your connection to Asia?
This is a very open ended answer. To cut the long story short I would say – religion as I follow both Taoism and Buddhism, spirituality, languages and cultures as I speak Thai, Hokkien, Mandarin and Cantonese and have traveled almost all of Asia and of course my background, both genetic and environmental. I am yet to visit Europe, Australasia and America.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitly, Singapore. A city I am proud to call my home and the flag of the country I am very proud to carry. It is a growing buzzing Asia’s hotspot, but unlike others it is extremely safe, and uncorrupt. On top of that, the government has done everything they possibly could to allow businesses to grow here much better than anywhere else. I don’t know of any other places in the world that allow you to set up and maintain a business so easily.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
There is way too many. I’d rather put it all together : Work super hard, Live a simple life, Never give up and keep your heart strong, Always treat others with respect, Be positive about everything.
Who inspires you?
It may be selfish to say but I inspire myself.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Just at the end of March I organized a series of Muay Boran Seminars across Singapore. I knew little about the art before the Master came down to demonstrate and teach; all I knew is that it was an ancient Thai Martial Art, used in war and an art out of which Muay Thai has emerged. Discovering this new form of art has got me speechless. I feel ashamed that I still do not know much about the ‘big brother’ of Muay Thai but am certain now that Muay Boran is something I will be dedicating myself to long term from now on.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Definitely spend more time studying ( knowledge = power ) , and would avoid some major mistakes I’ve done when I was younger.
How do you unwind?
I try to meditate as often as possible. A few years ago I went to Thailand and became a monk and since then have been addicted to this form of relaxation. Other than that, I am no different to others; I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and girlfriend and of course good quality food.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand, any part of it. I love the food, the culture, the appreciation for Muay Thai there and of course, the beautiful scenery of the country.
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People : Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stepehn R. Covey
How can people connect with you?
Facebook Fan Page : https://www.facebook.com/wongleibiao
Facebook Fan Page : https://www.facebook.com/MuayArtFitness
Website : mafmuaythai.com ( under construction currently )
All contacts can be found on the website other wise email [email protected]
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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