Eduard Folayang, better known inside the martial ring as the ‘Landslide’ is the reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion. Folayang literary fought his way out of poverty to become one of the Philippines most celebrated champions of the world. Despite having a poor start in life, he has had both triumphs and failures in and out of the ONE championship ring. The 33-year old Philippine national has won the hearts of many, and his public speeches have inspired millions to be the best in all aspects of their lives. He is of the opinion that there is something to gain out of every experience, and this thinking has propelled him to the top as one of the finest martial artists of the modern age.
His parents worked various jobs to put him and his siblings through school with the hope that he would become a police officer. However, in the course of his schooling, he would fight to earn money to sustain his family, and that is when he stumbled upon Wushu. His Wushu training helped him get a scholarship to help pay for his college tuition Through sheer determination; he has overcome various setbacks in and out of the ring to become the world champion. Self-improvement is one of the many lessons martial arts has taught him, and the ONE Lightweight World Champion shares the secrets of becoming the best version of ourselves, and it starts with being humble. Here are Eduard Folayang’s tips for continuous self-improvement.
1. Be Willing to Listen
The art of humility is one of the first lessons that trainees undergo when they join a martial arts camp. The coaches ensure that the trainee achieves humility because, without it, they will not handle healthy criticism. During training, you must listen to the healthy criticisms of the coaches, and humility plays a major role. This helps you become better, the more humble you become. You will be able to take notes and improve on your weak areas since the coaches know your strengths and weaknesses. Listening to your teammates and peers will also point out the bad habits you might be developing.
By listening to the criticism of your teachers and teammates, you the areas you need to make improvements. Folayang notes that, through listening, you become a better person, and athlete; your teammates will see it in your performance during training, and you will see it when you face an opponent.
In the modern world where everyone has something to say, listeners are becoming fewer by the day. Humility helps you stay come when your friends, teammates, and coaches offer healthy criticism. You will catch a thing or two about how you can become better, with determination you will get your breakthrough. It took him five years to win the title, and humility helped him weather the dark days when he nearly clinched the title but lost.
2. Be In the Company of People You Can Learn From
The company you keep defines who you are. Folayang teamed up with legendary Philippine Wushu master and coach, Mark Sangiao, and together they are at the helm of the infamous Team Lakay, a stable of some of the best martial artists in Baguio City. The two lead and train with talented individuals competing in every level of combat sports ranging from armatures, professionals, as well as national athletes.
Being a member and a representative of Team Lakay carries with it a sense of pride and, Folayang says that they need to protect it by being the best they can at all times, in the ring and outside. Every member of Team Lakay has to be diverse by being well-versed in various styles, for them to maintain their competitive edge. The team includes athletes with various strengths, such as wrestling and striking. The most important aspect that keeps Team Lakay together is the ability to transfer the skills to other teammates and learn from each other.
Foloyang views this as the true essence of teamwork. Learning and improving as a unit, is the main reason they train together. If you were to watch him in the ring, Foloyang uses various tactics that he has learned from his teammates. The lessons are not bound in the ring only; the teammates offer advice relevant to the modern world outside the ring such as
Honorio Banario, who despite having a bad spell during his career; focused on improving and never gave up. Foloyang recounts learning from Honorio that you are never truly out only if you focus on getting better, there is a chance at redemption.
Kevin Belingon helped him develop laser focus and tremendous discipline. He learns from Belingon’s training sessions. Nothing can distract him to break his concentration when he focuses on training. This sense of discipline has made Folayang one of the greatest martial artists of all time.
Geje Eustaquio helped Folayang to have confidence when going through adversity. No matter the person or things we are fighting, one must remain cool more so, confident in your ability, because there is always a way to move the mountain of adversity. Through his teammates who are also his friends outside the ring, Folayang has become a better person.
However, it is not as straightforward as it seems. Before Foloyang came to be a member of Team Lakay, he had to endure adversity in the hands of people who could not help him progress. It is by deciding to leave such people behind that he started seeing progress in his career and life.
6. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure
Folayang explains that winning is not all there is to competition; losing is also a part of the game. Losing gives you a chance to learn from experience, contemplate, and learn from your mistakes. Folayang competes in a division flooded with contenders hungry for the title. Since he began competing professionally, he has lost many fights, but through sheer dedication throughout his career, he is now the ONE Lightweight World Champion.
Failure and defeat teach that there is always room for improvement, and one take-home point is that things do not always go according to plan, despite how well prepared you are. Whenever you win or lose, you gain invaluable experience. Folayang explains that experience helps us understand that life moves on and we ought not to dwell on failures and successes. We should leave them in the past, learn from each mistake, and improve ourselves to take the win. This has helped him in his martial arts career as well as in life. With experience, we gain confidence to stand firm and face the oncoming uncertainty of the future. Winning is good of course; it helps the athlete understand that they did something right during training and execution in the ring.
His ONE Championship journey feels like a roller coaster with many wins and losses. He pointed out that there were moments when he was close to a title shot but lost the momentum to go on and this cost him dearly. He has climbed the ladder to almost getting the title, only to fall short repeatedly. However, on November 11, 2016, he saw his opportunity and took it against the then reigning champion, Shinya Aoki at ONE: DEFENDING HONOR at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
These tips have enabled Folayang to live in harmony with his teammates and neighbors, by continuously exercising self-improvement, and now he is the ONE Lightweight World Champion. It does not matter if you are an athlete or an ordinary citizen looking for meaning and self-improvement, you will need to apply the tips above, and they have helped many martial arts and ordinary citizens to become the best version of themselves. He is up against ONE Featherweight Champion of the World, Martin Nguyen in Manila, Philippines at the ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD, on November 10, 2017. Do not miss it