MMA fighter: My dad put me into sack when I was just seven-years-old

  • Karpal’s faithful aide until the end – Bernama
    Karpal’s faithful aide until the end – Bernama

    The name Michael Cornelius Selvam Vellu may not be as famous as the man he was serving – renowned lawyer Karpal Singh – but his sacrifice will remain in the annals of Malaysian history for his devotion to his boss. It would be suffice to say that Michael was literally the man behind Karpal, since the 39-year-old, would push his boss around in... …

  • Johor quarantines 64 villagers after first MERS death, says report
    Johor quarantines 64 villagers after first MERS death, says report

    Malaysia has quarantined 64 people in a southern village after one of its residents become the country's first person to die of a respiratory illness that is spreading from the Middle East, local media reported today. At least 71 people have died from the so-called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, out of more than 200 infections in... …

  • Water theft cost us RM1.6 billion a year, says body – Bernama
    Water theft cost us RM1.6 billion a year, says body – Bernama

    Water from leaking pipes and water theft, collectively known as “non-revenue water” (NRW), accounted for major losses amounting to RM1.6 billion a year throughout the country. Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (Awer) president S. Piarapakaran said the loss of treated water before it reached consumers because of leaks in old... …

  • Above all, Karpal was a great father
    Above all, Karpal was a great father

    For as long as I have been aware of this thing called “politics,” I have been aware of Karpal Singh. As a boy, my image of him was often humorous, based as they were on classic Lat cartoons. A particular favourite has Mr Karpal looking gigantic in full court regalia holding aloft a coconut scrapper with one superhuman hand while pointing... …

  • Muslims not encouraged to use ‘RIP’, says National Fatwa Council
    Muslims not encouraged to use ‘RIP’, says National Fatwa Council

    Hours after the death of Karpal Singh, Muslims were told by the National Fatwa Council today they were not encouraged to use the phrase “Rest in Peace" (RIP) to a non-Muslim because the term had Christian connotations. In a statement issued on its website, www.e-fatwa.gov.my, the National Fatwa Council said Muslims could express their... …

  • Amid furore over Karpal jibe, Perkasa distances itself from Zul Noordin
    Amid furore over Karpal jibe, Perkasa distances itself from Zul Noordin

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — The right wing Malay group, Perkasa, has distanced itself from Datuk Zulkifli Noordin, who had earlier tweeted that the passing of veteran DAP politician Karpal Singh was... …

When he was only seven, Eric Kelly's father used to punish him by trapping him in a sack with only a gap near his mouth so he could be fed.

Over two decades later, the 30-year-old professional fighter is no longer angry with his dad. In fact Kelly said he owes his father for pushing him to take up martial arts.

 “My father gave me my passion to learn the many type of fighting disciplines,” the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter told Yahoo! Malaysia.

The Filipino from Baguio City said his childhood was filled with unhappy memories of his father punishing him by beating him and sometimes punching him with bare fists or lashing him belts. The eldest of seven children, Kelly endured this pain and used it to his advantage.

The soft-spoken martial artist explained that his childhood experiences motivated him to learn different types of martial arts and offered him the opportunity to make something of himself.

 “I started training in the gym and learned boxing and wushu, all to help me release tension and stress.  I never retaliated when my dad hit me, because at the end of the day, he is still my father.  I totally love him and I reversed that anger,” this Southeast Asian Games medallist said. 

Besides boxing and wushu, Kelly is also proficient in acrobatic Yaw-Yan kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu.

 

The father of three made his MMA debut in 2009 by defeating Filipino fighter Robert Buminaag with a rear-naked choke at Universal Reality Combat Championship 14.  Today, Kelly's father watches videos of his son's fights, and proudly shares the experience with his friends.

 His colleague and expert in unorthodox Chinese Kung Fu, Peter Davis, also shared the many advantages he got from martial arts training. 

He took up the discipline after facing personal problems and professional trouble during the Asian financial crisis.

 As a sporty and lanky teenager, Davis was always interested in physical activities, beginning with mountain biking.  When he was 20, he trained in Chinese Kung Fu or Wuji Chuan and was also discovered as a movie talent.

Davis, who has done modelling and teaches MMA in Kuala Lumpur, was cast in the role of Eric Tan in the 2008 movie, Sell Out!.

“MMA helps you gain more self-confidence and teaches you how to be reasonably safe in situation X or Z,” he said.  Davis, who was born in Shoreham-by-Sea and grew up in Brighton, made his MMA debut in 2004 when he knocked out well-known Japanese fighter Masaya Doi. 

Davis went into professional fighting as a way of teaching his students the right skills and values,

“It's to show them that I know what I am doing. I've always believed in the practical side of things.”

 The 31-year-old father of one developed his own fighting style over the years, a skill that takes time to master.

“You have to find your own style, either through fights or sparring with good fighters so you can improve yourself.”

Davis and Kelly agreed that they would want their own sons to take up MMA. “My sons love it, they love sparring with me,” said Kelly, while Davis added that MMA was 'everything positive' except for a few scars. 

Their health tips include eating brown pasta, brown rice and oats as well as exercising at any time even while watching television. Kelly revealed that his secret to a strong physique was to eat beef regularly as it was a good source of protein.

 Both fighters are passionate about MMA and will be featured in ONE Fighting Championship's tournament in Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil next month.  The event will see a Featherweight World Championship title fight between Kelly and Honorio Banario. This is Kelly's first fight in Malaysia. 

Davis, who is also UK's Cage Fighting Championship winner, will take on Indonesia's Leo Krishna.  Both fighters are signed under ONE FC, and will be representing their home country in the event.  Fights will take place in a 2.8 metre-high cage, with a surface area of 71 square metres. 

Davis promised to 'light up the stadium' and offer 'nothing else but the best' for audiences, while Kelly said he would give a good and exciting fight.

 MMA is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of grappling and striking techniques, while standing or on the ground.  These techniques are derived from other combat sports.  For more information on ONE FC's upcoming tournament, please check out http://www.onefc.com. 

 

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • My dad was in KL to see me, says Gobind The Malaysian Insider
    My dad was in KL to see me, says Gobind

    Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh, who died in an accident early this morning, was in Kuala Lumpur to visit his son Gobind Singh Deo who was ill. A distraught Gobind said he was informed of the accident at 2.15am today, and he and his wife rushed to the scene where he saw his father's mangled car and his father's body. "My brother Ramkarpal was... …

  • Langkawi BN MP pokes fun at Karpal Singh’s remains The Malaysian Insider
    Langkawi BN MP pokes fun at Karpal Singh’s remains

    As the nation mourns the passing of a great politician, BN MP Datuk Nawawi Ahmad insulted the late Karpal Singh by posting a picture of the veteran politician's blood-smeared face as he lay in his Toyota Alphard following a tragic accident this morning. Along with the Facebook picture was a newspaper cutting on Karpal being opposed to the... …

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says The Malay Mail Online
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge... …