By George Liu
Taiwan News, Staff Reporter
2014-09-05 11:31 AM
Sung’s interest in martial arts began at a very young age. He constantly badgered his parents to allow him to learn Taekwondo but his parents were afraid he would fight with classmates so he did not come into contact with his first martial art, Taekwondo, until the age of 17. Once Sung started down this marital path he was constantly searching for the strongest fighting style. From Taekwondo he moved on to Karate and his journey added Judo, Sanda, Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jujitsu (BJJ), Wrestling, and Baguazhang to his repertoire of styles. Naturally, Sung would gravitate towards MMA and in 2007 he opened his own training studio.
MMA is a full-contact combat sport that allows the application of a wide range of striking and grappling techniques incorporated from numerous other combat sports and martial arts either in a standing position or on the ground. Victory is usually determined by judges’ decision, referee stoppage, injury, submission, or knockout.
At first, the fledgling Martial Armour MMA studio was just a friend’s rooftop where Sung could practice his own skills. After word of mouth increased the number of students to double-digits, Sung rented a basement for a training space. Two more moves would see Martial Armour in its current permanent location. “Sometimes it was very tough but we worked hard and were lucky sometimes when we found rent that was reasonable,” Sung remarked. After seven years, Martial Armour currently has three locations, one in Hsinchu and two in Taipei, and over 300 members. Martial Armour also invites high-level BJJ instructors to Taiwan annually for training seminars to improve the overall quality of the skills taught in the studio.
Promoting MMA has always been a priority for Sung since few in Taiwan have heard of this sport where its popularity pales in comparison to Taekwondo, Karate, and Judo. In the past seven years, Sung has organized six amateur MMA tournaments in Hsinchu and Taipei named the Shen Wu Cup MMA Championship and he feels this is his greatest contribution to the promotion of MMA in Taiwan. The competition is held in a single elimination format and usually includes five weight classes. Participants include practitioners from a full range of disciplines including kickboxers, karateka, judoka, BBJ fighters, and Taekwondo athletes. Amateur fighters are more comfortable competing at the Shen Wu Cup due to the relative safety imposed by rules such as no strikes to the head while on the ground and no knee and elbow strikes. The 6th Shen Wu Cup MMA Championship just wrapped up at the NTU Judo studio and the 7th championship is scheduled for year’s end.
Sung’s martial arts experience has taught him, “strength does not come from the type of marital art but from one’s training” and competition is a test of his training. The test that the ONE FC cage presents to Sung is formidable and he understands that he may pass or he may fail this test. However, Sung is adamant in his goal of obtaining his doctoral degree which is winning the ONE FC Championship belt.
Many people ask Sung what type of martial artist he wants to be known as. He always replies, a Kung Fu fighter. He strives to be like water, formless, strong, flexible, permeating, and penetrating. Even though Sung’s Baguazhang skills are relatively rudimentary, his greatest wish is to demonstrate the knowledge and art of his Chinese ancestors in the ONE FC cage.
Sung is the first local Taiwanese fighter signed by ONE FC to a multi-fight contract. With a 90%+ market share in Asia, ONE FC is Asia's largest MMA organization. Headquartered in Singapore, the world’s most exciting mixed martial arts organization hosts the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions, all signed to exclusive contracts, on the largest media broadcast in Asia. ONE FC has partnered with FOX and STAR Sports for an unprecedented 10-year cable television deal with a coverage that spans 70+ countries across the world.
Be sure to cheer for Sung and lend your support to this native Taiwan son by watching ONE FC Rise of the Kingdom live on STAR Sports or online via live streaming at www.onefc.livesport.tv. Tickets for the event are on sale now at MyTV and Nagaworld.
Individuals interested in exploring the world of MMA can visit Martial Armour at No. 170 Roosevelt Road, Taipei (02) 2363-1188, No. 11 Shengli Road, Hsinchu (03)525-0390, or the studio’s website at www.shenwu.com.tw.