From punk to humble fighter

From punk to humble fighter

SINGAPORE - Juan Wen Jie picked up muay thai and martial arts at the age of 23, when he was still serving National Service, after he and a few friends watched Ultimate Fighting Championship matches online.

Five of them joined a gym together. Five months later, he was the only one still at it.

"I think everyone else realised that fight sport isn't that easy... You have to dedicate most of your time to training," he told The New Paper.

He has never had a problem choosing between family, friends and fighting - fighting has almost always won.

But that's probably because there's an inner fighter in him anyway.

Juan admitted that he used to be "pretty rebellious".

It could have something to do with the fact that at the age of 13, he and a group of secondary school mates were beaten up by eight gangster types at Tiong Bahru Plaza's underground car park.

"They punched me, hit my face, kicked me, and someone held a knife in front of me to make sure I didn't struggle," he said.

"Eventually, they extorted money from us and took my ez-link card, so I had to walk home."

It was then that he made a promise to himself. He said: "I told myself never to be pushed around again and to fight for my rights."

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