Lito Adiwang Reflects On His Martial Arts Journey
Lito Adiwang is currently one of the fastest rising martial artists in ONE Championship. After going undefeated in the ONE Warrior Series, the 26 year old made his full ONE debut at ONE: Century, where he stopped Japan’s Senzo Ikeda in the very first round.
Now Adiwang is expected to continue his impressive run, as he faces Pongsiri Mitsatit at ONE: Fire and Fury in front of the Filipino crowd in Manila. Ahead of this match up, the ‘The Thunder Kid’ had a trip down the memory lane.
“I figured that no one in Baguio really made it as a boxer, because if you didn’t have a manager, you didn’t have much of a chance. My coach told me that what I started in boxing would all go to waste if I didn’t move to a different discipline. I thought that my boxing skills would help me get into wushu,” Adiwang told ONE Championship.
“When I was training in a gym, one of the coaches from the University of Baguio scouted me and asked me to try out for their varsity team and offered me a scholarship. It was where all the different competitions started for me.”
With the pressure of balancing his education and life as a martial artist, Adiwang came to a crossroads in his life, where he had to choose between finishing his studies or chasing his martial arts dreams.
“I still do want to earn a degree, but at the time, I decided that this is what I want to do first,” recalled Adiwang.
“When I grow older, I think I could try and earn a degree and maybe teach eventually. However, I wouldn’t be able to compete like this if I were older. I thought then that this was the career I would want to pursue, so I jumped at the opportunity because no matter how it would turn out, I knew that I would not regret it.”
Having chosen the life of an athlete, Adiwang was seeking for a stable that would help him bring out the best in him, and that is exactly what he saw in Team Lakay.
“The thing that stood out for me in Team Lakay is their teamwork. They make it a point to improve each other, and as an athlete, that’s what you need. In my experience, I think it’s one of the things that other teams fall short on. Even if they have all the equipment and resources, some of the athletes focus too much on improving themselves that they no longer help hone their teammates,” Adiwang said.
“At Team Lakay, I saw how they wanted to take each other to the next level, with the more accomplished ones pushing the others so that the whole team’s quality would rise up.”
Now that he has found a home at Team Lakay, Adiwang has set his sights on winning ONE Championship gold.
“My goal right now is to show a better version of myself every time I’m in the Circle, as an athlete, and as a human being. Looking ahead, I do want to claim a world title and compete against the best of the best the world has to offer.”
Lito Adiwang takes on Pongsiri Mitsatit at ONE: Fire And Fury, which goes down on January 31st, at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.