BAGUIO CITY – Team Lakay, one of the top producers of international mixed martial artists, is molding the next batch of stars through the “Future Champion Kids Training” program.
“Team Lakay’s legacy continues to unfold as we embark on an ambitious journey to seek and sculpt the next generation of world-class fighters,” Lakay coach Mark Sangiao said in a news release on Friday.
The program will be held at the Team Lakay mixed martial arts (MMA) gym in La Trinidad, Benguet, where Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, and Honorio “The Rock” Banario started.
Most of Team Lakay’s members are Cordillerans.
“By investing in the grassroots, we are sowing the seeds for a future crop of world-class athletes who might, one day, carry the torch and bring glory to their nation,” said Sangiao, himself a former MMA champion.
Sangiao said the training is anchored not just on creating fighters and champions inside the ring but to also instill discipline, respect, and resilience among children.
To date, there are 15 youth, aged 9 to 12 years old, who are enrolled in the free training program.
In an interview by the Philippine News Agency, Sangiao said the rigorous training focuses on MMA, boxing, and an array of martial arts skills.
“What makes this initiative stand out is the unique foundation upon which it is built. Every enrolled child, without prior knowledge or experience in martial arts, enters the program on an equal footing, creating a level playing field for all. This approach underscores Team Lakay's belief in raw talent and untapped potential waiting to be harnessed,” Sangiao said.
He said the 15 participants undergo a monthly assessment to gauge their progress and are required to continue with their studies since it teaches them time management and discipline.
“Through these evaluations, trainers can track the development of each child, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and areas that require more attention,” he added. (PNA)