Jakarta. Mixed martial arts legend Royce Gracie believes more Indonesian fighters can make a name for themselves in the sport if they receive the correct guidance.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Famer was in the capital for the grand opening of Tatsujin MMA Indonesia in South Jakarta on Monday (17/07).
Gracie, who witnessed local fighters in action in One Pride, an MMA championship owned by businessman Anindra Ardiansyah Bakrie, argued that Indonesian MMA fighters just need the right methods drilled into them by qualified coaches for them to achieve international success.
"There's no stupid pupil in any terms. A good teacher will create good pupils," Gracie said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday.
"I was just lucky to be taught by good coaches; my father and grandfather. They taught me to be disciplined, follow a healthy diet and learn the correct techniques," he added.
During a training workshop attended by 26 local fighters, Gracie showed some basic MMA techniques, such as punching, kicking and submission. He stopped the session whenever he spotted mistakes by participants to make sure they get it right.
Tatsujin founder Martijn de Jong said the workshop presented by Gracie was an effort to boost the popularity of MMA in Indonesia. The club is open to the public.
"As Gracie said, Indonesia has enormous potential to create good MMA fighters, as long as there are proper coaches. I expect to see Indonesian fighters find glory internationally and locally in the future," de Jong said.
One of participants in the workshop was Adri Kumara, the manager of Indonesian MMA fighter Sunoto, who competes in ONE Championship. Adri said he was impressed with the workshop and that 50-year-old Gracie deserves his legendary status, which was evident from his distinct techniques and attitude.
"The world knows him as an MMA legend and it's well-deserved. At his age, Gracie still has the perfect technique and power. I'll be waiting for him to return here next year," Adri said.