When discussing MMA with Royston Wee, Singapore’s first and only Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter and current trainer at Impact MMA, one would expect him to wax eloquent on the value of training hard and pushing one’s limits. Instead, as we speak to him at the Impact gym, Royston teaches us about the value of balanced training.
Unlike other gyms which advocate for the hard style of training, wherein “you’ve got to train hard, got to feel like you’re going to puke,” Royston believes in “upgrading the software rather than just the hardware alone.” What this means is that in his classes at Impact MMA, Royston emphasises the value of learning technical skills and training one’s mental endurance.
As a professional fighter, Royston used to buy in to the media’s propagation of the need to constantly be going hard in training. Having started MMA as a 21-year-old, his rapid rise up the ranks took a toll on him initially. As his career progressed and he attended fight camps and participated in more fights, he gradually learnt the value of balance, not just in terms of training but also in having mental and emotional balance. “Through experience I began to learn to take it easy… and fight after fight, I felt more happy,” shares Royston.
In fact, Royston has learnt that happiness is really the key to it all: “When you’re happy, you can train well, sleep well and eat well.” He translates this belief over to his classes at Impact, where his clients range from students, office workers, and even gym trainers who want a taste of MMA. Royston expresses that while the practices of calorie counting and hitting the gym daily may be effectively, they are often unsustainable in the long run. “Life is already stressful, why pay to get even more stressed?”, he laughs.
“At the end of the day, when you come and train, you should feel happy. When you feel like you’re having fun, that’s when you learn the fastest,” Royston says. If anyone should know about this, it’ll be eight-year trainer Royston. But don’t just take his word for it. Head down to Impact to have a taste of MMA for yourself!