RIO Olympics swimming gold medalist Joseph Schooling learned a thing or two about Mixed Martial Arts thanks to siblings Christian and Angela Lee.
Schooling was the special guest of the MMA seminar that was spearheaded by the Lee siblings at the Evolve MMA Gym in Far East Square in Singapore on Thursday, November 24. Christian and Angela taught Schooling some basic MMA techniques as the swimming prodigy engaged in a plethora of both striking and grappling drills.
Christian taught Schooling the proper execution of various kicks and punches. ONE Championship Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela shared the trade secrets of her highly-regarded submission skills.
Angela said the athletic Schooling actually had potential as an MMA fighter. Angela, who held up the punch mitts for Schooling, said the 21-year-old Olympian possesses power in both hands.
“Joseph (Schooling) is a strong athlete, which I find very impressive. I know Olympic swimming doesn’t involve anything even remotely near fighting, but he just has that natural power. I was able to feel it while I was holding the pads,” she said.
Schooling is a natural athlete who can easily adapt to any sport according to Angela.
“Joseph is really strong and flexible, his body composition is perfect for martial arts. He’s a natural,” said Angela.
Christian himself reiterated that even though Schooling belongs to a sport with less physical contact, he respects his dedication as an athlete.
“MMA and Olympic swimming are two different sports, but as athletes, I feel we are all the same. We spend tremendous amounts of time and effort to reach our goals. The swimming pool is Joseph’s battlefield just as much as the cage is ours. I tip my hat off to him with respect,” Christian asserted.
Schooling made history at the 2016 Rio Olympics by becoming the first Singaporean to capture a gold medal in the quadrennial multi-sport competition.
He clocked 50.39 seconds in Rio to win the 100-meter butterfly category, beating childhood hero Michael Phelps and making it to Olympic stage in first place.
“He has done so much for Singapore. It’s an honor to share the cage and train with him,” Christian said.
Christian asserted that the Evolve MMA Gym’s doors are always open for Schooling.
“We will always welcome Joseph with open arms. If he decides to train MMA in the future, even for sport or just for fun and fitness. We are here to help him,” Christian said.