If you’ve been learning your chops and roundhouse kicks from good old Bruce Lee movies, stop. Go online and get a proper training session from Evolve MMA’s online university.
Launched in March this year, Evolve University is a martial arts website that has attracted students from Finland, US, Australia and Asia. The online martial arts school leverages on its easy accessibility, delivered with the same comprehensive and details of the physical training schools.
The website provides detailed tutorial videos that are updated daily and a core curriculum for martial arts students to follow from the comforts of their home. Though sample videos are available, the full list of online tutorials require either a S$19.95 monthly or S$199.95 yearly subscription. Subscribing gives you full access to all the training videos and teaching aids listed on the website. An annual subscription also gives a seven day unlimited training pass at the Evolve MMA academy in Singapore.
Evolve University is the online extension of the Evolve MMA sports academy, founded by Harvard business graduate Chatri Sityodtong. In 2009, the Singapore-based mixed martial arts school opened its doors to students, attracting a 70 to 30 per cent ratio for male and female students. To date, the school’s youngest learner is merely six years old while the eldest is at a ripe age of 71.
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Sityodtong, who has 25 years of martial arts experience and is well-versed in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, explained how Evolve University left no stone unturned to make the learning experience as immersive as possible. This includes amazing graphic work, voice overs and high production value for its instructional videos. “Everything is world-class, I like to think that we have cracked the code for online learning for martial arts,” said Sityodtong.
Sityodtong assured Stuff that the online martial arts university takes every necessary precaution to ensure the safety of its learners. “It doesn't get any safer than learning from the world's best,” said Sityodtong of the 51 instructors, some of whom are world champions in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing.
But like all sports, Sityodtong highlights that rare accidents might occur when students practice martial arts, even under the guidance of their trained instructors. “This is why we spend a lot of time to produce safety videos, from beginners to elite professionals levels, to reduce the chances of injury,” he said.
Social kung fu
Creating a comprehensive website is just an extension of what Evolve MMA has been doing on the digital realm. To date, the school’s social networks reach out to a global audience, with over 81,000 fans on Facebook, over 11,000 followers on Twitter and 4,800 subscribers to its YouTube channel.
Though Evolve University is currently built around tutorials, Sityodtong adds that the site will introduce an interactive system for students to exchange pointers with their instructors at a later, unspecified date. The school plans to open an international branch somewhere in Asia, but its founder is tight-lipped about the exact location where Evolve MMA will anchor itself to dominate the mixed martial arts world.