People love a success story. They simply love to hear about it for different reasons. One is because it inspires them and motivates them to do well for themselves. The success story is something that they could emulate and follow. Others might feel challenged by that same success story. It will serve as fuel for them to work harder to reach their own goals. And still, others love to hear about people who persevere and eventually realise all their dreams.
One such success story is that of YOKKAO. If you are a fan of combat sports or martial arts, the name YOKKAO needs no introduction. It is among the leading brands in the industry and is still growing. The company is making its way to the top and is blazing a new trail as it does so. YOKKAO is proving to be more than just another name in the market with its impact and innovation.
What makes YOKKAO so unique in the world of combat sports? What allows it to innovate while continuing to affect every aspect of the fight industry and Muay Thai in particular?
The answer lies in the passion that is burning within a single individual. That individual has managed to gather that burning passion within him and channel it into something that has affected countless others in positive ways. But that is the way that Phipi Villa, the man behind YOKKAO’s success story, has always wanted it.
Philip Villa and his introduction to Muay Thai
Long before he started YOKKAO, Villa has always been an intense and driven person. He hails from northern Italy, where as a child, he discovered combat sports. He fell in love with it, as he found it to be both fascinating and practical. Villa related that it came naturally to him. He came from a place where one needed to know how to fight to survive. So it follows that he was attracted to combat sports in general and Muay Thai in particular from such a young age.
According to Villa, he was encouraged by his mother to take up combat sports as a means of getting himself out of trouble. He thus got into martial arts and eventually turned to Muay Thai. In Muay Thai, Villa found something more than to keep him out of trouble. He became so engrossed in the art of eight limbs that it became something of an obsession for him. To say that he fell in love with the art would be an understatement.
As he progressed in Muay Thai, Villa felt that he needed more than what Italy or even Europe could give him. He knew in his heart that he needed to go right to the source of Muay Thai itself, Thailand. There he would be able to immerse himself not just in the sport, but also in the culture that produced such a beautiful yet deadly martial art. So he relocated to Thailand to get even deeper into Muay Thai and what made it what it is.
Once in Thailand, Villa knew that he has found his calling. He went straight to training and fighting, and that was what he did for the next few years. However, he eventually found the potential for growth in the fight geat industry. He saw an opportunity and he wanted to grab it firmly before it slips away. Aside from the chance to impact the fight gear industry, he also saw it as a chance to promote Muay Thai and make it more known to the world. Villa felt that the art deserves a much wider audience and that people from all over the world would love it once they learn about Muay Thai.
YOKKAO begins and starts to rise
Philip Villa founded YOKKAO in 2010. Right from the start, he did not intend it to be just like any other Muay Thai company. There are already too many of those in existence. What Philip wanted was something unique, not just in Muay Thai but in the whole fight gear industry. What he wanted was something that transcends combat and goes beyond. His firm belief is that it should evolve into something that caters to people’s lifestyles, more than anything.
YOKKAO started by rolling out a Muay Thai shorts collection but quickly expanded its line-up of products from there. They have since included hosting events and conducting seminars, among many other things, to their line-up of activities. The brand is actively trying to offer every aspect of Muay Thai to the world and not just to those who live or train in Thailand.
White Jade: Helping overcome challenges
Choosing the name YOKKAO was no accident. Villa selected the name for very specific reasons. The literal translation of YOKKAO in Thai is White Jade. Its meaning is a little deeper since the stone is usually carried when a person wants to strengthen friendships or forge stronger connections with other people. It is said to help overcome challenges and make everything easier. White Jade can also influence one’s mind and make it calmer. Villa nailed the name because YOKKAO has been about overcoming challenges and helping connect people from the very start.
Looking towards the future
So what does the future hold for Villa and YOKKAO? This is a valid question as the brand looks to broaden its horizons even more. The brand would no doubt want to be an even major player in all combat sports and not just in Muay Thai. That means more collections, events, seminars, and new ventures that are still to come.
The future of YOKKAO seems brighter than ever and Villa knows it only too well. Going beyond the production of the best fight gear in the industry, the brand is looking at going even deeper into the lifestyle and streetwear industry. Again, it is a daunting task, but Villa welcomes the challenge. After all, he has been into combat sports for most of his life and his inner drive has never been stronger. His competitiveness shines through and is embodied in his brand. YOKKAO continues to be a true success story that is driven by intense passion.
Pratham Singh is founder of E-Plug Media.
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