Christian Lee: “The Warrior’s” Code

Written by Jeff Kunkle, Voice Over by Wombat Jones and Artwork by MonSneakS

Christian Lee Returns at ONE: Warriors of the World

This Friday, ONE plays host to the wonderful people of Thailand when they return for ONE: Warriors of the World. The show is headlined by the strawweight title fight between Yoshitaka Naito and Alex Silva.

But, one of the more intriguing fights on the card involves a 19 year old martial arts prodigy with a penchant for overwhelming his opponents and finishing fights. But it’s not simply his ability to generate highlight reel finishes that separates him from the pack. It’s his physical embodiment of what it means to be a true martial artist.

Which is what makes his fit with ONE so perfect. Lee explains,”ONE Championship is a celebration of authentic martial arts and real Asian values. As an Asian martial artist, this is important to me. I am fortunate enough in my life to be given a platform to express myself and to share what I love with the world.”

He’s the true to life example of what an honest, respectful and humble martial artist should be. One that every fan could learn something from. And one he grew up cherishing.

His Martial Arts Family

Christian Lee’s journey to ONE: Warriors of the World was clear from the jump. He was born into a family rooted in martial arts and it allowed Lee to express himself and explore his passion from a young age.

“We made this choice to live this life…”

One might wonder, who inspired him to journey down this path? For him, it’s really very simple. “There is no specific fighter, my parents were martial artists and I grew up very very influenced and inspired by them both”.

And with such a strong and healthy influence from a young age, Christian Lee was destined for greatness. But it’s not just his parents that have sparked his passion. It’s his sister, champion Angela Lee, who has helped him on his quest for gold.

“My sister is my inspiration in martial arts. What she has accomplished in this sport and at such a young age, it’s absolutely amazing. I am her biggest fan, and I know she is mine too. We have been fortunate enough to have two loving parents who support us in our dreams and the path we want to follow. Coming from a family of martial artists however, none of this was forced onto us. We made this choice to live this life and we are glad our parents are our biggest supporters.”

And what an outstanding way to come up in the sport. As a martial artist, Christian Lee has had the overwhelming support of his family behind him all along. It’s a journey he has chosen. And one he will explore for a lifetime.

#TeamLEE

A post shared by Christian Lee (@christianleemma) on

 The Journey to Warriors of the World

At just 19 years of age, Christian Lee is a budding star. But his eagerness to compete at the highest level is already pounding, “I feel ready for the biggest challenges. I have supreme confidence in my abilities and I believe it’s my time.”

And with an entire life of martial arts growth in front of him, that’s a bad omen for his opponents. However, with a professional standing of 7 wins with 3 KO’s and 4 submissions, his history in the cage is already relatively lengthy given his age.

“I have no doubt we will see each other again inside the cage”

His lone loss came to the current featherweight and lightweight champion of the world, Martin Nguyen. And at a fresh age of 18 when the bout happened, one would think it was simply a case of too much too soon. Yet that was not the case at all. In fact, the bout was close throughout the first round until a simple mistake with Nguyen backed against the cage ended the night for Lee. But as he climbs to the top of the ranks, there is no doubt they’ll meet again.

“I know if I meet Martin [Nguyen] in the cage again, I will come out victorious. I have a better skill set than him, even in our last meeting, but it wasn’t my night. It was his. When we we meet again though things will be different.”

When.

That word says it all. The confidence of Christian Lee is not at a shortage. But not in an out of bounds, arrogant sense. Simply a confident martial artist with a belief in his training. And there is no doubt in his mind, that he and Martin Nguyen will share the cage again, likely with a belt on the line.

Christian Lee vs Kotetsu Boku this Friday

But that fight is to be pondered at a later date. For now, his biggest fight is right in front of him.

At ONE: Warriors of the World, Christian Lee will face Japanese martial arts veteran Kotetsu Boku with an opportunity to grab his biggest win to date. Boku, the former ONE lightweight champion, has spent time in such organizations as Dream, Pancrase, Shooto and K-1 before finding his home in ONE. And with 39 fights under his belt, he stands as the most experienced competitor Christian Lee has faced.

However, Lee is not worried about what that may mean for his chances. “Boku’s experience is obviously an advantage for him. I am in no way taking him lightly. But martial arts is a test of skill, and I think my skill is better than his. I have the skill set to reign in this division.”

And with a win, it will be the biggest step of his career.

“I have Kotetsu Boku right in front of me and I can’t underestimate him. He’s the former ONE Lightweight World Champion after all and definitely one of my biggest tests so far.”

His Training at Evolve

“..what’s more important is understanding yourself and what you are capable of. That is martial arts.”

Evolve is one of the top martial arts schools in not just Asia but the world. And with dominant champions and serious contenders all around him, his skill set has shot through the roof quicker than recently imaginable.

“There are some amazing world champions training at Evolve, and I am lucky to be able to train with them on a regular basis.”

It’s his training that separates him from the pack. Day after day. Week after week. He is tested by the highest of skill in the martial arts game. And that has allowed him to progress quickly in the martial arts landscape and will continue to move him forward for years to come. “Of course, working with the best talent and the best team will help you realize your potential and how far you can go in this industry.”

He’ll go far.

In fact, a title shot is on the horizon for Christian Lee. And by this time next year, he just might get the shot he’s been waiting for. But not yet. The focus is on Kotetsu Boku. All the rest will come in due time. “Of course, anything is possible and we can’t say where we’ll be in the future. Right now however, I’m focused on my upcoming bout.”

What the Future Holds

The road that lies ahead is plagued by tough fights and stout contenders. But the confidence of Christian Lee is not at a shortage, which will help him on his journey up the mountain and he will no doubt reach the summit. As Walter D. Wintle once wrote, “Success begins with a fellow’s will/It’s all in the state of mind”.

Martial artists adopt that state of mind. You must believe in your skills above all else. And with that undying confidence, a windfall of opportunity will surely come his way. But it’s about grasping those opportunities and defeating any who stand in your way. Can he do it?

“I have the skill to reign in this division”.

 

There’s your answer.

 

Long may he reign.

 

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Video by: @wombatjones23

Artwork by: MonSneakS

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