Founded by Filipino mixed martial arts pioneer Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, Team Lakay believes that champions are made not born. Based in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines, the MMA team is often asked about its secret.
Currently, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio is the only reigning champion of Team Lakay. He has been the MMA strawweight champion of the Singapore-based martial arts promotion ONE Championship since April 12, 2019.
“Learning martial arts has molded me into a better person,” Pacio shared. “I was a very different Joshua Pacio 15 years ago before I took up martial arts and this is because of the core values that martial arts taught me and, of course, because of the people who guided me on my journey.”
Pacio believes that martial arts principles help people in their everyday lives with how they approach other people and relationships. He explained, “It teaches us to apply discipline in all aspects of our lives and, of course, self-control mentally, physically and emotionally.”
“Some people may have the misconception that MMA is a brutal sport but believe me, it will change your life,” Pacio continued. “When you take up martial arts, you learn it’s not just about punching and kicking. That’s just part of it.”
“The lessons go deeper than that,” the reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion added. “Martial arts will make you a better version of yourself.”
At the age of 17, Pacio made his professional MMA debut on December 14, 2013. The Igorot MMA fighter turned 25 on January 10, 2021.
“The main thing for me is developing self-discipline,” Pacio said. “When you have self-discipline, everything else follows. It will reflect in your attitude and work ethic.”
“In the famous words of ‘Kung Fu Panda,’ ‘there is no secret ingredient, it’s just you,’ Pacio continued. “This means everything is up to you so just enjoy what you’re doing and don’t quit. When you get tired, take a rest and then go again. Just don’t quit.”
The first “Kung Fu Panda” film was released in 2008. In one particular scene, snow leopard Tai Lung (Ian McShane) pummeled anthropomorphic giant panda Po (Jack Black) to the ground and took the scroll only to be disappointed because it was blank.
Po got up and told Tai Lung that he did not understand it the first time either. Tai Lung was confused so Po explained, “There is no secret ingredient; it’s just you.”