Often times, reality serves as a harsh reminder that our dreams may not be as attainable as we would like them to be. But then there are the rare few who persevere through countless trials and tribulations in hopes that their dreams may one day come true. 19-year old “Milo” Hsien Hwee is one of these people. A former Boys’ Town Home resident, Milo has become successful not only in his martial arts journey but in his daily life as well.
Before joining the Evolve Community Outreach Program, Milo was a self-described troublemaker, constantly getting into fights with anyone who picked on or bullied him. It became the deciding factor for Milo’s parents to abandon their then 14 year old son completely and leave him in the care of Boys’ Town Home, Singapore’s home for orphans, abandoned children, and troubled kids. Milo learned to rely on himself; his parents ceased all contact and never even visited him a single time during the 5 years that he was at Boys’ Town Home.
It was through the outreach program organized by Evolve MMA in partnership with Boys’ Town Home that Milo was able to turn his life around for the better. Founded in 2010, the Evolve Community Outreach program, is a pro-bono program for underprivileged children, troubled kids and orphans to inherit precious lessons from martial arts through free training under our World Champions at Evolve MMA.
Says Chatri Sityodtong, “We are able to give them hope, a dream, some inspiration. Through the power of martial arts, they inherit confidence, courage, a warrior spirit to conquer adversity in life, mental strength, a desire for continuous self-improvement, humility, and passion. Evolve is a place, a home for anyone to evolve into whatever they want to be in life.”
Since joining the Evolve Community Outreach Program, Milo has seen many positive changes in his life – mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
“I’ve been able to control my anger more than ever since I joined Evolve MMA,” says Milo. “I think before I do anything and look for a better solution instead of resorting to fighting. I’m a lot happier now.”
A lot of the happiness Milo describes not only comes from training Muay Thai, a martial art that he has grown to love and excel in, but also because he is able to pay it forward by working with other troubled youths as well. “I see myself in some of the youths I’ve helped as part of the outreach program,” Milo admits. “It really encourages me to motivate and guide them; it’s great to see them shine at the end of their struggle.”
Papa Rich Wee, a student at Evolve MMA and Milo’s mentor from the Evolve Community Outreach program, has nothing but great things to say about Milo’s journey.
“I’m so proud of Milo,” Papa Rich says, “He has come such a long way from when I first met him 5 years ago. He’s completely focused on pursuing his dreams and is very disciplined. The influence of martial arts and his instructors helped him become who he is today.”
Sakrarong Sityodtong, one of Milo’s first Muay Thai instructors, is also a witness to the great changes in Milo. He tells Evolve Daily,
“Milo has become strong, not only physically, but mentally as well. He has a very positive attitude in training. I’m proud of all that Milo has achieved. He’s definitely changed for the better.”
From a small, skinny boy christened “Milo” by his teammates and instructors, there’s no doubt that Milo Hsien Hwee has come quite a long way. From a troubled teen to a 4.0 GPA ITE graduate, Milo is currently studying Supply Chain Management in Republic Polytechnic. His story is truly a testament to the life changing power of martial arts. So, what’s next for Milo?
“I want to get a degree in Supply Chain Management or something sports related,” reveals Milo. “I also hope to compete professionally in Muay Thai and represent Singapore and Evolve MMA.”
There’s no doubt that Milo’s motto of perseverance through adversity will help him accomplish his goals. We can all learn something from Milo’s story and use it as inspiration to push through challenges in our own lives.
Looking back to where he first started, it seemed that what he has achieved now seemed almost impossible back then. Fortunately, thanks to the beautiful life-long lessons we learn from martial arts, the word “impossible” simply becomes an invitation for a challenge instead.