It has been proven time and again that martial arts can change lives, challenging us to take risks and become the best versions of ourselves possible. For the Teo family, martial arts has not only helped them become stronger physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally individually but has also brought them closer as a family than ever before.
Choosing the right martial arts gym was important for Zoyd Teo, a 42-year-old stockbroker. After learning about the benefits of martial arts for himself, he realized that it was important that he share it with his family. Clarissa, a 40-year-old homemaker, wanted a place where her children could learn discipline, responsibility, integrity, and have fun at the same time. Learning these tenets were important to Clarissa, who has always thought of them as her core family values, which she considers very important in character building.
Before joining Evolve MMA, the Teo family was already active. Both Clarissa and Zoyd were regular gym goers and would occasionally go for outdoor runs, while their daughters Zea, 11, and Zelle, 8, would attend regular dance classes while their son Cayden, 10, played soccer. As a family, they would go to parks and playgrounds on weekends, doing activities such as soccer and swimming as a family.
However, both Clarissa and Zoyd felt that they needed more. They needed another way to strengthen their bond as a family. Fortunately, the Teo family was able to find just what they needed – all through martial arts.
Today, the members of the Teo family are some of Evolve’s most dedicated students. Both Zoyd and Clarissa have received their blue belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The children have also been leveling up: Cayden received his white and yellow belt, Zelle received her grey and the eldest, Zea received her yellow belt. Clarissa has also received her level 3 in Muay Thai and is a WarriorFit enthusiast. “I never thought I would achieve what I have so quickly!” reveals Clarissa. Zoyd and the children on the other hand, have also tried their hand at competing in BJJ, receiving many medals over the years.
According to Clarissa, the changes that she sees in her family after joining Evolve MMA are nothing short of incredible. “My children used to be pretty shy and would hardly speak up,” Clarissa shared. “But Cayden reported a bullying incident at school and ended up winning the integrity award that year.”
Her daughters have also become more confident. “They’re no longer nervous about stepping on stage for their dance competitions. All of them are definitely more self-assured and confident of themselves,” says Clarissa. Zoyd has also lost over 10 kg since he started martial arts. “It feels great to be fit and strong again,” says Zoyd.
Martial arts has also improved relations between the members of the Teo family. “We’re able to react more appropriately to positive and negative situations. We’ve also learned how to think before we speak, to keep calm in emotionally challenging situations and to listen and empathize with each other better,” reveals Clarissa.
One of their instructors, BJJ World Champion and UFC Fighter Leandro “Brodinho” Issa, has nothing but great things to say about the Teo family. “They are just amazing and really tough! ” says Brodinho. “I hope they keep on training so we could have awesome black belts.” Funny enough, Clarissa says that she wants to be the first BJJ Black Belt family in Singapore!
There’s no doubt that Evolve has been nothing but an awesome bonding experience for the Teo family. It has truly made a difference in their relationships, finally giving them a common ground to strengthen their bond as a family. “We look forward to weekends when the kids train,” says Clarissa. “It’s the only time of the week we can head to Evolve together. In fact, it’s become a family outing of sorts because we all have lunch after. It’s one of our happy places!”