Aziz “The Krauser” Calim battles in ONE Championship for the third time when he takes on Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada at ONE: Dreams of Gold on Friday, August 16, at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Filipino-Indonesian has always been proud to fly the Philippine flag high alongside his Indonesian roots, but he still seems to fly under the radar for local fans.
Born to a Filipino father and an Indonesian mother in Saudi Arabia, Calim’s attraction to martial arts is no surprise.
“My father is a martial artist himself and won many local tournaments in his prime. I started training in karate when I was ten years old with my father,” Calim said.
“He taught me a lot of techniques, and I want to show the world those techniques and how good he is as a coach.”
Unlike most of Filipinos strutting their wares abroad, Calim remains pretty fluent in his mother tongue.
Calim usually answers questions from Philippine reporters in Filipino, and he has always represented his local roots despite living in Indonesia for years now.
“We speak Tagalog at home and I actually only understand a little about Arabic, because I attended an international school whose main language is English,” Calim shared.
Calim’s move to his mother’s home country came out of necessity.
Though comfortably living in Jeddah alongside his three other siblings, Calim knew he had to take the jump to Indonesia because of regulations in the Saudi regarding blood.
That decision proved to be huge for Calim. He dabbled in boxing before focusing on mixed martial arts, where he has been taken in by Indonesian mixed martial arts pioneer Yohan Mulia Legowo in Han Academy.
Now, he is in the largest martial arts organization in the world, and he only wants to improve.
“I want to make my parents proud for all the love and sacrifice they have made for me, that’s why I want to be a World Champion,” Calim says.
“I think my father is already proud of me, but I want to do better. Before my last fight [against Adi Paryanto], he told me to relax and choke my opponent. And I did that.”
Tune in to watch ONE Championship’s next event, ONE: Dreams of Gold, this Friday, August 16.
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