Rene Catalan Helps Son To Achieve Dream Of Becoming An MMA Athlete

With more than two decades in combat sports, former ONE Strawweight World Title contender Rene “The Challenger” Catalan has maximized his time competing and representing the country both locally and internationally.

Now in the twilight of his career at 41 years old, the Iloilo City native is developing new talents – and he does not have to look far for it as his 15-year-old son, Rene Catalan Jr, is already showing interest in the sport.

“Ever since he was young, he was already showing determination to learn which is one of the main things I am looking at when it comes to people wanting to be in MMA. He is already with me now from Iloilo so I can focus on his development,” Catalan shared.

“As much as possible, I want him to echo my principles in life. I am teaching him how to be responsible, when it comes to school and the gym, I want him to develop discipline, dedication, determination, passion and of course, fear in God.”

On top of the physical training, the older Catalan also teaches his son the importance of being prepared in every battle. Not only physically, but also mentally, personally and spiritually.

That has not been a problem for the kid they fondly call ‘Peri’ as he has juggled his academics and training well.

“Right now I urge him to focus on his studies in Makati High School because education is as important. He goes to school every morning, at night he’s training. Sunday is his only rest day,” Catalan shared.

“I don’t see any problem with him. He follows instructions and he remains disciplined. I always tell him the importance of continuous learning,” he added.

“On training, we’re focused on the basics so it will remain with him forever. We polish his boxing, wrestling and wushu and we add some elements of Luta Livre and Muay Thai.”

Rene is aware that building a great athlete, let alone his own son, is a tough task. But he is confident that Peri has all the tools needed to be successful not just in the sport but also in life.

If the time comes that Peri decides to follow his dad’s footsteps, Rene is hopeful that it is his son who will carry on his legacy moving forward.

“I don’t want to put pressure on him, but I see him following my footsteps one day. It may be too early, but the potential is there,” Catalan said.

“I have achieved a lot of things in martial arts, and if there are things that I failed to accomplish, I know that he will achieve it for me one day.”

Author: Robert Belen

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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