You might know him as the formidable Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt with a mean 'guard game'* on the mats every weekday morning. Perhaps you are better acquainted with the friendly coach that makes the children smile every Saturday. It sounds like two different people, but we are really just talking about our very own Ronny Achadiyat.
Get to know him a little better in this short feature!
It Wasn't An Easy Start...
Hailing from Jakarta, Indonesia, Ronny participated in sports early in his life, beginning with basketball through junior high and high school. He also dabbled in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, where he earned his Brown Belt. His martial arts interest continued as he pursued Aikido in college.
However, years passed before he finally discovered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In the meantime, he struggled with becoming out of shape and weight gain.
"I had always wanted to learn BJJ since I watched Royce Gracie fight in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) back in the 90s. There, he beat most of his opponents with submissions." Ronny finally got his chance to explore BJJ in 2011. Then, he weighed 98 kilos and could only fit into an A3 sized gi.
Starting BJJ was not easy, as he struggled with his health. "I found myself feeling sick and short of breath very easily… I even had a hard time learning to do the hip escape exercises."
Gradually, with more regular attendance, his health and performance steadily improved. Ronny joined his first local BJJ competition as a 2-stripe white belt.
5 years later, as a purple belt, Ronny moved to Singapore for work. Like many a BJJ-loving expatriate, he shopped around for martial arts gyms and dropped by FaMA. It was upon the recommendation of his former Professor in Jakarta, Airam Nogueira, who is also a close friend of FaMA's Head Instructor Professor Zoro Moreira.
"In my opinion, they have a similar teaching style that I really like."
Furthermore, it was the diverse and friendly culture of the gym that made Ronny choose FaMA as home. "For me, a good gym is where you can find people who will push you harder, but also take care of each other. I found this combination in FaMA. Now, I also have friends from practically all around the world!"
Since his first competition as a young White Belt, Ronny had competed regularly, both in Indonesia and beyond. He continued to do so in Singapore and even joined the FaMA competition team at the IBJJF Masters International Jiu-Jitsu Championship and Tokyo International Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship in 2018, where he took home one Silver and one Bronze respectively. Not long after, he was awarded his Brown Belt.
Reaping and Sowing the Benefits and Knowledge of BJJ
As a producer in the advertising industry, Ronny sees BJJ as a means of helping him stay calm under pressure, while also teaching him to problem-solve creatively.
"BJJ is like life," he says, "And you cannot allow yourself to be stuck on just one plan or direction. If Plan A doesn't work, you need to have plan B or C at hand. This practice of problem-solving helps me in daily life, especially in my line of work."
Competition aside, the love for sharing knowledge and seeing a gym grow has always been on Ronny's heart. Regularly, he can be found imparting techniques to others on the mats before and after class. Before being asked to join the coaching team, he frequently volunteered his weekend hours to help out at the kids' classes.
"I love kids, and I also want to learn how to be a good teacher and share my knowledge. Furthermore, teaching sharpens my technique on a personal level."
He sees coaching on the side as an investment into his retirement plan: opening his own gym in his later years.
Though competition is no longer a frequent occurrence in Ronny's BJJ journey, he does not rule out the idea of going back to the competition mats again. Today, he also focuses on ways to train smart and injury-free, with the goal of training for life, as opposed to training for short-term achievements.
Boyish Habits Never Die!
Tired of talking to Coach Ronny about BJJ techniques and knowledge? Here are some other ways to engage him.
Ronny is a geek at heart who loves comic books and manga culture - he is a self-professed die-hard fan of Dragon Ball and Superman. He is also a fan of interactive media. When not on the mats, his hobbies include watching movies, videography, and flying his drone. Be sure to take him out for Indonesian food someday, and perhaps you'll get a chance to see it in action!
* Guard - A ground grappling position where one has his back on the ground and uses legs as a mode of control, defense, or attack towards his opposing partner.
FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts Established in 2016, FaMA is a world-class martial arts academy located in the heart of the Central Business District in Singapore. Walking distance from Clarke Quay and Fort Canning MRT stations, FaMA’s main goal is to help people improve their lives through martial arts regardless of age or athletic capability. Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Muay Thai Kickboxing, Kids Martial Arts and Fitness programs are led by experts in their respective fields. So, whether it is weight loss, a fun workout, camaraderie, competition training, or just to break a sweat, FaMA has something for the whole family.