Features

How Bruce Lee Inspired Geje Eustaquio On His Martial Arts Journey

September 11, 2017

Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio has always found inspiration in martial arts.

An Igorot warrior raised in the high-altitude city of Baguio, Philippines, the 28-year-old loved nature and his mountainous surroundings. Like many other young boys in the community, he would often hunt wild animals and roughhouse with his friends.

While his warrior spirit was active at an early age, it only intensified in the years to follow. He was inspired upon watching a local kickboxing event, and later found even more inspiration competing for Mark Sangiao on the University of the Cordilleras wushu squad, and alongside his future teammates at Team Lakay.

Eustaquio, who is known for his cool and collective offensive approach, is a master wushu practitioner with great power and accuracy – qualities which he says stems from watching his favorite sports and action heroes.

“As a child, I definitely was into martial arts,” he elaborates. “Some of my biggest influences were, of course, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and Jackie Chan. Bruce Lee, in particular, moved with so much grace and fluidity, and at the same time, struck with such precision and power. It was awe-inspiring.

“I wanted to be just like him. As I continued to be inspired, so grew my passion for martial arts.”

Lee is known as the father of martial arts as we know it today. He was one of the earliest to train in several different disciplines from all over the world, taking the best aspects from each, and combining them all into a single, cohesive style.

However, that was not the greatest lesson Eustaquio learned from his idol. If there was one thing he could single out, it would have to be humility.

“One of the greatest lessons I have ever learned from Bruce Lee is the lesson of humility. Yes, Bruce was brash and confident in his skills, but underneath, he was a student of martial arts,” the flyweight explains.

“His own system, Jeet Kune Do, was based on multiple martial arts meshed together to form the most comprehensive style of unarmed combat. That, in itself, is a lesson in humility, because it required him to learn various techniques from so many others who were much greater than he was.

“And that, in my opinion, is what made Bruce so great. He truly was a gift to the world. Even today, his influence continues to shape the martial arts landscape. Today, he continues to give me belief in my capabilities.”

As it turns out, humility was also responsible for Eustaquio’s success against longtime rival Anatpong “Mak” Bunrad. He lost to the Thai in their first encounter via split decision nearly two and a half years ago, but this past May, at ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES, “Gravity” won the rematch via split decision.

Knowing full well that he had to make a statement and defeat Bunrad in order to continue on his path towards another world title shot, the Igorot warrior employed a patient and well-calculated approach in dealing with his opponent.

“Humility is the most basic human trait, and it is what allows us to improve, not only as martial artists, but also as human beings,” Eustaquio says.

“I learned many lessons in my last match, including sticking to the game plan. My match with Bunrad was very technical. For me, it was not my best performance, but I stuck to the game plan.

“Strategy is the key to success, knowing how to use your advantages. I cannot tell you how much I wanted to just end that match immediately, but I had to stick to the game plan, because I respected his abilities. It turned out to be the right move.”

Now, as a result, he is one step closer to his ultimate goal of getting a ONE Flyweight World Championship title opportunity, and could take another massive step closer this weekend.

On Saturday, 16 September, he will meet former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov in the main event of ONE: TOTAL VICTORY, live from the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia.

By the time “Gravity” enters the cage, he will be bringing with him the most important lessons of his life, inspired by both his old rival and his own martial arts hero, Lee himself.

“I definitely have a game plan coming into this bout with Akhmetov, and I intend to execute it to perfection,” Eustaquio declares.

“He is a great wrestler, but my opponent should be prepared to deal with my striking, because all bouts start on the feet, and this is where I am most comfortable. I will bring the timing and the precision, power and speed, and God willing, I will end matters early.”

Jakarta | 16 September | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | PPV: Official Livestream at oneppv.com | Ticketshttp://bit.ly/onevictory17