Brand Partner Content

YOKKAO: Philip Villa and the Blueprint for Muay Thai Success


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Muay Thai is at the heart of YOKKAO. It was one of the main reasons why the brand was established in the first place. So we can say that we owe the existence of YOKKAO to the art of 8 limbs.

Perhaps the best sign of this direct connection is in the name itself. After all, YOKKAO literally translates to “White Jade”, in the Thai language. It is a stone that you should have with you if you want to forge a better connection with others. Many consider the White Jade a protective gemstone. And when you pair it with the Chatoyant gemstone or the Tiger’s Eye, you will be able to deal with challenges better. It also calms the troubled mind, which is perfect for a business that has set lofty goals.

Philip Villa, the founder of YOKKAO, established the brand out of his love and appreciation for Muay Thai. It all started early for him when took up the art as a young boy in Italy. What was initially meant to make him stay out of trouble blossomed into something deeper and more meaningful. Muay Thai became a major part of his life.

There came a point, however, when Villa felt that he needed more. The Muay Thai scene in Italy, or even that of Europe, was no longer enough. He knew what he needed to do and that is to go right to the heart of Muay Thai. Its place of origin and where it thrives like nowhere else, Thailand. Villa came to Thailand to become better at Muay Thai and then some.

Since Muay Thai has become his lifestyle, he trained and fought as hard as possible. A few years in and he felt that something is still missing. At the same time, he saw a chance to make a difference. He felt that Muay Thai needed a spark to move forward and he believed that he can provide just that. Villa felt that a new player was needed to revitalize and breathe new life into the Muay Thai scene. That was when he conceived of the idea to create YOKKAO.

Starting a brand was not easy. Especially when you are going against a number of them that were already firmly established. They were more known at the time, but that did not stop Villa from moving forward with his new venture. Armed with his vision and fueled by his love for Muay Thai, he knew exactly what he needed to do to give YOKKAO a place in the Muay Thai industry.

Villa took a direct approach. YOKKAO started by offering some of the bare essentials in Muay Thai. He figured that the best way to build up the brand was from the ground up. So they came out with a collection of Muay Thai shorts, among other necessities.

Soon, the brand added more items. They started offering a more complete collection of Muay Thai fight gear and equipment. But they went beyond the usual. YOKKAO came up with new looks and designs that have not been seen before in Muay Thai or even in other combat sports. They pushed the boundaries as far as the aesthetics of gear and equipment are concerned. Thus, they got the attention of old and new Muay Thai fans alike.

YOKKAO also got into holding events and conducting seminars. Of course, all of these were Muay Thai-related. The events featured fights between some of the top names in the sport. It provided a venue for fighters to showcase their skills and also served as a way to promote the sport, particularly in places where Muay Thai is not as big as other combat sports.

The seminars are meant to spread awareness of the sport. They feature some of the greatest names in Muay Thai, like Saenchai, Superlek, and more, teaching the different skills and techniques used in the art. Fans and practitioners in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, and China learn and improve.

An offshoot of the brand’s promotion of events is the deal that led to holding events at the YOKKAO Jitmuangnon Stadium. This is the chance for YOKKAO to offer fans what is known as the real Muay Thai experience. Everything is as authentic as it gets in the stadium, with the fighters, the atmosphere, and the fights themselves. The fights are on twice a week on weekends and are highly recommended whether you are from Thailand or some other country. It is guaranteed to be an experience like no other.

Today, the goal of the brand has become much bigger. It continues to expand its line-up of offerings. There is the streetwear line-up that is constantly coming out with new and innovative items. Those items sport the latest designs and are made from the best materials. YOKKAO is appealing to more and more people all over the world. The brand has successfully used Muay Thai and combat sports as a springboard for global recognition.

To say that YOKKAO is going global is an understatement. One thing about it is that is becoming more inclusive. What started as a brand that caters almost exclusively to Muay Thai has now become so much more. All thanks to the drive and determination of its founder, Philip Villa. His initial vision laid the blueprint for Muay Thai success and his passion is pushing it to go beyond.

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