“We’ve Been Beaten All The Time” – Tayfun Ozcan Uses Awful Upbringing As Motivation
Tayfun Ozcan refuses to let his traumatic childhood define him.
Instead, ONE’s No. 5 ranked featherweight kickboxer is using his troubled upbringing as inspiration – not only to become a world champion, but also to be the type of father he never had.
Ahead of his upcoming fight against No. 2-ranked contender Marat Grigorian at ONE on Prime Video 2 on Sept. 30, Ozcan opened up about his struggles growing up under an abusive father.
The Turkish striker said:
“My situation was very different because there were several children in my house and my father was an alcoholic. We had no money. I had never had pictures of me as a baby. The first photo of me is from when I was 4 years old.
The only thing we had at home was fighting and drugs. There was only negativity at home and we were beaten all the time.
When Ozcan’s father wasn’t abusing his children, he was otherwise completely absent. This left “Turbine” and his siblings to fend for themselves through the trials and tribulations of poverty.
Now an adult himself, the 31-year-old is able to recognize how bad his home life was.
“When you are a child, you need a father to talk to you. You need a father who will train with you. You need a father to go to school with you. You need a dad when you have a bad day at school, who will teach you to be mentally tough. But I had none of that. »
At first, Ozcan enjoyed playing football, but due to his family’s difficult circumstances, he was unable to afford the club fees.
Looking for another outlet, the young athlete tried kickboxing but soon ran into the same problem.
Luckily, his trainer was aware of the predicament and offered to train him for free – a move that ultimately changed ‘Turbine’s’ life forever.
“The coach came up to me and said he saw that I was very talented. He said, ‘Tayfun, I know your father, I know your situation.’ The Turks all know each other, so he already knew me. He told me: ‘You don’t have to pay the debts. Train as best you can and I will train you.’
It was my savings. Because if he said I had to pay, I couldn’t train kickboxing anymore.
Breaking the cycle of violence
Rather than simmering in bitter anger towards his father, Ozcan uses the lessons of his painful childhood to be a better parent himself.
The Siam Gym representative said:
“Without having a father next to you, I think you miss a lot. All those things that I missed, I now give to my son. And I feel like it heals me. I feel the pain and the scars my father left on me. But when I give to my son, I feel like I’m healing. It makes me better.
You could give me anything you want. You can give me a car, you can give me clothes. But the only thing I wanted next to me was a father. I’ve never had this, that’s why I want to give this to my son.
Now married and proud to be a father, Ozcan finally has the healthy, loving life he’s been dreaming of.
It’s a life that has been largely given to him thanks to his great success in the sport of kickboxing. ‘
And ironically, ‘Turbine”s troubles at home motivated him to train even harder, which eventually led to the stability he lacked as a child.
“You know, all those times I went to training, I always thought I wanted a nice house for myself. I wanted a nice family.
“Every time I went to the gym I asked God, please give me a family for myself. I want a car so I can drive to practice. I don’t want to have anymore of stress.