"The Voice" contestant's son, belts high in karate

Mark Escarlote on Aug 11, 2015 05:32 PM
OJ Delos Santos considers his mom, Eva, who joined the first edition of "The Voice of the Philippines" a big influence in his karate career.

He can impress and move judges without the use of a revolving chair.

OJ Delos Santos is making a path of his own.   

The 25-year-old karateka inherits the showmanship and explosive performance of his mom, Eva, and he is making a name for himself as a national athlete.

OJ, an Advertising Management student of De La Salle University, is collecting awards from different international tournaments in kata – a form competition in the sport of karate.           

He may engage in a different field but the influence of his mother, a caliber singer, is an obvious influence.

In fact his mom is part of the first edition of The Voice of the Philippines where Eva was picked by Pop Princess Sarah Geronimo in her team.      

“My mom joined The Voice of the Philippines Season 1. She was nicknamed by her coach Sarah, as Mommy Eva,” said OJ, who recently won silver in the Men’s Sr. Kata in the Thailand Open. “And she made it until Top 16.”

OJ admitted that he didn’t like karate at first. But when the Southeast Asian Games was held in Cebu a decade ago, the sport caught his interest.   

“To be honest I didn’t like karate at the start,” OJ said. “Actually it was my uncle who told my Dad to get me into it but later on when I first watched the Southeast Asian Games, the karate event was held in Cebu. That was in 2005. That’s when I became inspired and started doing karate.”

He joined the national team in 2008 and won his first major tournament gold medal in the World Shoto Cup three years ago.  

Back in 2011 he won a bronze medal in his individual event and silver in the team kumite in the Jakarta SEA Games.

But he didn’t make the team that participated in the Myanmar edition of the biennial meet two years ago.  

“In 2013 I didn’t make it but it didn’t stop me from working hard. Until now I still train hard,” said the mestizo martial artist.

Karate was scrapped by Singapore in this year’s SEA Games but will be back in the 2017 SEA Games.

OJ and the rest of the national team is also preparing for the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, and hopefully, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where karate is strongly lobbying for inclusion.

And OJ’s ultimate dream is to join the Olympics.

“Hopefully. It’s every athletes dream to join the Olympic Games,” he said. “Even just to join the Games it would be such an honor but I’m not just aiming for that, I’m aiming higher than that.”

Asked if there’s a chance that he got a little of his mom’s singing talent, OJ answered: “Oh me, no! In the shower only, hahaha!”

“Let’s just stick with karate.”








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