Benard Radin The Iban Warrior

Osys Group won the US$1M bid to host Contender Asia Season 2 against the United States, Macau, Thailand, Singapore and Australia. This show is a muay thai boxing reality TV show produced by Imagine OmniMedia Pte Ltd (Singapore), Marc Burnett Productions, DreamWorks SKG and World Muay Thai Council.

In our corner, representing Malaysia are Bernard Radin, 37, from Sarikei, Sarawak and Mohd Faizal Ramli, 20, from Pasir Putih, Kelantan. They will be fight 16 muay thai exponents in the 15-week show which is expected to have 1.2B viewerships from 60countries. The last one standing will win USD$250,000. (Source: Bernama)

Biography (Source:

Fighting name: “The Head Hunter”(The name taken from Bernard’s Iban heritage. Born into an Iban long house in Sarawak, his ancestors were once famous for warriors beheading their enemies and hanging their heads in the long house as trophy’s reflecting courage and bravery).

Date of birth: 5th April 1972

Place of birth: Sarawak

Country: Malaysia

Style: Muay Thai

Height: 5’7″

Weight: 70kg

Fight records: 45Fights, 40 Wins,32 knockouts (KO), 5 Losses.

Highest Achievements

* Silver Medalist in the International Taekwondo Federation Championship in 1999
* Bronze Medalist in the International Taekwando Federation championship in 1994.
* Undefeated national Wushu and Taekwon-do champion since 1991.
* Malaysian Ultimate Warrior Champion 2007
* Malaysian kickboxing champion in 2001 and 2003.
* SEA Games bronze medals for Chinese kickboxing in 1999 and 2001.

Life Story

Twenty-two years ago, Sarawakian Bernard Radin was a problem child who picked fights with his schoolmates for teasing him about his Iban background.

His life changed, however, when he took taekwondo classes at the age of 14.

Instead of using his new found skills to thrash his tormentors, Bernard surprisingly found himself able to control his anger.

Each time, he managed to walk away before he could get into a confrontation.

“After that, I never had problems in school again,” said Bernard who recently emerged as 2007 Ultimate Warrior Champion at Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur.

Today, Bernard, 35, is the founder of two martial arts training centres in Perak – a taekwondo academy in Bandar Baru Medan, Ipoh, and a muay thai academy in nearby Tambun.

Having competed in taekwondo, muay thai and Chinese kickboxing tournaments over the years, Bernard uses his experience to manage the academy gymnasiums with his wife Surina Adnan.

He met her in the 1990s at a taekwando competition where she was also a participant.

His students include entire families, children and even elderly men.

The couple is also gaining a reputation in the community for encouraging ‘troubled’ children to take up martial arts lessons, and perhaps in time, learn discipline as well.

“I wouldn’t call them problem kids. To me, they are kids who just need more help than others from trouble free backgrounds,” said Bernard.

“I like working with them. I feel that if I can change just one person, he or she can change another,” he added.

One of his charges, whom Bernard declined to name, was a Henry Gurney School student who used to get involved in “everything from vandalism and motorcycle theft to gang fights”.

The father of three children is used to the hard work required from his art, especially coming from a military background.

His father was a VAT 69 commando while his uncle was a practitioner of kuntau, a traditional Iban martial art.

His parents split up when he was a child and he went to live with his grandmother at her long-house.

When he was 12, Bernard left to live with his mother in Ipoh.

There, he first took his taek-wondo lessons run by the VAT 69’s forest police unit in Ulu Kinta.

In just two years, Bernard earned his taekwando black belt, but he eventually sought out other martial arts.

Among his string of victories were the SEA Games bronze medals for Chinese kickboxing in 1999 and 2001, and he was Malaysian kickboxing champion in 2001 and 2003.

In 1994, he won a bronze in the International Taekwando Federation championship and later a silver in 1999. He started teaching martial arts in 1997.

As state champion, Bernard represented Perak during the national-level Ultimate Warrior martial arts championship in Bukit Jalil Stadium on Sept 1 and Sept 2.

To this day, he remains grateful to the commando instructors who taught him about self-respect.

“I hope to do the same for other youths,” he said


Other websites

Contender Asia Facebook page
Contender Asia Official website


Kitai Iban sigi patut bekunsika buah penemu ti manah enggau pangan diri, baka ke beduaka lampang rusa, bebagika lampang babi, ngenjuk lampang pelanduk, betetakka lampang bayak. Ngambika utai ti berat tau nyadi lempung, utai simpi tau segala, utai bingkuk tau lurus. Bekunsi kitai buah penemu ti manah enggau pangan diri ngambi ke bansa kitai tau pegari ditemu dunya, bediri sama tinggi, duduk sama pemaruh enggau bansa bukai. - Nadai salah mejah seruri, sigi endang dianti-anti. :)

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