JIHIIN 'Shadow Cat' Radzuan may seem all cool and calm during her appearances inside the ONE Circle, but that tough character wasn’t built overnight.
Unlike some, the 20-year-old learned things the hard way from a very young age.
The Johor Bahru native’s hardworking mother, Che Bashah Ismail, left for work in the wee hours of the morning to support her family, leaving the little “Shadow Cat” home alone.
“I can’t recall much of my childhood, but I was mostly at home, always,” she shared.
“I only started seeing her more in high school, as by that time my eldest siblings started working and my mum used to be at home more often.”
Despite that, Jihin – the youngest of five siblings – never felt astray, as her mum always equipped her with enough skills to survive.
There aren’t many eight or nine-year-olds who could wash their laundry or cook food, but the young Malaysian mastered those skills as a kid.
“My mum taught me how to iron my school uniforms and how to make simple meals when I was only in primary school,” she continued.
“I’ve got another sister who’s just three years older than me, but we weren’t that close. I may have complained a lot back then about doing chores, but today I think my mother’s lesson on independence has brought out the best in me.”
These days, the tables have turned.
Jihin is constantly on the move, as she balances her time between her studies and her martial arts journey.
However, whenever she finds extra time, the ONE Championship atomweight competitor chooses to spend it with her pillar of strength.
“We talk a lot nowadays about almost anything. We argue and agree on various topics, and to this day, she still helps me wherever she can,” the rising star said.
“I am pretty shy whenever she shows my fight videos to her friends, but it tears me up sometimes because I can see how proud she is.
“When she separated from my dad, she still worked hard and never one day showed us that she’s in a sort of problem. We [siblings] never knew what burden she shared behind her smile.”
Now, on Mother’s Day, Jihin shared a heartfelt message to one of the most inspirational figures in her life.
“I may not be as perfect, but I’m trying my best to be there,” she said. “Happy Mother’s Day, mum!”