First off I need to say that I have not written in this blog in about a week. I really hope no to have that again but we don’t know what life happens in life. My Grandmother had a stroke a week ago and I was busy with her at the hospital. By the grace of God she is recovering now and I have returned back to training. Spending much of my past week in a Pakistani hospital was quite a bizarre experience and it feels good to get back to training.
Anyway, I decided to write a little more about the first trip. Like I said before I ran into a cousin of mine who told me about a Tae Kwon Do instructor. At first I asked him if I could just train there, but after a couple days I was teaching MMA.
The TKD instructor himself had no idea what the heck MMA was. To this day despite me explaining to him how MMA started, telling him about The Gracies, Vale Tudo and the first few UFC’s. Showing him videos of MMA matches and websites of MMA gyms and organizations around the world he cannot grasp the concept. Much of this has to do with the fact that Martial Artists in Pakistan are still stuck in the past. With MMA being the undisputed grounds for the most effective fighting style in a lot of the world especially Japan, South and North America. In Pakistan the top fighters in the martial arts scene are still the Grandmaster types with black belts in 5 disciplines, their own styles and who know secret moves only seen in Street Fighter 2.
The importance given to belts here is great. Other than BJJ black belts, belt ranking is no longer of much importance in the MMA scene. One of the reasons that the TKD instructor gave to me as to why MMA was not effective and not a martial art is because there are no black belts. Another reason he cited is that there is no federation for MMA in Pakistan and no certificates. To anyone who has watched YouTube videos under the genre “MMA vs (insert style here)” knows that a Mixed Martial Artist can and has on many occasions made a high ranked black belt look like someone who just walked into the dojo.
All this means is that Martial Arts in Pakistan is in a low state of development at the moment. I just think the understanding people have right now is where the US was in the 80’s. Hopefully things will change in the near future 🙂