Read The Beginning – I, here.
In December 2007, I was back in Pakistan for my sister’s wedding. It was during that time you could say PAKMMA was born. A few months prior to leaving I had this desire to get Pakistanis educated about MMA. I just wanted to get the word out and have them share the fun. So I made a myspace page, which I never really kept up. When I arrived in December I went to a local Tae Kwon Do school to train, (it was the only option), and brought some videos of old Pride fights. What ended up happening is that the instructor let me take over the class and I started giving the guys basics in MMA. They were all kids and at the time I thought this was the country’s first MMA team going forward, but it was simply a way to get my passion going because although they all probably remember that random American, none of them are actively fighting, though they do keep up with things on Facebook (for those who are computer literate). Then I had to go back US to complete my degree and then I went to Thailand for 16 months training. I stayed in Thailand for most of the 16 months I was gone but also went to Pakistan for two months and even trained in India at Tigers Gym with Daniel Isaac.
During the two months in Pakistan I went back to that TKD school but this time did not get the same encouragement from the instructor. He felt as if I was taking people away from TKD and into MMA, (typical traditional dojo BS), and even told the kids lies like the Human Rights Council of Pakistan called him and told him they had heard that MMA was being played and that it was banned (WTH?!?!) So I decided then to rent a spot above a restaurant kitchen – a nasty, filthy room covered in oil and grease and made the first “MMA gym.” There was a heavy bag to strike and foam that is used under the wall to wall carpets found in most western homes with canvas on top. When the power went out we would train by gas lamp and would nearly choke to death. I trained the kids (the age group was 12-17 mostly) there, at least the ones who hadn’t bought into the crap the TKD coach was saying.
From Pakistan I went back to Thailand finished up my time there, ran out of money, and was back in America. At that point I had decided to get a bit more official about the MMA in Pakistan thing and had made a crappy website while in Thailand and later another one when I was in. Other than the online work for PAKMMA I was doing (which obviously made no money, it only cost money), I was faced with a decision. What am I going to do now? Get a job? Save up money and go back to Thailand? In the end, to be honest, I didn’t know what I was going do. I saved up enough money to get a ticket to Pakistan with enough to cover me for a few months. I had been in the US about three months before leaving again.
The plan was sort of like this. I say sort of because, to be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. But generally speaking, the plan was stay in Pakistan two months. Live in a major city (Lahore), get a small place and convert it into a dojo. Find some different instructors with different backgrounds and explain to them this organization (PAKMMA) I was making, explain to them that MMA was going be BIG, explain to them that they could use the talents they already had, join together and do something great.
That was the PLAN!
To be continued……..
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