Why go home? A bit of a rant.
I looked at the calendar today. I have a little more than 8 weeks left here and although I am not even 25% of the way into my trip here I feel depressed about going back. I don’t regret what I have done and I know that what I have done in Pakistan has made many people thankful to me and I have created an entire scene and put Pakistani MMA on the map all these things give me pride and pleasure. But I need to ask myself if maybe I have accomplished what I needed to accomplish and the time has come for me to move on. I took a break of 3 years from my training and it really saddens me when I dwell on how much better I would be if I had spent those three years on training and improving myself than focusing on MMA in Pakistan. But I try not to dwell on it because in the end I have cemented myself as a personality and player in the Asian MMA scene and there are plenty of people who have been fighting for twice as long as I have been training and are not getting the recognition they deserve.
But back to the point, is it time to hand over everything I have created to the next generation of Mixed Martial Artists and move on? I cannot get the training that I need in Pakistan nor the opportunity to fight regularly. I have a lack of training partners that challenge me in Pakistan. Some of the training partners I do have or some that I could call in from other disciplines that would theoretically serve to challenge me are illiterate and unfortunately this lack of education makes it hard for them be the best training partners that they could be. Yes they may have skill and experience but they don’t understand that i sparring and rolling maybe SOMETIMES it’s ok to go light or slow because that’s where you learn. They can’t cast away their ego to make sparring a game of give and take, it’s all or nothing and there’s a championship belt on the line ALL THE TIME. Contrast that to the Thai way of sparring which is very partner oriented, they are not trying to beat each other because they know that defeating an opponent is really important in a competition against someone from another gym. Beating your training partners, puts you at risk of losing your training partners and than what do you have? Nothing. It also puts you at risk of relying only on the things that work for you, I mean you wouldn’t try a new technique you saw on youtube in a title fight, so why would you try it in the gym with your training partner (sarcasm!!)? If you look at top players in Pakistan, whether it be in Wushu or boxing or kickboxing, they don’t evolve, they don’t usually get better with time. They learn a set curriculum in the first couple years of training and that’s it, they know the art, after that they just maintain.
One of the reasons I am enjoying my time here at Team Quest is that I don’t feel that pressure to win, win, win every time I spar or roll. Granted, 60% of that is because I am not a coach here so I don’t feel that pressure, that’s my own ego at work and maybe something I need to reexamine when I go back to Pakistan. But the other 40% is because I don’t get the feeling that the person across from me is trying to beat me, he is trying to LEARN. He is not using me as a tool to gain ego points but is using me as a means of feedback to better his skills. In general at the Muay Thai camps it is like that but to be honest, it is more prevalent here at Team Quest, the overwhelming feeling you get at the camp is that people are here to get better, not to be the most badass guy at the gym but to be better martial artists at the end of the week than they were at the beginning.
So, I want you the PAKMMA community to really comment on this one…Should I come back or do you think it is time for me to start focusing on the next stage? As the face of Pakistani MMA does training overseas ensure my success or can it be done in Pakistan??
I think what you have done so far is ALOT for Pakistani MMA, a strong base has been established with PFC, badass gyms like Fight Fortress initiated by locals. I would suggest its time for you to focus on your training cause you are a Professional fighter! And you have huge fights comin’ up man, Yes you shouldnt cut off from PakMMA but visit Pakistan once in a while to keep a check on things and sharing knowledge by holding saminars. And honestly i think you will be wasting yourself here if you stay :/
so its time to get a black belt in BJJ. Oh and a cookie for me since its first comment :p
I agree with you on the part that in Pakistan training means a death match. Whenever I mention that i’m learning/training in MMA they ask me show some results.
However, I did attend this seminar at Information Technology University(not relevant to MMA in anyway). These guys are introducing courses from MIT and METU in Pakistan and offering scholarships on mass scale. During the QA session a question was raised as to when will we see the results( typical) of these scholarships. There are many PhD’s in the country but all those things you’re promised are not being realized. Guys are not given enough opportunities etc.
The reply was something which kind of appealed to me, and they said that take cricket for example. It was a sport played on such a mass scale, in every nook and corner, that there came cricketers of world class level(we do have an international team which plays on an international scale) from this crowd.
We need a person who has a vision, and I see a vision in you. The journey here in Pakistan is going to be tough, but it will be something you will remember for the rest of your life. It all comes down to you.
We do have people who are controlling masses from over seas, people like the “A Bro”, i’m not supporting or anything but just saying it can be done. Do what you have to. If you think you can do a better job by staying abroad then go for it, visit us occasionally and those who are really want to learn from your experiences will be there to support you. Pakistan is a very good opportunity because fortunately or unfortunately what ever you introduce here is going to be one of a kind. i’m talking about your vision, Martial arts exist in Paskitan and are surviving with a Pakistani flavor.
I hope i was of any help. I really admire you Bashir Sb. And another thing. WE NEED SPONSORS 😛 Sponsorship is the only way anything has ever survived in Paskistan. And you will probably get more sponsors staying abroad. People are willing to spend money, but they need a person whom they can trust. They need to make sure their money is properly being utilized etc.
It’s interesting to read this, and I can understand your feelings. When I trained a couple of years back with fight fortress, there were a few people like you described passing through the gym.
At first I felt like I should rise to the challenge, but then after a while I felt offended. Largely because I would go home with unnecessary injuries, and knowing that the other guy wasn’t “sparring” rather then trying to satisfy his ego. I was just trying to spar, you’re only ever going to be better then the next guy if you’re willing to learn – the feeling isn’t always reciprocated.
When I came to Pakistan this year and sparred with you, I was around 20kg heavier then my last visit. Understanding this “disability” – so to speak – made me hold back my ego. I didn’t feel the need to prove anything. Instead the goal was to enjoy the fact that I’m getting to spar with other martial artists in my homeland, and see if either I could contribute something, or learn something. I learnt that whilst my frame of mind was good – my fitness wasn’t. It’s up to the other guy to realise if they’re learnt something.
I personally don’t think you’ve wasted your time. Whilst your better students listen to you, and others don’t. You must also realise that you’ve assumed a leadership position. You’re pioneering in a place where people believe in mystical powers and other nonsense.
If you don’t have the training partners, then maybe it’s just a case of ensuring that people who do pass through Pakistan can make it to your gym so you can take best advantage.
More importantly, I can see that you’ve identified that there’s a distinct gap between the level of skill in Pakistan and abroad. I would take up the challenge and carry on, it’s just about time, and it’s not a weakness in any one individual.
FROM BASHIR – I never had any intention of saying goodbye and never coming back. I was thinking more a long the lines of 8 months abroad and 4 months in Pakistan. I have trained full time before and I know the importance of breaks. I could not hold this pace year round without burning out. So don’t worry, I am never ever going to abandon what I started, I have seen it grow from nothing. But at the same time I started everything with the intention that others would follow suit and support the movement, similar to gyms like TFF and 3G popping up. It’s just a matter of what to make my new priority and I think it’s going to be training. I appreciate the comments everyone. Let’s make this website a bit more active for guests who are visiting for the first time!
Bashir Ahmed you are 1 of d greatest persons in History…becoz d sport u’ve introduced in Pakistan is a huuuge sport & an essential sport too…may ALLAH bless tou with loads of success in both,your MMA career & MMA promotion…
always active here 🙂 the plan sounds cool! Go for it.
[…] Why go home? A bit of a rant. […]
[…] So being here at Team Quest Thailand is giving me access to not only great training but a lot of opportunities to fight. I can not only fight MMA but also Muay Thai on the regular and a good fight against a challenging opponent win or lose is worth months of training. So I am excited tha I get this opportunity to grow even more as a fighter. The one problem however is, that fighting hurts and after a fight, if you got a fair match up there are good chances your going to have a few aches and pains that might take a few days to a couple weeks to get over and that take away from precious training time. On top of that you need to start tapering off before your fight, once again losing precious training time. So right now a big question I have now is, I am here for 11 weeks (well now there are 7 left), how many fights can I get in without sacrificing too much training and what is the best tradeoff, more fights or more training? It’s a real tricky question and one that is simply cemented an already growing assumption that I will need to come back here very soon for an even longer period of time. 11 weeks is simply not enough time to catch up on the years I have lost in self improvement from being in Pakistan, something I addressed in this post HERE. […]