We’ve given so much (me and my boys). We have trained (and still do) on Eid, Christmas, Diwali, Valentine’s Day, Labour Day, Women’s Day, birthdays, and anniversaries. In a country with no professional and financial prospects in any sort of sport, especially Martial Arts, we still live the fighters life and work towards making our dreams come true. And we will not stop until our ideals become our rivals.
Apart from the hard work and dedication, what makes me so confident predicting about our destinies is the fact that Fight Fortress is not just a laboratory for the study and research of the effectiveness of all the Martial Arts styles of the world but its a mission; a mission with an intention to give back to the community; the members who share our dreams, and even all those who don’t. The way our ‘gym life’ is set is such that one cannot progress unless he/she gives back to others. And the best way to do so is by giving someone some of your time; in or outside the training grounds, relevant or irrelevant to Martial Arts.
I don’t know why I started writing *face palm*
I guess… To be continued? (may be)
Now the way I have come so far in my Martial journey as an underprivileged (because I had no formal/direct teachers) yet determined student is by studying literally most of everything there is about Martial Arts out there, through text and visuals.
I came across 52 Blocks while searching for some bar workout videos on Youtube. Did my search and study, saw a documentary and an informal instructional, and was hooked.
One day, while wrestling with a Somalian friend at the university I got thrown around a couple of times pretty badly. As confident as I am in my Takedown Defence, this was something new for me. He grabbed me by my pants (different grips: belt buckle and above the hip, side to side etc.) and spun me while tripping me. I asked him what it is and told me it is the Somalian street-wrestling art ‘Sabaahat OR Sobaahat’, and that it is very popular in Somalia and pretty commonly used in street fights. Instantly, I thought about 52, Stato, and Jail-House Rock. I told him about it and he had no clue what I was talking about. I explained the basic idea behind it’s success in streets and showed him some moves I had copied from Farisi Daniel, Hassan ‘The Giant’ Yasin and King Saladin.
I never got the chance to learn more about ‘Sabahaat/Sobaahat’ from Ali (the friend), so I was unable to start working on it and then its fusion with the African American street arts such as 52. If anybody practicing Sabaahat/Sobaahat does the research and finds someone from 52, please cross train and create links and flows from one to the other since one is a striking-heavy art while the other one is grappling-heavy. Add some ground and pound, some Wrestling and BJJ tweaks here and there in the standing grappling, takedowns and ground control and we’re good to go. Something that should be dear to an African or African American, someone who is interested in learning about the ancient and the contemporary fighting styles of his culture and/or race.
EKS (MMA Preacher)
I used to wonder why people call me rude, while texting/chatting, for something I meant no offense in. Think about it, a lot of people won’t fight on comment threads (although some of us would hate to see the ‘fun’ part about surfing leave), your girl/boyfriend won’t misunderstand your one liner and start the Civil War again. So, yeah, I think Facebook should include the option to record your status/comment/yapyap in voice, in the tone you thought when you wrote what you wrote. It would be interesting seeing a small Play button next to people’s status updates or comments (especially the ‘hahahaha’s) in the next update of the Facebook app. Somebody pitch the idea to Mr. Zuckerberg.
Its been five years and like every other person my journey feels the oldest and hardest of them all. And it was hard, in its on ways. In the beginning, it was but a mere idea, poorly materialized. Today, it is a successful combination of research, knowledge (successfully and systematically put to practice; hard, rigorous practice) and dedication. Today, it has branched out, of the cage-fighting zone, into being an innovative and a unique system of empowering the weak (socially) with the tools and tactics of a kind this society and culture have never seen or experienced before. Today, the training system of Team Fight Fortress helps people develop their confidence to a level where they are not afraid, to stand up for themselves and others like them, anymore. The team has become a platform, to get their lives back in order and make the right choices, for those who were lagging behind the rest of the society around them, and those who made wrong choices just because they lacked the self-confidence, needed to make a choice and believe in it, and let others be the experts on their lives. Fighting is not even our first priority, but education, hard work, dedication, tolerance, patience and perseverance are. I usually tell my boys; “even if you want to do this full time, even if you want to go pro, fighting is still your option B. Your formal education is the top priority, but that does not make training and/or fighting any less important.” Day by day we have a new success story training at the gym, pumped and motivated than the previous day, getting better, stronger and faster for the next day. From homeless to managing an IT company, from three times ninth grade failure to grad student of economics, from drug abuser to a skilled, strong, and successful MMA fighter on national level, we are evolving on a daily basis. The secret to our success; no matter how knowledgeable, skilled and experienced, we never cease to live and believe in ‘student mentality.’ It is with this mentality and work ethic we are standing at the gates of the global MMA scene, waiting for our chance to enter and dominate. (EKS)