Wednesday September 19, 2018
Home World Martial Arts ...

Martial Arts in Afghanistan is a welcome distraction to the Violence besetting the Country

Presently, only men have competed in the handful of competitions, but organizers say they are training women fighters. The walls of the club feature posters of American martial arts competitor Ronda Rousey.

0
//
55
Afghan competitors fight during a mixed martial arts match in Kabul, Afghanistan, VOA
Republish
Reprint

In a custom-built arena in Kabul, crowds cheered as young Afghan men punched, kicked and wrestled in the country’s first professional mixed martial arts league, a welcome distraction to the violence besetting the country.

While cricket and football more commonly grab public attention in Afghanistan, fighters and fans see martial arts not just as entertainment but as a constructive pastime for youths in a country torn by war and economic malaise.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

Against a soundtrack of booming music and shouts of encouragement, sweat, and blood mixed inside the cage. Each match, however, ended in a hug.

Fighters and team members prepare backstage before matches of a mixed martial arts competition in Kabul, Afghanistan, VOA

Outlet for frustration

“I think it provides a very good platform for the social frustrations that we have here in Afghanistan,” said Kakal Noristani, who a year and a half ago helped found the Snow Leopard Fighting Championship.

To date, only men have competed in the handful of competitions, but organizers say they are training women fighters. The walls of the club feature posters of American martial arts competitor Ronda Rousey.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

Noristani and his partners want to develop mixed martial arts as a professional sport in Afghanistan, hoping to host foreign fighters and send Afghan competitors abroad.

“We’ve just begun here in Afghanistan,” Noristani said. “The professional structure was nonexistent before this.”

That’s helped some fighters dream of national and international glory.

“This is the wish of every fighter: To reach the highest level and be able to fight abroad,” said Mir Baba Nadery, who won his match that night.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

Diversion from the war

Outside the cage, spectators expressed gratitude for a diversion from the country’s woes.

“Coming to these kinds of events takes your mind off of our problems,” said Nadia Sina. “We are happy to see such an organization encouraging sportsmen and improving the sport in the country.” (VOA)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NewsGram

Next Story

Rockets Fired near Diplomatic Area in Kabul

0
Kabul
Downtown are in Kabul. Wikimedia

Kabul, October 21: Three rockets were fired onto a diplomatic area in Kabul on Saturday, Afghan police and witnesses said.

“The attack occurred at around 6.10 a.m., and the rockets struck localities in Police District 10 and Police District 9,” a witness told Xinhua news agency.

However, there were reports of any casualties or injuries.

One rocket reportedly hit a wall at an embassy and two others exploded close to Resolute Support headquarters, Tolo News quoted the police as saying.

Saturday’s incident comes after two suicide attacks took place on Friday in Kabul and Ghor province resulting in the deaths of at least 70 people.

In Kabul, a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside the Imam Zamam mosque in a neighborhood predominantly populated by the Shia Hazara minority, reports Efe news.

The bomber was standing among the congregation. The attack killed 39 people and injured 45 others, according to the Interior Ministry.

About an hour before the blast in Kabul, a suicide attacker detonated explosives at the Khwajagan mosque in the Du-Layna district of Ghor province.

The attack occurred as an important anti-Taliban militiaman, Fazal Hayat Khan, and his men were praying inside, provincial authorities said. At least 31 people were killed.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the three incidents.(IANS)