‘FIGHTERS’ ARE READY TO STRIKE

Oman Fight­ing Cham­pi­onship (OFC), the pre-em­i­nent martial arts league in the Sul­tanate, has un­veiled its third an­nual fight night, OFC3 Bat­tle­grounds. Set to take place on De­cem­ber 16, 2017 at the Barr Al Jis­sah Am­phithe­atre, this highly an­tic­i­pated event

HI Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - STORY SHRUTHI NAIR

Oman Fight­ing Cham­pi­onship has un­veiled its third an­nual fight night that is set to take place on De­cem­ber 16. Get all the de­tails here.

Last year, I had de­cided to pay a ca­sual visit to The Champ, just to check out the dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties they have to of­fer to get my hope­less fit­ness regime back on track. There was, how­ever, this one cor­ner of the whole floor that I was drawn to­wards for it ex­u­ber­ated more sound and en­ergy than the rest of the space.

Kick­box­ing is a form of com­bat sport that orig­i­nated way back in the 1960s and is con­sid­ered to be an evolved ver­sion of Muay Thai. Muay Thai has a fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory as the roots can be dated back to the 14th cen­tury where it was prac­tised by Si­amese sol­diers in its rawest form. Later in the 19th cen­tury it was adopted as a form of recre­ation or for self-de­fence. It was years later that Osamu Naguchi, a Ja­panese ex­pert, came across Muay Thai and de­cided to merge it with full con­tact tech­niques of Karate and box­ing to what has be­come Kick­box­ing.

The sport got pop­u­larised in the US and then to the other parts of the world and grad­u­ally started gain­ing ground as a pro­fes­sional sport par­tic­i­pated in and watched across the world. The Oman Kick­box­ing Club started in 2010 by Baqar

Haider, who started train­ing as a kick­boxer in 1993 in Ed­in­burgh. Hav­ing trained for al­most two decades be­fore that had changed Baqar’s life in many ways and he wanted to in­tro­duce it in Oman.

OKC is cur­rently the largest club in the Sul­tanate and since it opened there has been an over­whelm­ing num­ber of Oma­nis and ex­pats who had the de­sire to learn the sport.

Kick­box­ing is unique in var­ied ways. It in­volves punches, kicks, blocks, and eva­sive ma­noeu­vres along with knee strikes. The Oman Kick­box­ing Club is a great place to get your­self en­rolled in as it can com­fort­ably ac­com­mo­date peo­ple who are supremely in­ex­pe­ri­enced and un­fit and even those who have am­ple ex­pe­ri­ence and are skilled fighters.

The first hour of the two-hour long class is the in­tense workout that could throw you off, es­pe­cially if you are a be­gin­ner, but if you sur­vive then you are to­tally ready for what’s in store for you next, which is tech­nique and skill train­ing. The ex­pe­ri­enced coaches, who’ve trained for a few years and have even par­tic­i­pated in a few matches in­ter­na­tion­ally, make sure that they give per­sonal at­ten­tion to all the at­ten­dees. In the past few years, OKC has man­aged to pro­duce a num­ber of skilled fighters who have not just par­tic­i­pated in but have also won many cham­pi­onships.

On see­ing the po­ten­tial the coun­try had in terms of tal­ented fighters, Baqar and his part­ners Reza Mostofi and Fayyad Sa­ma­rah, un­der The Agency De­sign and Promo Works de­cided that it was time to start an of­fi­cially af­fil­i­ated cham­pi­onship here in Oman in or­der to pro­vide a plat­form for the bud­ding fighters from the var­i­ous clubs that opened up in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try ever since.

There was a good sup­ply of fighters, there was a de­mand for a plat­form to show­case tal­ent, and that purely was what re­sulted in the for­ma­tion of Oman Fight­ing Cham­pi­onship. “Fur­ther to the pro­mo­tion of the sport it­self, our aim is to also pro­mote a health­ier life­style for the res­i­dents of Oman, with car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases, di­a­betes, and obe­sity which are all on the rise. This is our lit­tle way of com­bat­ing that, not ev­ery­one who joins OKC wants to or has to get in­volved in the com­bat side of the sport. For now we have been fo­cus­ing on de­vel­op­ing the two fighters that we have for the up­com­ing cham­pi­onship on 16th De­cem­ber, train­ing hard and hope­fully be­ing crowned as the Cham­pi­ons of Oman.”

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