Martial arts are about more than roundhouse kicks or two-handed punches: they’re about discipline, sportsmanship and a mutual respect. That’s exactly what Palestine Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) encourages through its initiatives.
Broadening access to karate, judo and boxing are all part of Palestine MMA’s plan, and they’ve got big goals, too. They train young Palestinians for Olympic competitions in wrestling, boxing and judo. Why? They’re supporting “future generations of Palestinian athletes with a view to international success.”
But Palestinian athletes still have a way to go. After all six Palestinian boxers were outclassed in Jordan’s Al Baq’aa Club International Championship last spring, Coach Nader Jayousi addressed the athletes’ realities: “Palestinian boxers are way behind the rest of the Arab world,” he said, pointing to a lack of resources that makes it tough for Palestinian athletes to get the training they need to be globally competitive.
Palestine MMA director Michael Dahdal is nevertheless proud of their accomplishments. The group recently raised enough money to buy a boxing ring, and they’re working on establishing a gym in the West Bank.
For more info – www.palestinemma.org