PULWAMA — A youngster from Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district is set to participate in WEKAF World Arnis Invitational Championship 2022 in Cebu City of Philippines.

Owais Yaqoob from Murran village of the south Kashmir district was selected for the WEKAF World Championship 2022 after he outperformed his opponents in various competitions held in this connection.

Before leaving for the Philippines to participate in the competition, which is scheduled to commence on July 18 and end on July 24, 2022, Owais spoke to The Kashmir Pulse and said that he has worked hard to make a mark in the championship.

“I have been training from 2018 to participate in a world championship like this one and it is a hard-earned opportunity for me. Earlier, I have MMA (mixed martial arts), Kickboxing and various other games at state and national level. Now, I want to give my level best in Arnis,” Owais expressed.

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He added, “This international championship will help me add one more international level art to my academy Lion’s Den where I teach all related arts like MMA, Kickboxing etc to budding youth.”

When asked about the impact that his academy has had on the enrolled youth, Owais said that there were a lot of young boys who would waste their energies in drugs and other harmful stuff and his academy has changed their perspective entirely. “The young boys now channellize their energy to stay fit and healthy by learning MMA, Kickboxing and various other skills,” he stated.

WEKAF (World, Eskrima, Kali, Arnis Federation) is the first and largest Filippino martial arts organization, consisting of 40 countries amongst its members since its inception in 1989 while Arnis, also known as Kali or Eskrima/Escrima, is the national martial art of the Philippines.

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Arnis, Kali or Eskrima/Escrima are roughly interchangeable umbrella terms for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines (“Filipino Martial Arts”, or FMA), which emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives, bladed weapons, and various improvised weapons, as well as “open hand” techniques without weapons.

It is pertinent to mention here that Sayaw, Team Sayaw, Padded Point, Knife Point, Single Stick, Double Stick, Team Sparring and Bangkaw are the arts that will be competed over in the championship, which will be held in Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex.

Before the main event, the World Arnis Championships, there will be a two-day pre-qualifying event on July 17-18.

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