Pulwama, Jul 16 : A youth from Pulwama district has qualified for World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) World Arnis Invitational Championship 2022 which will begin on July 18 this year in Philippines.
Owais Yaqoob, 23, a resident of Murran village of Pulwama has to his credit 11 gold medals at a national level, six silver medals at the national level besides 17 gold medals at the state level in different forms of martial art. He is one among the selected players from Jammu and Kashmir who will represent their country in the Philippines in the championship.
Owais told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that he was passionate about martial arts from childhood and he started taking part in competitions in 2013.
In the very first competition, Owais managed to bag a gold medal on the basis of which he got the opportunity to represent J&K at national level where he brought laurels by winning dozens of medals.
“After playing at national level at various places, I joined mixed martial arts camps with different coaches in different states of India,” he said, adding that, after attending camps, he started taking part in mixed martial arts fights.
“So far I have won 11 gold medals at national level, six silver medals and 17 gold medals at state level and officials at All India Mixed Martial Art Federation declared me as the second best mixed martial art player of India,” he said.
Besides medals, based on my performance, I have received titles like ‘Best Fighter Boy’ in 28 states besides ‘Champion of Champions’ in 2018 in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
Owais says since 2015 he has taught over 200 youth the different forms of martial arts and among them many have represented J&K at the national level and even won gold medals.
He said that to stay away from drug and anti-social activities, there is a need to get involved in sports and martial arts and in order to teach the youth of Pulwama district and keep them away from drugs, he has come with an academy namely Lion’s Den.
“I was working hard for the last several years and playing at International level was my dream which is going to come true,” he said, adding that his aim is to win a gold medal there as well.
The WEKAF (World, Eskrima, Kali, Arnis Federation) is the first and largest Filipino martial arts organization, consisting of 40 countries amongst its members since its inception in 1989.
The WEKAF European Championships take place every 2 years between WEKAF World Championships—(KNO)