The Cheongju World Martial Arts Masterships begin here today with Team Kenya hopeful of retaining the global title they won last year.
Unbeknown to Kenyans, local stars have excelled in the unified (or mixed) martial arts, otherwise called Tong Il Moo Do, and are currently the world champions.
Led my Master Clarence Ingalwa, the team largely trains in Mombasa. It is made up of 18 players fighting in various weight categories and disciplines.
Mixed martial arts means unarmed combat subject to any applicable limitations and regulations use of a combination of techniques from different disciplines of the martial arts, including, without limitation, grappling, submission holds, kicking and striking.
In this case, unarmed combat means any form of competition in which a blow is usually struck which may reasonably be expected to inflict injury.
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“We started small but we are glad Tong Il Moo Do, is slowly getting the attention it deserves,” Master Ingalwa told FeverPitch.
Mixed martial arts contests and exhibitions may be held in a ring or in a fenced area smaller than 20 feet square and the floor must be padded with ensolite or similar closed-cell foam, with at least a 1-inch layer of foam padding.
One of the upcoming Team Kenya martial artist Ali Nassor said the game has really opened his eyes to a world of possibilities in life.
“First, martial arts teach you humility and the importance of doing good in the society. It inculcates a high degree of discipline because it teaches you restraint,” Nassor said.
The philosophy of mixed martial arts (Tong Il Moo Do) is honesty, integrity, self-control, perseverance and indomitable spirit.
And because it is a form of unarmed combat, Tong Il Moo Do trains an individual for the need for strength, speed and stamina in self-defence.
Three of Team Kenya competitors arrived here on Saturday night with the rest of the squad expected by today.