Martial arts experts hope more people will take up the sport
Channel NewsAsia - 2 hours 49 minutes ago
SINGAPORE: The take—up of martial arts in Singapore has been declining according to those in the field.
But they are hoping to change that with the mixed martial arts competition to be held on Sunday.
Back in the 1970s and 80s, martial arts schools could have as many as 600 students, but now it is less then 50 —— all thanks to computer games and over—protective parents.
"There are students who come and even if I shout a bit loud, the parents will not be happy and (I have) students who even cry in front of me when I (was) a bit too loud," said the champion of the lightweight category at the National Pugilistic Federation 1970, Alfred Ng.
Organisers of the mixed martial arts competition hope it will create more interest, especially by bringing the various groups together.
But with so many genres, new rules have been introduced.
"(For) silat competitors, we don’t punch and kick the head, but for this tournament, we will adjust our movements in terms of punching from the chest to the face and from kicking from the chest to the head," said the vice—president of the Singapore Martial Arts Instructors’ Association, Sheik Ala’uddin Yaccob, who is also a former silat world champion.
Martial arts experts in Singapore want more people to join the sport. At the same time, they want to let the public know that age does not really matter.
And there are those who are confident mixed martial arts will become popular in Singapore.
A gym specialising in mixed martial arts believes shows like the "Ultimate Fighting Championship" will help generate interest.
"In Singapore, it hasn’t taken off because the martial arts community has been under—served. I think we’re in the very first stage, so it’s really going to be an exciting time," said the founder of Evolve Mixed Martial Arts, Chatri Sityodtong.
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