From last couple of months martial art coach Sajad Ahmad Butt has been sweating hard to train a group of players from Jammu and Kashmir at Iqbal stadium in Tanchbagh area of saffron town Pampore.
“A group of martial art players from Jammu and Kashmir are going to represent India in 2nd world Mix Boxing Championship in Kathmandu Nepal in December,” Sajad told Rising Kashmir.
Mix Boxing Championship will be organised by World Mix Boxing Federation and hosted by Nepal Mix Boxing Association.Mix Boxing is emerging as a popular game and is played in around 80 countries of the world. Many countries from Asia, America, South America and Europe are taking part in the event, he said.
45 year’s Sajad will represent Indian Mix Boxing Federation in Nepal as technical director.
As a player he himself has many gold, silver and bronze medals to his kitty at various national and international levels. So far, he has won around 55 medals.
Sajad hopes that the players he has been training will keep his fame and clinch few gold medals for the country.
Previously as coach he led a team for world Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation World Championship to Philippines in July 2021 where they won 2 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals.
He also led a team of two players to Bhutan for Thai boxing where Sajad served as coach and referee. “Both the boys clinched medals and I also participated in the competition and won Gold,” he said.
Sajad said that he trained more than 1000 boys in different forms of martial art including Karate, Thang Ta, Mix Boxing, Kick Boxing, Thai boxing and Pencak Silat.
Some prominent players trained by him include Owais Yaqoob, Farhan Riyaz, Taha Niyaz, Sahil Nisar, Tajamul, Shah Younis and his elder daughter, Mukadas Muskaan.
This veteran player turned coach and referee said that he served as referee for Asian Pencak Silat Championship held from 11-17 October of this year at Indoor stadium Srinagar in which players from 10 countries participated.
From 21-24 October, he again served as referee for National Penchak Silat Championship and also participated in the competition and won master’s gold like previous year.
Presently, he runs an academy in Pampore, Martial art Council, and earlier was associated with district Thang Ta Association and district Pencak Silat Association. He is also coach for J and K Thang Ta Association as its technical official.
The love of the game took Sajad from playfield to small screen. It was in 2014 that he led a group of four players to perform in Entertainment Kay liye Kuch Bhi Karega featured on Sony Television, a reality show judged by noted music director Anu Malik along with famous choreographer Farah Khan and hosted by Krushna Abhishekh and Mona Singh.
The group was featured in 27 episode of season 4 and were awarded full on by the judges.“I presented saffron Khewa to judges which added to its popularity throughout the world,” Sajad said.
This performance opened new opportunities for the group and they were invited to perform in other reality shows but they turned down the invitations due to personal reasons.
Sajad’s association with martial art dates back to 1990 when as a child he used to follow senior players to Srinagar to watch them getting trained in Karate.
His curiosity to learn the game took him to many people. Then he learnt all skills of the trade from his coach, Nazir Ahmad Mir. He managed to get a black belt in 1999.
From thence he started coaching others and also earned 4th Dan Black Belt which is most often used title in Karate for a teacher.
From Karate he turned to Thang Ta, a Manipuri style of martial art which is the art of sword and spear and gradually developed interest in other martial art forms like Pencak Silat -which is traditionally practiced in Indonesia and other South East Asian countries- Mixed Boxing and Thai Boxing. For Pencak Silat and Thai Boxing he is an international referee.