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Meet Kashmir’s own Jason Parillo who's selflessly mentoring Kashmiri Jiu-Jitsu aspirants Sports I Kashmir

Meet Kashmir’s own Jason Parillo who's selflessly mentoring Kashmiri Jiu-Jitsu aspirants

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 18 Apr 2023, 05:59 pm

Bandipora, Kashmir/IBNS: Having mentored over 4000 young players, including the likes of Sabqat Malik who has been selected to represent India in Ju-Jitsu International Federation’s World Championship scheduled in Mongolia this year, Muzzafar Ahmad Dar has been instrumental in exploring the hidden talent among Kashmiri youth in  Jiu-Jitsu, one of the most fascinating martial arts.

Muzzafar, like Jason Parillo, started martial arts at the age of 16 and soon fell in love with it. Because of Muzzafar's passion for martial arts and commonalities with Jason Parillo , Muzzafar draws parallels with Jason Parillo, a prominent American Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

A resident of Kulhama hamlet of North Kashmir’s Bandipora District, Muzzafar has been running many Ju-Jitsu Clubs across J&K including Ju-Jitsu club Bandipora for about the last 15 years which has a registration of more than 250 players presently.

Muzzafar was vehemently criticized by his kiths and kins for choosing to be Jiu-Jitsu coach and not been able to work hard enough to secure a government job back in his village Kulhama, but this didn’t deter him from following his dream to provide training to the enthusiastic youth of valley.

Muzzafar, despite himself being economically weak, carries a very generous heart. Though he has no means to make both ends meet, he still provides free of cost coaching to the young and zealous youth coming from different areas of Bandipora to bring fore their hidden talent.

“The dreams I had set for myself but couldn’t fulfil due to a lot of hurdles, I want my students to fulfil for me. I provide free training to Ju-Jitsu enthusiasts coming from humble backgrounds, because I don’t want their poverty to come into their way in pursuit of their dreams like me.” Muzzafar said.

Muzzafar has been  striving hard to bring more children and youngsters to the sport. More than hundred of his students have played at national level and four have played at international level  including Sabqat Malik who has been selected to represent India in Ju-Jitsu International Federation’s World Championship scheduled in Mongolia this year.

Sabkat while talking to ANI shared her gratitude towards her coach and said that "whatever I am today is because of my coach." She said her coach unfailingly provided her the support and guidance and put his best efforts to make her dreams come true.

Like Sabkat there are hundreds of  Ju-Jitsu players who share the same regard , love and respect for Muzaffar.

“Without his support nothing  was possible. His extraordinary hard work and art of tackling challenges in life infused vigour in me to work more and work harder for achievement of  my goals “ Sabkat said about Muzaffar.

When asked about the challenges he faced to train the students free of cost Muzzafar said: "I had to face innumerable challenges during my journey as ju-jitsu coach. While the free classes helped me move towards the impact I intended to make, I had to face a constant economical crisis. I did not make enough to support my own family, and would frequently take up daily wage work to get by.”

“My parents used to get angry with me for playing, and they would scold me for wasting my time. This made me feel like some stranger  in my own family, and I began spending more time at my friends' house to avoid the constant trauma," he added.

Receiving his training in Delhi , Muzzafar has represented India in International Tang Soo do Championship and won a silver medal. Having many gold medals to his name, he has played  Kickboxing at national level 6 times, Taekwondo National 3 times, Sayokan National Championship 2 times, Thai boxing national championship 2 times  and Tong Il moo Do national  3 times.

Muzzafar's journey to train the poor students began in his village more than a decade ago. He didn’t have the resources to buy equipment, so much so that he would tie foam to trees to practice kicks.

“I also taught in a plant nursery in my village, which wasn’t ideal for practicing, as there were thorns, bushes, and stones everywhere. To ensure the safety of my students, I used to clean up the place myself and even accompany them to their homes after practice,” Muzzafar said.

Muzzafar says there is a lack of sporting culture in Kashmir especially when it comes to non-cricket sports. There is a lack of societal support also. He said there should be more social acceptance and opportunities for people who want to participate and make a career in sports.

“Coaches, teams and individuals who work hard, put blood and sweat to represent their country at international level should not be discouraged. Sports should be given due importance by both parents and teachers. People should understand that indulging in sports is essential for a child’s physical and mental well-being,"he said

He said that there should be more social acceptance and opportunities for people who want to participate and make a career in sports.

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