Pahalgam: Sayokan, a Turkish martial art, has been introduced in the Kashmir valley by Sayokan Association of Jammu Kashmir by organising a three-day coaching-cum-referee training program at Pahalgam in South Kashmir district of Anantnag.
Under the banner of Sayokan Federation of India, around 50-60 players from 16 different states and union territories across the country participated.
The camp began on June 30 and today was the third day of the program. Several experts in the field imparted training to the young enthusiastic players.
“The aim of organising this coaching-cum-referee training program is to divert the youth from social evils including suicide, drugs among other things,” Arshid Aziz, General Secretary of Sayokan Association of Jammu Kashmir told ANI.
He said that a South Asian event of Sayokan in the month of December will be organised in Bangladesh. “We are preparing for the competition in Bangladesh. A national-level competition will be held in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh in October,” he added.
So far, people from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Chandigarh, Haryana, and some other bigger states have joined the program, Aziz said.
Syed Mustafa, a resident of Telangana said there are seven other players from the state who have participated in the program. Emphasising that Sayokan is a good self-defence technique, he said, “I wish to encourage people to take up this form of martial arts as it is a good self-defence technique.”
Meanwhile, many other players expressed their happiness over the first of its kind program organised in the union territory. Mohd Naik Magray, a resident of Kashmir who joined the Sayokan training said, “I believe this game has been introduced in Kashmir for the first time. I feel happy to learn and play this sport.”
Several girls also took up the training sportingly. Muntah Jan, also a student from Kashmir, who qualified for the National-level Sayokan competition in Ujjain said, “I am feeling proud of myself. For the other children, I would like to say that if you have talent, do express it. Sports is a good platform to protect people from social evils.”
Mehreen Nisar reiterated the importance of taking up any kind of sports activity. “Students should focus on sports. It is new technique that we are learning,” she said.
Sayokan was developed by Nihat Yigit in 1999. This form of martial art takes Ottoman-style strikes and grappling moves and merges it with central Asian principles. It is based upon realistic self-defence systems.