Despite a gallant effort, Palestinian boxers get a sharp dose of reality at ‘The Al Baq’aa Club International Championship’, which was held at the Arena Stadium – Sports City, Amman from 26 April – 1 May, 2013.
Palestinian boxers were outclassed in every division and according to Palestine MMA Boxing Coach, Nade Jayousi, it has got nothing to do with a difference in talent, but everything to do with lack of preparation. Team Palestine was assembled just weeks before the tournament and received no funding support from the local governing body.
Palestine MMA provided a $500 grant to Islam Irshaid and coach Nader Jayousi to assist with their travel expenses, without the grant, both would not have been able to compete, missing an invaluable learning experience
Coach Jayousi made a harsh assessment of the technical standard of Palestinian boxers insisting, “Palestinian boxers are way behind the rest of the Arab world, our boxers do not have the experience nor preparation to be able to compete on an even playing field”. Jayousi suggested that both the Jordanian and Iraqi teams looked dominant – “ You have to understand, the Jordanians conduct regular training camps in Cuba and Kazakhstan and the Iraqi’s get regular experience competing and sparring with world class fighters at international level – we don’t get those opportunities” he added.
Jayousi, on his technical assessment of the team’s performance highlighted the realities of what needs to change if Palestine was to become competitive at an international level. Although there is a large contingent of very talented boxers in Palestine, the local infrastructure, expertise and support currently doesn’t exist to support them.
Palestine MMA was established for this reason and coach Jayousi has been working with local and international professionals to put the foundations in place to ensure sustained success at all levels in future.
“I would like to thank Palestine MMA for the grant they provided for both Islam and myself, it really provided us with the opportunity to get some international experience” said Jayousi. “We have now began the review process with Palestine MMA Director, Michael Dahdal, to see what we need to put in place in the next 12-24 months to be more competitive” he added.
“Islam and Nader only managed limited preparation for this tournament, since they were only notified a couple of weeks before hand” said Palestine MMA Director, Michael Dahdal. “It really is a whole system that needs to be improved, breakdowns in administration and planning are just as important as the coaching and the athletes preparation”. We have a saying in Sports Development, Dahdal added; “a team is only as good as the organisation behind it - and I think that’s true”..
Palestine MMA is currently continuing its work in trying to establish a training facility and programs in the West Bank to support our future athletes, coaches and administrators.
Palestine MMA is Non-Profit initiative
Qualifying Round: 64kg Mohammed Alaa' Minawi (Od Shabab Nablus Club), Loss Decision
Qualifying Round: 69kg Naser AL Sokkari (Od Shabab Nablus Club), Loss TKO
Qualifying Round: 75kg Islam Irshaid (Palestine MMA), Loss Decision
Qualifying Round: 81kg Sobhi Sokkari (Od Shabab Nablus Club), Loss, Decision
Qualifying Round: 91Kg Mahmoud Jaras (No Club), Loss TKO
Qualifying Round: 91 Kg + Morad sroor (No Club), Loss TKO
*Islam Irsheid was supported by coach Nader Jayousi (Palestine MMA) who also attended the championship.