CAPE TOWN – There is something special going down at Fighterz Inc. MMA and Wellness Academy.
Situated in a business block in the heart of Ottery, Cape Town, one can find a portal to a world of discipline, commitment, humanity and respect.
What started out as a makeshift gym in Coach Fidaah Edries’ garage has now turned into a foundation for elite and upcoming martial artists.
“Hard work, Dedication and Relentlessness” posters are screaming from the walls as you walk into the gym, along with pictures of some of the world’s greatest athletes. Yet, there is a humbling and disciplined silence that can only be attributed to goal-driven and well-trained athletes.
It’s a pretty amazing experience that Coach Fidaah has designed, especially considering that he built this foundation after working in the NGO sector as a qualified therapist before finding this calling.
“Some of the youth I had worked with about four years ago wanted to learn Martial Arts,” says Coach Fidaah, who had been studying the Arts for more than eight years at the time.
“We managed to raise funds for various equipment.”
After his students performed well in competition, they were keen on taking their discipline to the next level, which got Coach Fidaah thinking feasibility and long-term.
“It was tough as I had no sponsors, but just started out with what I had which included my self-belief. Everybody told me you can’t just start a gym, but my belief in myself and the power of God carried me.”
Being exposed to all the negativity and the doubt, Coach Fidaah initially started out in Kenilworth.
“I can tell you, this is a very ego-driven sport, and everybody will try and prove to you that they’re the best, and people are constantly looking for justification from you as to why and how did you get here.
“But I rolled with the punches.”
Today, that Hardwork, Dedication and Relentlessness is slowly but surely paying off for the Fighterz Inc. MMA and Wellness Academy.
Coach Fidaah might be one of the smaller gyms on the Extreme Fighting Championship roster, in terms of number of athletes, (most of the other gyms have five or more on average).
But make no mistake, his athletes are growing at a rapid pace and the scariest part is, the more they learn, the hungrier they get.
With his Mastermind Peak Performance (MPP) Programme in full swing, coach Fidaah is developing some of the most skilled martial artists this side of the equator.
The three guys who have already made name for themselves are Faeez Jacobs, Fafa Dwama and Christian Bobo.
Faeez is notoriously known for his exciting, nail-biting and unpredictability, and is ultimately one fight away from a bantamweight championship bout.
Both he and Fafa will be fighting this weekend at EFC75 at the Grand West Casino.
Aside from the Pro MMA fighters, Coach Fidaah has more than 20 males and female fighters competing in Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai and amateur MMA athletes on his conveyor belt.
Faeez has grown, and aside from his relentless hard work and hunger for more, Coach Fidaah’s MPP programme can also be credited.
It entails smart, evasive and effective striking, movement training and problem-solving exercises, to only name a few.
But what ultimately makes Fighterz Inc so special is the work they do outside of the ring.
Where there is social upliftment and awareness to be implemented, that is where you will find Coach Fidaah and his athletes.
Not too long ago, Fighterz Inc hosted a Women’s Day self-defence class, and that is just one of the many programmes they run or host.
Working with youth at risk and helping those in need is one of the building blocks of Fighterz Inc. “We are a family, we believe in good morals and values. One of our NGO motto’s is ‘Fight for a Cause’.
“I aim to develop better human beings, not fighters who win fights and who have egos. And I instil principles within my athletes that will be beneficial to other human beings,” added Coach Fidaah.@juliankiewietz