by London Learner
There are massive misconceptions and stigmas that surround the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Here at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) we challenge these by having an MMA Academy which installs discipline and respect within our students.
Alay Asghar has been in the world of MMA for 11 years, working at CONEL for the last three of those as Head coach of the MMA Academy.
From competitor to coach Alay has learnt a lot during his time in the sport. He said:
“MMA is a sport which in my opinion instils discipline and character into the individuals who participate. There is a big misconception that MMA is all about promoting violence and fighting however in practice it is actually a great way to help the students channel their aggression within a controlled environment.
“MMA has many disciplines that have a deep-rooted history. Many of these have their own traditions dated hundreds of years based around respect for themselves, their opponent and life in general. I introduce and implement these ideologies amongst my students straight away which I hope will benefit them not only in the classroom but also in the outside world. These traditions consist of bowing, shaking hands and respecting the authority of the coaches and teachers.
“As well as these life skills, MMA is a great form of exercise for people of all abilities and backgrounds offering a unique path to bettering themselves physically and mentally.”
Brandon Wilkins is one of Alay’s top students. During his time at CONEL Brandon has won:
- Wikf European championship open weight 16-17 years
- Basel open 16-17 years +68kg
- English champion 16-17 years -68kg
- British champion 16-17 years -68kg 2017&2018
- Central England champion 2017 and 2018 x2 16-17 years -68kg and open weight
Alongside the MMA Academy, Brandon studies Sports Fitness and Coaching which he hopes will assist him in pursuing a career in Karate.
Brandon said, “My training has to be very specific for Karate so I mainly focus on that at my own club but the college has helped me build up my fitness in the gym with the equipment that is there.”