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A Lebanese martial art worldwide

Article en anglais

Created by the world renowned martial arts expert Dr. Walid Kassas, Kowat Alrami (power of throw) moved from Lebanon through a world federation to penetrate about 70 countries around the globe. What is different in this mixed form of martial art? Why was it established? Who can take part in it? Walid Kassas exclusively answers the questions raised by Podcast Journal explaining many aspects of his relatively new sport.

Photo (C) Walid Kassas
Photo (C) Walid Kassas
podcast_kowat_alrami.mp3 Podcast_Kowat_Alrami.mp3  (422.46 Ko)

“Do you like martial arts? Play them safely through Kowat Alrami”, indicated a sentence written in one of the sports clubs of Athens in Greece. This Arabic-named martial art was created in Tripoli Lebanon in the year 1980. However, it was only started in 2007 when a world federation was established for the game. The reason for the delay, according to the creator of Kowat Alrami, was the carelessness of most of the Arab governments i[specifically the Lebanese governments which continuously left sports’ issues in the drawers]I, said Dr. Kassas. Following the registration of the world federation for Kowat Alrami in Italy in 2007, an Arab Federation was established in 2009 and the game was officially adopted by the federation of Olympic Arab National Councils in Jordan in 2010. There are almost 15 countries in the Arab Federation currently.

After many decades of training and presiding a multitude of national, pan-Arab, as well as international federations of different martial arts, Dr. Walid Kassas established Kowat Alrami based on the fact that he wanted to create a style that sheds light on our Arabic traditions, just like it happened in other countries. We designed the uniforms taking into account the traditional cloths of ancient warriors. We also kept the name without translation in an attempt to redeem the international value of our language in which sciences were first crafted.

According to Dr. Kassas, Arabs neglected martial arts in spite of some theories indicating Arabic origins of many of them. They then went on following all what came to them haphazardly. He added: the first thing I care about changing is the black image the propaganda made about Arabs showing them as bloodthirsty and problematic.

In contrast to other sports where blood and disrespect of the human being are obvious, Kowat Alrami seeks to show the principles its practitioner should continuously show. Rather than insulting the person by hitting him or her while lying on the floor and filled with blood like what happens in the cage form of mixed martial arts or street fighting, we seek to train generations to achieve discipline and respect through a safe martial art. We train and fight, therefore, to achieve peace – even our salute is based on the word “peace” itself.

Kowat Alrami starts with punches and kicks immediately after announcing the fight open. The fighters are not allowed to throw or steady each other unless in adherence when hitting is not allowed. As for the styles and hits, any form can be adopted as long as the rules of the game are respected. For example, a fighter from muay thai is allowed to hit the body of his opponent with his knee but not the head. In addition, elbow hits cannot be used in Kowat Alrami. As for the fighters who train on Kowat Alrami rather than coming for a fight from other forms of martial arts, they are instructed in different styles and methods because we believe that a complete fight is based on a combination from all styles unlike other martial arts that rely on a single mode of fight (punching only like in English boxing).
In addition, Kowat Alrami seeks to demonstrate the skills of the master (trainer) by allowing him to participate in specific fights where they reveal their talent in training.

When asked about the name of the game, Dr. Kassas clarifies that it is articulated in its Arabic pronunciation whichever the language might be. Just as we seek the meaning of the Japanese word karate, why doesn’t the west do the same in searching for the meaning of Kowat Alrami?

You can go to the official website of Kowat Alrami by pressing on the photo above. You can also watch below a video detailing some of the aspects of the game. An Arabic version of this article is available by pressing here


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