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Martial arts

August 13, 2004

One of the benefits of writing (besides saving thousands on therapy), is that readers help you keep it going. Just when I think I am out of topics, or out of ideas, a friend will send me a link to something wonderful, and it starts all over again. (Thanks this time to Cameron D.)

Such is this report.

As a child growing up in Tehran during the seventies, I am sure most men my age, some older and some younger will no doubt remember the famous Ostad "Varasteh" and the post "Enter the Dragon" popularity of Martial Arts. As teenagers, we roamed the streets after watching Beyk-Imaverdi in the movies, imitating him doing flying sidekicks and roundhouses, filling the still summer air with the scent of "Eau Sauvage" as the "Pachehs" of our tight Brittania bellbottoms flapped in the wind.

So you get by now that martial arts, Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Kung Fu, and Bruce Lee, all have a special place in the heart of the middle-aged Iranian male. [Ladies, listen and learn because it may explain a lot about your men!]

But that was then.

Years have flown by and the fond familiar feeling, and attitude have all but disappeared. Until today. Today, I am young again, flush with the flowing blood of excitement of having found a long lost friend. Today I met and spoke to Master Mehrdad!

Master Mehrdad Moayedi is 6 feet 1.5 inches, and weighs 235 pounds. Just about this side of huge. He is a 6th Dan Kong Shin Bup Hapkido, 8th Dan World Shin Do & Ancient Hapkido/Shaolin Kung-Fu Association Destructive Kicker , a world class Muay Thai kickboxer and to "turn it up to eleven" and the secret ingredient in his recipe of success, add the fact that he is a professional Koshti-Kaj wrestler from his hometown of Sari in Iran.

Since 1977 he has fought in Iran and around the world, quickly moving from traditional to the more popular and dangerous "Full Contact" competitions. No pads, no shin guards, no headgear. Bone to Bone.

In 1993, he founded a martial arts school in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area of Florida and beyond instruction, has devoted himself to becoming the world champion in professional full contact martial arts.   In 2001, he founded Shin Do Kumat», the first professional martial arts fighting event ever sanctioned by the State of Florida Athletic & Boxing Commission.   In 2004, he started his own amateur sanctioning body, World Shin Do Kumat» Association, recognized by the State of Florida as an official sanctioning entity.

Shin Do Kumat» means žThe Way of The Fighting SpiritÓ and invites the best fighters from around the world to compete in various weight divisions.   As all martial arts people, this is Moayedi's creed, his way of life.   That and being Persian.

"This is more than just about fighting and kicking", he said, "this is a way to reflect on your daily way of life."

As fierce and determined as he is, Moayedi is equally fiercely Persian. He does not want to talk about the circumstances under which he came to the US from Iran, which, even behind the safety of a phone, I wasn't going to push him about. But he left Iran in 1984 and after spending the now presumptive time in Toronto Canada trying to get his visa paperwork in order, finally arrived in the US in 1991 with as he puts it, "...exactly $140 in my pocket."

Just to get it out of the way, yes this is another one of those rags to riches, American Dream success stories, and yes they're still happening, and yes they're still happening to Iranians, even with all the garbage we have to put up with. As much as they may mess with it from time to time, America is still America, Moayedi is yet more proof of that.

His belief (and which one of you is going to argue otherwise?) is that the origins of the Martial Arts, contrary to popular belief, is linked to Persia, Egypt, and Indonesia. He likens the Zoor-Khaneh to the Dojo, and can trace for you the historical accomplishments. He said, "The ancient Greeks would kidnap Persian warriors so that they could learn how to fight", eventually becoming what is now known as Greco-Roman wrestling.

His school arm is clearly a Persian figure of the Persepolis style, and his signs proudly fly the ancient Persian symbol of the Sun & Lion. He wants to promote Persian culture and heritage and as he says, "To let Americans know that we are not terrorists."

His influences were his sportsmen Uncle and Father in Iran and the rather large, towering cook their family employed in their home in Sari. The cook was a skilled Koshti Kaj wrestler and could bring down anyone with the slightest effort. Moayedi was in awe. At age 5, he began to eagerly explore training and by age 11, he was training with heavy sandbags and running with ankle weights. He hasn't turned back since.

Because it is so exciting, Shin do Kumat» has breathed new life into the fast waning sport of professional Boxing, so much so that recently the Florida Boxing Commission sanctioned Moayedi's competition. There are 9 bouts at varying weight levels only for the most qualified and highest level men and women fighters. Referees, judges, the whole nine yards. All of Moayedi's events are broadcast on FOX Sports Net. A popular local in the St. Petersburg area, Moayedi is charming, good natured, and one of the most confident people you will ever run across. His respect for his opponents has garnered him worldwide respect, and even though he promises to win each time he fights, whether he does or not, is irrelevant. Because he is a winner .

Moayadi shows us all, that if you take the fight to your opponent, you can not only win, but in the honorable way you win, win the heart of your enemy, turning them into a friend.

Heed the Master, Oooossssss!

Send an email to Master Mehrdad at:

To view Master Mehrdad's website please visit: //

To learn more about Shin Do Kumat» please Click Here

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