Meet Ashfaq Wani -The Counter Violence Expert Of Kashmir

6 mins read
In Pic: Ashfaq Wani- The Combat Specialist

TL: Tell us briefly about yourself? Your training, work, and the feats you have achieved in combat so far?

AW: I live in district Baramulla of Jammu & Kashmir. I have done masters in Convergent Journalism from the Central University of Kashmir.

 Besides being a journalist, I consider myself to be a student of violence & self-protection with more than 20 years of experience in various combative arts. I remember I was barely seven years old when I started training in martial arts and got enrolled in a local martial arts academy in Baramulla. It was the year 1998 when I was a class 1st student. I was walking through a playground in our locality with my father and I saw some athletes practicing martial arts routines. Once I heard the words ‘fighting’ & ‘martial art’, I developed a strange feeling within. I felt like I was already familiar with the art. At that very moment, I made up my mind that I have to train in combative arts for the rest of my life, and see it has been more than 20 years and I’m still training, and learning never stops.

I owe being a martial artist to my Sifus especially Dr. Shabir Ahmad Bagwan and Prof. Khursheed Ahmad Bhat, who are the pioneers of martial arts in JK. I  had a privilege to get vigorously trained under both of them through all these years. I remember I used to ride the bicycle for 20 Kms so as to attend the morning training sessions! Ah! Good old days. They have always been my inspiration both in life and in the combatives journey.

In Jammu & Kashmir, I am the first to get trained and certified by special forces instructors of India in an Israeli combat system – Krav Maga.  I am also a certified instructor of Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method – Jeet Kune Do (International Institute Of Martial Arts – IIMA). Moreover, I hold black belts in two different styles of martial arts viz; Kung Fu (Sports Lion King Club – SLKC) & Taekwondo (World Taekwondo Federation) and have won dozens of medals in combat sports both at the state and national levels.

In 2016, I started Kashmir Combatives / Counter Violence Training Program to impart combat and self-protection training to our youth so that they become physically fit and mentally strong to combat any kind of violence prevailing in our society, thus becoming responsible citizens of our nation.

TL: Tell us in brief about Kashmir Combatives and how you got the idea of starting it?

AW: Kashmir Combatives is a Kashmir based combat training facility located in district Baramulla. KC’s Counter Violence Training Program is the most comprehensive and advanced set of techniques and principles designed for countering violence & self-protection. Our CVT program is a unique blend of the best from various modern-day combative systems that have been tailored to maximize the ease of learning and application under stress.

CVT is known for its “No – Nonsense” approach to violence, combat & self-protection. A foundation laid in scientific principles, experience-based fine-tuning, and continuous evolution of the techniques & principles make CVT the most complete combative training program.

The motive is very simple – To SURVIVE.

At Kashmir Combatives, my main focus is always on real-world violence and self-protection. The cold hard truth is sports-based or traditional martial arts do not prepare you for the realities of violence in the 21st century especially when your life is on the line! A controlled fighting event that is governed by rules is safe compared to a dark street with 2 or 4 psychopaths demanding your property or your life. A combat sport is a voluntary agreement between two athletes to participate in the action to discover who will win. It is generally far from a life and death situation.

Furthermore, Kashmir Combatives is not affiliated with any combat organization or martial arts venture.

I respect all combat sports and recognized martial arts associations in Kashmir. I hope they’re doing well in their respective fields but with me, TRUTH and REALISM are the goals!!

To me, Kashmiri martial artists alongside medals and trophies need a realistic approach of combat; a skill set to protect their honor, life, and loved ones in a conflict zone of Kashmir.

TL: What is Counter Violence Training? How is KC different from any other martial arts academy in Kashmir?

 

AW: Counter Violence Training or CVT is a self-protection training program that I designed back in 2016 so as to counter violence by violence itself. I believe if you have to survive a violent threat, you need to be better at violence than your attacker. because the sociopathic and psychopathic criminals out there don’t care about your moral values, ethics, or career goals. they are there to wage violence. The question is are you prepared to deal with such a violent encounter when your life is on the line?

 CVT is an amalgam of principles and tactics sourced from various reality-based combat systems, and real-life CCTV violence-based footage. We analyse and read the real-life violent encounters and update our curriculum accordingly.

CVT is not Krav Maga, MMA, or any other martial art form but a pure asymmetrical real-life based violence training to counter and survive a violent encounter!!

CVT is purely the methods of counter-violence and self-protection. It is a purpose-driven way of overcoming one’s adversary by whatever methods needed. It is neither a system nor a style but a mindset where the entire focus is on developing the wildest and most effective means to finish the task at hand that embraces all types of combat methods and weaponry that are based on gross motor skills, economy of time, easy to learn and effective under adrenaline stress. The essence of CVT is to learn and develop the essential combat skill set that can help you to protect yourself and your loved ones from a real-life threat.

If you think you can survive a violent act without violence you’ve already lost. Therefore, educate yourself in the use of violence before violence educates you.

Violence doesn’t care about sportsmanship, belts, ranks, or trophies. So to combat violence you need to be better at violence than your attacker.

TL: What is your take on the rise of martial art games in Jammu and Kashmir?

AW: Well, that’s an important question and definitely needs an in-depth answer.  I feel It’s my responsibility to bring out some hard facts about “Combat sports and martial art associations” in our UT J&K.

Let me get straight to the point. There are lots of ‘sports martial arts’ associations and few parallel associations that are not recognized in our union territory and they continue to fool our youth for fake tournaments and medals and charge them way too much. Thus ruining their sports career and their parent’s hard-earned money!

Because of such unrecognized martial art associations, every dick & harry in the valley is claiming medals at “international” platforms and boasts to be called “international medalist” thus defaming such platforms and playing havoc with the careers of recognized martial art players who are actually grinding themselves from several years and still got no medal to their name!

The irony is our UT still lacks behind, as we don’t have medals at higher platforms like National or International levels through recognized associations except a few!!

The reason is in recognized associations you are supposed to follow the setup of tournaments before going to higher platforms and at higher platforms, the competition is of the elite level where it takes a high level of skill to even qualify the medal bout! While getting medals through fake and unrecognized events, all you just need is a good amount of money and a sound political approach with your association!!

Now coming to the hard fact, the reason these unrecognized associations got so much of media hype in the valley was just to divert the attention of people from Kashmir conflict towards sports! That’s why our government didn’t bother whether medals are coming from legal associations or fake associations!

Anyway, when it comes to participation in fighting sports, I would recommend martial art players of JK to take part in those fighting games that are recognized by the Indian Olympic Association, School Games Federation Of India and Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council. Their certificates can help you in your academics and your career as well.

And yes, people in Kashmir need to understand that there is a hell lot of difference between combat sports and self-protection training. Most enthusiasts join martial arts for self-defense, but unfortunately, they get the diluted form of martial arts training through these McDojos and that bullshido doesn’t work when it comes to an actual self-defense situation.

Now you decide as to why you getting into martial arts, then look for the avenues and meet your goals.

TL: How is your Counter Violence Training helping local enthusiasts?

AW: CVT is ultimately for personality development. It helps you to become the best version of yourself. People join my academy and they feel positive changes in their lives, they cultivate warrior spirit and get the real taste of combat thus helping them in becoming a ‘Fighting Gentlemen’. When you devote a lot of your time and effort into training, there’s no doubt that you will eventually become better at it. And the more devoted you become, the more you realize how much in your life has changed because of combat training. So go on, achieve the impossible. You now know that you are capable of anything you set your mind to, all thanks to combative arts.

TL: What are your long term plans?

AW: I always consider myself to be the student of violence and  I am still here to learn and I’ll be pushing the boundaries in every way both in my combative journey and in my own personal and professional development. God has given me this gift and I believe it’s my responsibility to promote it in its real essence. I’ll be working on creating more awareness about self-protection and empowerment through Counter Violence Training. I’ll be conducting various workshops and seminars across the Kashmir about the same. As an instructor, I’ll be creating more responsible and action-oriented citizens in our society.

ALSO READ: Violence – A Tool For Survival

 

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