UMMAA Holds Annual Martial Arts Expo

While Christmas was being celebrated in homes around the nation, values like self-discipline and respect were being honored in Howard County, Maryland.

The United Muslim Martial Arts Association (UMMAA) held their annual expo featuring local and regional Muslim martial artists on December 25, 2010 in the main hall of Dar Al-Taqwa. Led by Baltimore martial artist practitioner Abdulmuhsiy Abdurrahman, UMMAA has held the annual event featuring mostly demonstrations for forms and techniques since the mid-1990s.

“We want to unify the Muslims from all over and give Muslims an alternative [gathering on Christmas],” said Brother Abdulmuhsiy, who added that martial arts needs to be promoted because “its been proven that it instills discipline, respect, and good adab [manners] in people.”

About 150 audience members watched and listened as about twelve demonstration teams – some composed of one martial artist while others had over 10 members – went through traditional forms mostly from Japan or China.

Local martial artists included Sa’il Abdullah who demonstrated Judo forms and Ali Shabazz who demonstrated Aiki-Jujitsu, both from the Baltimore area. The largest demonstration team came from New Jersey. Women martial artists also demonstrated. Some instructors led audience members in simple forms and techniques. The program started around 11:30 am and went till 5pm.

UMMAA hopes to organize demonstrations and tournaments outside the region in the near future, with New Jersey as one possible region. “We want to work with any Muslim martial artists who support the goals, aims, and objectives of UMMAA,” said Brother Abdulmuhsiy.


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