Hello Faris, can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey guys it’s Faris Kashmeeri, I’m a fighter for the Saudi Arabia national Jiu Jitsu team and most importantly I’m a Pisces haha – I have also been lucky to win the first medal in the world championship for my country.
Is it your first time participating in Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship?
I have competed 3 times in the World Championship and lost twice in the semi-finals my first years. It sucked to miss out by a little on medals and most importantly the cash prize hahaha, but I always have a good time getting on the mats and fighting with the best in the world, and it’s awesome to be able to see my improvement and make it to the podium last year.
How is your training going leading up to the ADWPJJC?
I train year round, so it’s not like I do anything different for a specific championship. The focus and training is always on because Jiu Jitsu is one of the few sports that doesn’t have an off season, there’s always a competition around every corner! Especially now with AJP tour reaching the ends of the world with its grand slams and national pros across every place that has a flag haha – once Elon Musk figures how to get us to Mars, I won’t be surprised if we see a Grandslam there.
How did the sport of Jiu Jitsu impact you on a personal level? Why do you recommend youth to practice the sport?
For me Jiu Jitsu both directly and indirectly shaped my life. Obviously directly in the sense that I am a full time Jiu Jitsu fighter now, and it took over as my career. But indirectly, it gave me a lot of confidence to take bigger risks in my personal life. And truly, the decisions I made and committed to off the mat helped put me in a better position in my daily life.
Jiu Jitsu’s true value is the characteristics and traits you need to develop to be good in Jiu Jitsu that end up translating off the mat. Being good at problem-solving, being resilient, patient, and dealing well under pressure. I think those are traits any kid would benefit from regardless of what field they go into.
How do you see Abu Dhabi hosting global Jiu Jitsu championships and giving the chance for athletes to compete against the best in the world?
Abu Dhabi has become a second home to me, especially during this pandemic. Corona got us hiding our gis and tying our belts twice. Right now, it’s such a great opportunity that Abu Dhabi is able to continue to host these major events and give us athletes the chance to do what we love, even at time where most simple things are difficult. Glad to be still traveling!
Who influenced you the most in developing your BJJ game?
To be honest I always used to look up to different high-level athletes in the sport and try to mimic their game and that always failed miserably for me. I truly believed that when I got better, my Jiu Jitsu would slowly start to look more and more like my idols. With time, as I got better, I slowly started to see my Jiu Jitsu look more and more like my own. I do the same techniques like when I first started but a lot sharper now. I think everybody should find their style. Nobody can make you.
Would you like to give any advice to our readers that would help them either on the mat or in their lives?
For those who do Jiu Jitsu I’d say try to zoom out and see other aspects going on in your life. I know it’s hard as a fighter because we all have this tunnel vision of being better at what we do. But it’s important to balance other parts of your life, or even hobbies you want to entertain. For me I almost lost my passion and burned out at one point because I had side tracked all my other interests. Don’t feel guilty for wanting other things, and always do what’s best for you.