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Let’s start them young — Aguilar

Alvin Aguilar
Aguilar on the warpath.

MOST of the success stories in martial arts sports came from athletes who started competing at an early age.

This was stressed by Philippine Wrestling Federation president Alvin Aguilar as he took a swing at House Bill 1526, or the “Act Banning Minors from Full-Contact Competitive Sports, Imposing Penalties for Violation Thereof and for other Purposes.

While every other country in the world encourages physical sports for their youth, there are plans by lawmakers in our country to do the exact opposite,” said Aguilar during the 23rd “Usapang Sports on Air”by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom last Dec. 10.

It’s an absolute nightmare. So I am calling on all martial arts groups to join together and fight this proposal. We have to express our opposition for the sake of our young and talented athletes,” added Aguilar during the weekly public service program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).

Right now, the whole martial arts sports community is against this bill. Even the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is against it. That’s why we are trying to raise awareness even in social media to let people know that there’s such a plan by our lawmakers,” explained Aguilar.

He said he intends to meet with lawmaker-friends to present the issue and shed light on the controversy.

I’ll give them my ten cents’ worth on this matter. I will show them and orient them about combat sports and the many safety requirements that we already have.

Aguilar, also the president of Universal Reality Combat Championships (URCC) claimed the bill will be detrimental to the grassroot development program of the different national sports associations.

I can’t emphasize it enough but our grassroot sports development program will go to hell. It’s even anti-poor. So many success stories in sports came from athletes who started young. They cannot start when they are already 18 years old and expect them to excel,” added Aguilar, also the founder of DEFTAC Martial Arts School.

In our sport wrestling, we start them at a very young age and train them early. I have a lot of street kids going to our gyms to learn, train and eventually become champions. We even help them to get college scholarships through sports,” he explained.

Aguilar claimed the NSAs under the umbrella of the POC have the best technical officials and coaches who can supervise the safe conduct of full-contact competitive sports.

We are really the ones who are qualified to do so. But all of us, including me, are still learning a lot of new techniques,” said Aguilar even as he put the blame on short, one-hour seminars being done by DepEd on its officials for the “unfortunate incidents in combat sports.”

Joining Aguilar in the TOPS forum were David Carter (judo), Richard Lim (karate), Pearl Managuelod (muaythai), Paolo Tancontian (sambo) and Atty.Wharton Chan (kickboxing).