Saeed Esmaeli is my favourite wrestler, so I thought I’d share a couple of clips of him. I love the fact that he’s currently working out of a church with his classes, as you can see in his Instagram clips:
I like the way he’s emphasising using the whole body in his movements, not isolated leg and arms, much as we are encouraged to do in internal martial arts. “Wrestle with your hips, wrestle with your body”.
Wrestling arises spontaneously in every culture all over the world. Saeed’s branch has its roots in Iran. The story of how he comes to use a church is explained in this article from the Bristol 24/7. “THE UNLIKELY BOND BETWEEN AN IRANIAN WRESTLER AND A BRISTOL VICAR”
“Rather than striking, Pahlevani wrestling teaches students the art of grace under pressure, a great metaphor for dealing with the pressure that life can throw at us and one that reverend James Wilson can get on board with.
St Gregory the Great on Filton Road in Horfield officially opened its heavy oak doors to Wrestle for Humanity, a unique community Olympic wresting club and mental heath intervention service run by coach Saeed Esmaeli, whose mission is to make wrestling accessible and to help people feel good and perform well both on and off the mat.
Having experienced war, revolution and poverty, Iranian-born Saeed has overcome racism, bullying and grief and understands adversity. He brings a message of hope in his ‘infused psychology’ one-on-ones and in every community wrestling class.”
As for the connection between martial arts and dance? Check it out!