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Interview: Buctown Chile Head Coach, Alfredo Muaiad

An Interview with Buctown Chile Head Coach, Alfredo Muaiad:

Please introduce yourself and share your journey with martial arts. How did it lead you to become a coach and join Buctown's mission?

I am Alfredo Muaiad, professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter, purple belt in Luta Livre Esportiva, brown belt in BJJ. I have been training and competing in Martial Arts and contact sports in general for approximately 12 years. I really like the social focus of the Buctown project and am happy to be a coach and join its mission. I already have a group of approximately 20 young students on my team, if I can help many more it would be a great satisfaction as a coach.

In your own words, how does practicing martial arts contribute to personal and community development? Can you share an instance where you've seen a significant transformation in an individual (and/or individuals)?

The practice of Martial Arts for people is a great contribution to their personal and social development. As a person, it helps with self-confidence and in addition to greatly increasing self-esteem, it gives us security in our personality. In terms of community, belonging to a group of people who all fight for a common and collective good of improvement, whether personal or team, creates a very strong camaraderie and friendship in its members.

The closest transformation I have had is that of my life story. I had a very tough adolescence, with my family we lived in low-income neighborhoods in Santiago, then I lived with my mother in another town where I was around gangs. Several of my friends went to jail and 2 more who are dead from drug problems. I, along with a few others, were able to get out of that life and advance, but most never do.

When I learned about martial arts, I left the whole world where I was very exposed to drugs, alcohol and crime behind me. I dedicated 100% of myself to training and managed to leave my vices and the streets to become a professional fighter. I have now traveled the world fighting and working with those I love. That journey is what I like to share most with my students, that they can get ahead with Martial Arts if they put their mind to it.

Based on your journey, why do you believe it's essential to instill the attributes you've learned from martial arts—such as confidence, discipline, respect, and perseverance—into our youth students? How do these attributes contribute to their growth in and out of the training room?

 It is something fundamental, especially in young people at social risk, to instill values that many times they do not even find in their homes. Here in my country, many young people come from families in which their parents were or are also delinquents, where for them it is normal to live within that environment. Martial arts helps them feel part of something far beyond the path of crime, of being part of a family, achieving achievements, with disciplined effort, seeing that they can go far in their goals and dreams thanks to everything they do on the tatami mats.

Considering the current challenges in Chile, such as increased crime and the aftermath of wildfires, how can martial arts act as a catalyst for positive change among affected youth?

Martial Arts will always be a therapy for all types of people. On the tatami mats, they are in a moment where one can forget or channel energies, whether positive or negative. So we can, even during training, forget problems and everything around us.

Could you provide more details about the new program in Chile? What age groups are you focusing on, what specific disciplines will you be teaching, and what benefits come from practicing them?

Well, the idea would be to hold free classes for young people and children, at social risk, or simply those who want or are interested in training, which is a way for the community to integrate, share martial arts or simply play sports. The group that I will focus on are children and especially young adolescents, which is a very vulnerable stage to fall into criminal gangs. Thus having them focused on training instead of spending their time on the streets. The discipline that we will teach will be MMA and Luta Livre (Esportiva Brasilera). The benefits for the community will focus on keeping the children and youth of the community on the right track.

How do you plan to integrate Buctown's core values into your coaching and the new program? Are there any specific activities or methodologies you intend to use?

Chile is an underdeveloped country in terms of sports since we do not have support from anyone. One of the values that we can base through this social project is its saying of "supporting local fighters." We will enforce that support by training athletes. The methodology that we would use in our project is the integration of the entire community into sport through our disciplines. Training athletes with basic techniques and training competing athletes with advanced techniques of the disciplines.



Reflecting on Buctown's impact in New Jersey, can you share a story of transformation that resonates with you? What achievements in your martial arts or coaching career are you most proud of? Have you faced a personal challenge where martial arts changed your life?

The story of transformation was about overcoming vices and the life of the streets. I became champion of my weight class in the largest event in Chile, and defended my title. I am also one of the very few Chileans who have fought in the biggest events in the world such as in Japan and the United Arab Emirates. From being an ordinary person, I have managed to travel the world thanks to Martial Arts and make a living from it.

What are your immediate goals for the program in Chile, and how do they align with your vision for empowering youth?

The immediate and fundamental goals are to create free classes for young people to spend their free time in training, and close the gap of falling into the bad path of the streets. It is always better to have a young person in the gym than on the street. In Chile there is no free social Martial Arts project, this will be the first one ever. If we manage to consolidate the project, we can save many young people and adolescents, this I am very sure.

For people reading this, what would you like to say about the importance of their support for Buctown Chile's mission?

I'd tell them that thanks to their support they will help young people, children and adolescents. From a small country in Latin America, which is currently suffering a high rate of crime growth, especially among young people, thanks to your support we will create great athletes, perhaps in the future the first world champions in their disciplines. We can save lives with this sport. 


Learn more about Alfredo in his Fighter Interview with Buctown

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