‘Children these days are too soft’

Jihin Razduan Wonder Woman

She doesn’t pull punches in and out of the cage and that is why Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan is now the top female mixed martial artist in the country.

So when asked to comment on plans to introduce mixed martial arts (MMA) in schools, she didn’t hold back.

“Children these days are too soft … both boys and girls. They don’t know how to make decisions and lack self-confidence,” said Jihin, who trains school children in her spare time.

“Learning martial arts can make a child more disciplined, get them in shape, be independent and help them make friends.”

She said some of her charges have blossomed into confident young children even though they were timid when they initially joined her training.

Jihin, who will return to the cage at ONE: Masters of Destiny on July 12, said parents are overprotective of their children and this was one of the reasons why their children find it hard to make decisions for themselves.

“I have seen this with my own eyes. Parents pamper their children too much,” said Jihin, who faces Jomary Torres at of the Philippines at Axiata Arena next month.

“My training is rough and tough but very safe. However, some parents react negatively if their child has a slight bruise.

“They don’t see the positives of martial arts. We teach them discipline and control and it helps the shy ones make new friends as well.

“It will be good to have MMA in schools as we need the next generation of fighters coming through.”

On May 7, Malaysian Mixed Martial Arts Association (MASMMAA) president Rashid Salleh told Twentytwo13 it is time to prioritise youth development and the best place to start unearthing talents would be in schools.

Separately, Saiful “The Vampire” Merican, who returns from a two-year injury lay off to fight fellow Malaysian Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Mahmoud at ONE: Masters of Destiny was also supportive of MMA being introduced in schools.

He said the grappling style learnt at a young age is similar to Greco-Roman wrestling at the Olympics.

“ONE Championship is about respect, humility and integrity. This is what you want to teach the kids,” said Saiful.

“Martial arts is not just about fighting but building self-confidence which will help them be disciplined.”

Meanwhile, Jihin said she was determined to return to winning ways following the first loss of her career to Gina “Conviction” Iniong in February.

“I’m back on home soil and I’m unbeaten in Kuala Lumpur. I’m confident of keeping that streak alive,” said Jihin, whose ultimate goal is to win the atomweight championship belt.

“But right now, I’m just focused on winning what’s in front of me.”

After five fights in ONE Championship, Jihin has a 4-1 win-loss record.