My people come from a long line of warriors and people who never quit. It is the foundation of the Khalsa and my motivation to become UFC heavyweight champion is not for the accolades, fame or fortune but to continue the legacy.
Vancouver, British Columbia (PRWEB) May 18, 2017
A group of businessmen led by Canadian Sikh billionaire, Erwin Singh Braich, have formed a coalition and created a company to assist South Asians globally in making their mark in the world (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgIDvv7wvaw&t=8s).
One of the athletes on their roster is making huge waves right now in the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8yfZUQghQ0)
Sikh Olympian, Arjan Singh Bhullar was born in Richmond, British Columbia and is the first person of South Asian descent to represent Canada in the Olympics in freestyle wrestling (London 2012- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmFUC6X4fjE&t=17s).
He also won Gold in freestyle wrestling at the Commonwealth Games (2010). Arjan was the only Gold medalist on Team Canada.
Arjan is currently undefeated in his MMA career after another victory a few weeks ago in the cage (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z0em_XbJlA&t=7s).
Arjan is the first wrestler in history to win University national titles for the Canadian (CIS) and American (NAIA) leagues in the same year (2008) and he was named the Best Wrestler of the tournament that year and won the award for Athlete of the Year at Simon Fraser in 2008. He is a two time NAIA wrestling champion.
In 2008 he was also named the Canadian Olympic Trials Champion. In 2009 he was named Canadian Wrestler of the Year. In 2011 he was named Sport BC University Athlete of of the Year and he was a Bronze medalist at the University World Championships. He is a five time National Champion.
Arjan was also the recipient of a silver medal marking the Queens Diamond Jubilee, which was presented by the Prime Minister of Canada to select Canadians for their service to Canada.
"Wrestling has been an integral part of Sikh culture since its beginnings. The founders of the religion practiced wrestling, even using it as a platform to promote health and wellness. Its other obvious practical use was hand-to-hand combat, something employed routinely by many Sikhs whether in opposition to oppressive rule, fending off invaders of the country of India, or competing in grand tournaments." - Lachlan Macintosh - (http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2016/04/arjan-bhullar-wrestling-canada-sikh-community/).
The sixth Guru in Sikhism, Guru Hargobind Ji, was the one that espoused the importance of physical strength and he brought things such as wrestling to the forefront and there are many wrestling clubs named after him today around the world (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Hargobind).
Guru Hargobind Ji was also the one that initiated a military tradition in Sikhism to resist persecution and it carried on forward from there up until the tenth Guru - Guru Gobind Singh Ji (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Gobind_Singh). Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru in Sikhism, founded the Sikh warrior community in 1699 and named them the Khalsa.
After he initiated the first five disciples called the - Panj Pyrare - he gave them the surname Singh, which means lion, and women received the name Kaur, which means Prince (sic), and it acts as a symbol of equality among men and women. This custom further confirmed the equality of both genders as was the tradition set by the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
It was intended to give women a sense of self-respect and it was a statement of their independence and social status, so that they would stand strong and regal beside men as their equal. It was also intended to reduce the prejudice created by caste-typing based on the family name. Prejudice based on caste was still rampant during Guru Gobind Singh Ji's time in the 17th century.
Arjan Singh Bhullar is currently vying to become the first Punjabi Sikh in the UFC and be the ambassador for over 1.7 billion South Asians around the world, by competing in the fastest growing sport in the world, which is becoming more and more international every day. Junior fight leagues are now popping up all over the globe especially India
In his MMA career so far, Arjan has not lost a single round and he has a perfect 6-0 fight record. He is currently heavyweight champion in the Battlefield Fight League (http://www.battlefieldfl.com). It is the opinion of many fight analysts that it’s only a matter of time before Arjan enters the world's top MMA promotion, the UFC (http://www.ufc.com), which was sold last year for $4 billion to international conglomerate WME-IMG (http://www.wmeimg.com).
Arjan currently trains with former UFC champion Cain Valasquez, in San Jose and originally started his training in Montreal with MMA superstar Georges Saint-Pierre (GSP), after his wrestling career capped off at the London Olympics in 2012.
When asked how he does against the former champions and other UFC fighters he has sparred with, he stated “I go toe to toe with them and I’m going to be heavyweight champion myself one day, mark my words. I’m in this to win, not just participate.” Arjan is widely regarded as the best wrestler in MMA that is currently not in the UFC (http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Arjan-Bhullar-175321).
Not only is Arjan multi-talented in the world of fighting, having successfully made the leap from freestyle wrestling to MMA, he is also the co-founder and coach of one of the best wrestling programs in Canada at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) which is located in Abbotsford, British Columbia (http://www.ufvcascades.ca/varsity-teams/wrestling).
Under his guidance and that of his co-coach Raj Singh Virdi, this year they guided heavyweight wrestler Brad Hildenbrandt to winning gold and becoming National Champion. And in women's wrestling they guided Karla Godinez to becoming the rookie of the year in Canada. (http://www.varsityletters.ca/cascades-olympian-mentored-hildenbrandt-wins-ufvs-first-ever-u-sports-gold)
Within 6 months of founding UFV’s wrestling program in 2014, it became the number one program in the country.
The program at UFV was completely self funded when it began. When he came to UFV, Arjan was told that he could wait until the university was ready to fund a wrestling program or he could do it on his own (http://www.ufvcascades.ca/coaches-staff/arjan-bhullar/).
Arjan decided not to wait and to push forward on his own along with his co-coach Raj Virdi. His belief is that “in life some people will buy into a vision but everyone will buy into a winner,” so he set out to build a winner and completed his vision in record time at the university.
He takes no salary along with his co-coach, Raj, and they do it for the love of the sport and, more so than that even, they do it to change lives and provide opportunities for students that otherwise might not even have a chance to attend university at all or wrestle after high school. They do it to create a better future for our communities (http://www.ufvcascades.ca/coaches-staff/raj-virdi/).
Arjan’s vision fits in directly with the vision that Dream Team Management has and that is why they have now joined forces.
“This company’s purpose is to make sure the talent that is being managed makes a positive impact in the world and helps change the lives of others to build a better future for the next generation. The greater good always has to be taken into account. Sometimes that comes with tremendous sacrifice. It is the Sikh philosophy and way of life. No matter how difficult things get in life, you must always fight back and find a way to victory,” stated Erwin Singh Braich
“The only question that remains now is how long will it take until Arjan becomes the first Punjabi Sikh in the UFC and represent his fan base which includes Indians from all over the world,” added Braich.
Braich himself was an outstanding basketball player in his days at Simon Fraser University. He was short listed to possibly play on Canada’s Olympic basketball team in 1976 when the Summer Olympics were hosted by Canada in Montreal. He didn’t end up attending due to the untimely passing of his father, the legendary, Herman Singh Braich Sr., on May 21st, 1976. At the age of 20, Braich took control of what is now known as the Braich Group of Companies and Trusts (http://www.justiceandtruthforall.org/uploads/A_Celebration_of_our_Heritage1.pdf).
Arjan humbly states that once he achieves his lofty goal of becoming heavyweight champion, he wants to use the platform to help his people and all of humanity, much like Muhammad Ali did, who was one of his childhood heroes.
Arjan was born into a Sikh family 3 decades ago and wrestling was in his blood, his dad was the first in the family to take up wrestling and it was "a way of self defense" according to Arjan's dad's older brother - Balkar Singh Bhullar.
“Back in those days, we faced so much racism and we would get threatened and beat up just for being brown skinned and from India, so we decided that one of our brothers would become a wrestler so that people didn't mess with us all the time when we were just trying to earn a living and make life better for ourselves and our families, so Arjan’s dad, who is the youngest out of all our siblings, was the one that got picked to train."
"We all worked any jobs we could find back then to make ends meet but we were all able to stick together and that allowed our brother to be able to focus on training instead of having to work a regular job”.
Arjan’s father, Avtar Singh Bhullar who was born in Punjab, India, was also an Olympic caliber wrestler in his day, and were it not for technical and political reasons, his father would have become the first South Asian representing Canada, but because he went back to India, to represent the country of his birth - only to be told he couldn't after it was proven that he was more than qualified to do so - he missed out on the Olympic trials in 1988 in Canada because of his trip to India. It was devastating for Avtar and he never forgot it.(http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/olympic-hopeful-follows-fathers-footsteps-in-wrestling-ring/article535602)
Of the wrestlers that did qualify that year in the Olympics for Canada, many of them Avtar used to routinely defeat in practice. His son Arjan, in his own way, later avenged that devastating mishap by winning his Gold medal on Indian soil. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-tFBLxoy-Q&t=1s)
Arjan defeated an Indian wrestler to win his Gold medal and by pinning him no less, which is a very difficult task in wrestling period, let alone in the Commonwealth Games, which took place in New Delhi - India's capital city - in 2010. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egGVdLIbEQw&t=653s)
When asked for comment on what drives him, Arjan stated that “my people come from a long line of warriors and people who never quit. It is the foundation of the Khalsa and my motivation to become UFC heavyweight champion is not for the accolades, fame or fortune but to continue the legacy of my forefathers and the founders of the Khalsa and use the platform to promote tolerance, equality and justice in society. All of this runs deep in my veins” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikhism).
“My dad used to train in a place doing push-ups with cinder blocks with no heating and they used to burn wood to keep the place warm. He literally used to do two to three thousand push-ups a day. The man was a beast! Growing up I was very fortunate to have great workout facilities right where I live because my family had built an akhara (gym) on our cranberry farm. The farm where my extended family and I still all live together is also where we run the Bhullar Wrestling Club from. We help kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to train and wrestle. It's a club my family has been running since the 1970s" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZyf0d6dpys).
Along with everything else he does along the way, Arjan also made the time to co-found Kids Play which is a non profit organization working towards keeping kids away from the lifestyle involving drugs, gangs, and violence. Kids Play holds sports tournaments, conferences, and other projects for the youth community to learn about the opportunities they can seize within life.
Currently Arjan is the CFO of Kids Play and he co-founded the organization with Kal Singh Dosanjh, who is the CEO.
Dosanjh is a veteran law enforcement officer who has over 15 years experience as a patrol officer. He recently transferred to the Domestic Violence Section as a detective. Kal has also served on the Firearms Interdiction Team, the Drug Squad, as an Undercover Operator, Acting Sergeant on the Riot Squad and he has also assisted on large scale investigations in various capacities.
The types of calls he has fielded include homicides, robberies, serious assaults, in addition to dealing with violent drug dealers, gang members and individuals suffering from mental health issues. Kal has much compassion for those that need treatment and is known to be a very kind, caring and a fair individual.
Kal has also seen first hand the damage getting into the wrong lifestyle can have and that is why he is so focused on the youth to help them avoid going down the wrong path to begin with. He is credited by many people that were once headed down the wrong road to having helped them turn their lives around. Kal firmly believes in the saying that 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure'. (http://kidsplayfoundation.com/)
One particular individual Kal has helped turn his life around is Austin Batra, who is now a MMA fighter. He has a 2-0 fight record so far as an amateur
Austin aspires to get into the UFC one day as well. He also wrestled at UFV under the tutelage of Arjan and Raj before he stepped away from sports and now he is back following his dream of becoming middleweight champion one day.
“All someone has to do is spend some time talking to Arjan and you realize very quickly that his 'why' has deep roots and is stronger than most other people's and that is a large part of the reason he is the champion that he is today. It's about much more than just sports when he goes on to the mat and into the cage. Arjan is one of those people that transcend sport and he uses the voice and talent he has to make the world a better place."
"Arjan consciously and continuously seeks out people that he can collaborate with to improve society and he is a remarkable human being that genuinely cares about the direction our world is headed and wants to do everything he can to fight injustice and create a better future for the next generation,” stated Satinder Singh Dhillon, one of the founders of Dream Team Management.
“Despite his ferociousness in the cage and on the mat, Arjan is a kind, very spiritual, caring and gracious human being. He comes from a hardworking and tight knit family who are amazing people. Arjan is astonishingly intelligent, intellectual and very well spoken. He has also earned a degree in political science from Simon Fraser University."
"Arjan is a farmer as well and lives with his parents, grandma, uncles, aunts, siblings and cousins all in one house on their cranberry farm and he attributes the development of his kinder, gentler and spiritual side to his mom and the things she taught him growing up. When I asked him about his parents, Arjan says that they balance each other out with their viewpoints and that he is blessed to have had both of them guide him in this life"
"Living with his extended family gives him great strength and Arjan feels that each time he fought on the mat previously and now in the cage, that his family, his community, the country of his birth and where his parents and grandparents were born and all South Asians around the world from many countries, all Canadians and people from all walks of life who are fighting their own battles are with him. Arjan views sports as a great unifying force in the world."
"Arjan feels that he represents people from all walks of life and that he is a true people's champion. He is that one in a billion type of person who feels that he is over a billion people strong each time he fights because he's fighting for all of us in his own way," added Dhillon.
"My grandfather, Sardar Pritam Singh Bhullar, came to Canada from India in 1959 with no money in his pocket in hopes of creating a better life for his family. He and my dad were apart for almost 12 years and I look back and am amazed at the sacrifices my family made so that we could all have better lives."
"The sacrifice of being apart from a loved ones is one of the things that resonated with me when Satinder told me about how his parents, (the late Santokh Singh Dhillon and his mom Surjit Kaur Dhillon) were separated for over 7 years and the whole reason why Satinder's father came over to Canada in the late 1960s was because he fell in love with Satinder's mom and made her a promise, that he would send for her once he got set up somewhere outside of India.
"That process took his father to different countries and eventually he ended up in Canada. It's an amazing story of perseverance and beating the odds and Satinder is also a survivor and has weathered many storms at an early age having lost loved ones as a teenager which included his father. He had to grow up fast but he never gave up and I admire that."
"There are so many points that I connected with Satinder on and the list is too long to recite, for instance when we shared stories and compared notes of our time having to work on the farms when we were kids and how he attended SFU as well, some ten years before me. And the fact that he also attended UFV and lives down the street from the university in Abbotsford."
"Satinder's connection to UFV is an intricate part of his life and UFV is the reason we met in the first place many years ago and that story in and of itself is cosmic destiny. His time at UFV in the 1990s was life changing and it was one of the first big storms of that kind he had to weather in his life as he lost a friend as she was an innocent bystander along with her family in a senseless act of violence".
"Satinder is a survivor and has fought back against tremendous odds his whole life and almost died along the way, he is a revolutionary that I admire and his journey hasn't been easy as he fought back against injustice and risked his life doing it. I remember all the resistance I myself faced when I first started in MMA but that voice inside me told me that this was what I was meant to do in this life".
"Satinder has had to overcome a lot on his journey in life, as have I and his journey is one that I've followed closely. People who fight back and can handle adversity are the type of people I want in my corner as we move forward. The sky is the limit and the future looks bright but if the going gets tough, at least I know I have people in my corner that won't quit".
"I believe that there are three types of friends in life and Pastor T.D. Jakes says it best in his youtube video"
"I myself know what it's like to face possible early death as well, as I had a severe knee injury and a life threatening infection at the same time, that almost took my life when I was younger, early on in my wrestling career. Those days I didn't know if I was going to live or die let alone wrestle again. In the end it turned out to be a blessing in disguise and I probably wouldn't have made it as far as I have in sports if all that didn't happen. God makes things happen for a reason and when the time is right our paths were meant to intersect, there are no coincidences is what I believe".
"My siblings, cousins and I also worked hard growing up but it was easy compared to what our parents and grandparents had to endure. And this history motivates me that much more every day to train harder and get to that next level to make my family and my people proud." (http://www.motivatecanada.ca/en/athletes-esteem/esteem-team-athletes-esteem-roster/87-vancouver-area/2133-arjan-bhullar).
"And when I say 'my people' I mean people from all walks of life from all over the world all different races, religions and creeds who are fighting their own battles in life and making progress, inch by inch, day by day."
"For me when I enter the cage, I feel as if my whole family, the entire South Asian population, all Canadians and all of the people battling their way through life are with me in there." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg9oybWEcy8)
"I truly feel like I represent over a billion people and that I am a billion people strong each and every time I enter that cage. I feel like my existence on this planet is the culmination of generations of hard work by my family and my people and humanity and one day we will all enter the UFC octagon together. God is making all this happen through me in this lifetime and for that I'm eternally grateful".
"I myself also grew up on a farm and understand what hard labor is. As I got older I realized how good we had it compared to when our parents came to Canada and the struggles they faced, just to makes ends meet and survive and the racism they had to endure was an added burden on top of it all. Like Arjan, I have studied the history of our forefathers and understand their struggle and am appreciative to have the opportunities I did growing up because of their sacrifices," added Satinder Singh Dhillon (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/satinder-dhillon).
Arjan’s mother. Salindran Kaur Bhullar, is a retired nurse and while she supports her son’s dream of becoming an MMA champion she just can’t bring herself to attending in person to watch one of his MMA fights, yet. “It’s too much for me to handle to see my baby in the ring with the potential of being hurt. I pray every time before a fight, for him and the other fighter.”
“With a great family to support him and amazing work ethic the sky is truly the limit for Arjan, who is set on making history once again in Mixed Martial Arts and beyond. There’s no telling what this 30 year old will achieve in life,” stated Braich.
Update: UFC Signs First Ever South Asian Fighter