Shaheen Academy was founded in 2015 by “The Godfather of Pakistani MMA,” Bashir Ahmad. Located in Lahore, Pakistan, the academy is a martial arts center for at-risk youth, which aims to guide and empower youth to a better future.
Ahmad is a U.S. Army veteran who found his life’s calling in martial arts after being deployed to Iraq in 2004. The Pakistani-American was born in Pakistan but raised in Virginia.
After graduating with a degree in Global Affairs, he moved back to Pakistan to promote the growth of martial arts with the belief that Pakistan would produce not only champions of the sport, but champions in life through its values of discipline, integrity, courage and humility.
The coaches and instructors who operate Shaheen Academy do so on a volunteer basis. Recently a GoFundMe page was set up to help keep a roof over their heads for the next year.
Diesel Diva is a brand with a message and one of the backers of the GoFundMe.
Diesel Diva was started by Canadian military veteran Beverly Roach, and bears the slogan of “Peace Through Sports.” It provides support to local youth gyms in impoverished areas around the world, and assists athletes in getting access to superior levels of training. It recognizes that sports can be a unifier across socioeconomic, ethnic and religious boundaries. Sports can provide the life skills of teamwork, work ethic, and respect. These qualities are vital in conflict and post-conflict zones, developing nations, and areas with low socio- economic capacity.
In collaboration with the Diesel Diva, Shaheen Academy will be raising money to support the academy and keep it running for another year. Proceeds will go towards educational expenses, rent for the academy and general maintenance.
In the video below, fighters such as former UFC champion and Bellator 238 headliner Cris Cyborg, and Titan Fighting Championship COO Lex McMahon are helping to support the project.