THE manager of a popular Llanelli restaurant is to represent Wales in the World Kickboxing Championships.
Mohamed Akbor, who manages the Ali Raj was recently inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame where the joined the likes of kickboxing legends Benny Urquidez and Bill Wallace.
He will fly the Welsh flag in the upcoming Championships which takes place in Manchester on the 27th and 28th October.
In a recent interview with Llanelli Online, Mr Akbar talked about the people who inspire him in the world of martial arts, his work at the restaurant and how the people of Llanelli are ‘probably the nicest in the World.’
There are some fantastic characters in the hall of fame including Judo legend Bryan Jackson, who else will you be joining?
“Benny Urquidez who is a kick boxing legend, he has been in a lot of Jackie Chan movies in the 1980’s. Another is Bill Wallace who is also a kick boxing legend. These two are arguably the greatest kick boxers who have ever lived.”
What was the award for?
“It was awarded by Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine in recognition of my service to martial arts over the years.”
Is that in coaching as well?
“Yes, it is also in coaching, I teach self defence. I work with a lot of different groups and charities, people who have been victims of violence and race hate.”
You have just been selected to represent Wales?
“Yes, I will be representing Wales in the World Kickboxing Cup World Championships which will be held in Trafford, Manchester later this month.”
Where were you born?
“I was born in London but I have spent most of my life in Wales as have my family. I am the manager of the Ali Raj restaurant so Llanelli is my second home as I am here most of the time.”
How do you find the people of Llanelli?
“They are really nice, really friendly people.”
We hear a lot about race hate crimes that are on the rise, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire and Wales really has always had a reputation of being a very welcoming community?
“Yes, I believe that, a lot of our customers are very friendly and Llanelli people are probably the nicest in the world. We have named a curry after the Reverend Eldon Phillips which is one of the spiciest we offer, it is a very nice and popular dish.”
You are obviously training ahead of the championships in which you are representing Wales, how do you find the time being a manager of the restaurant?
“I do a lot of my training and teaching in the day where I work with local charities, authorities, schools and corporate organisations.”