Sick of being sedentary in Bahrain? Try these thrills and kicks
Time Out Bahrain staff
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Want to learn to kick some serious butt? Then this form of combat might be just what you are looking for! Renowned for its high success rate in top tier testing grounds such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Cage Rage and Strikeforce, this martial art focuses on teaching its students grappling and ground techniques in order to defeat a much larger and stronger opponent. As one of the fastest growing martial arts in the world, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teaches a person to use a variety of highly efficient joint locks and chokeholds in a safe environment. Bahrain’s very own RMAC (Reza’s Martial Art Centre) is one of the Middle East’s most successful Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools, having claimed a host of medals and titles across the world, including tournaments in Abu Dhabi, Thailand, UK and Brazil. Whether your goal is to become a world class competitor, learn to defend yourself or just to lose a couple kilos, this sport is a great way to have fun while working towards your target. Give the centre a call on 17 694 646 and take advantage of a complimentary first class.
This Afro-Brazilian non-violent martial art offers practitioners a unique blend of live traditional music, acrobatics and combat techniques. Originating with 16th century slaves who were prohibited from engaging in live combat, it has evolved to tell the heart wrenching story of this populace through musical instruments, singing and ritual sparring. Don’t doubt its effectiveness though. While Capoeira does not focus on injuring opponents, its techniques are very applicable in a self defense setting. Students learn how to utilise a range of kicks, acrobatics, feints and takedowns to subdue even the most aggressive of opponents. The rhythmic beats and hypnotic motions of the ‘ginga’ provide a very unique experience and leave many first timers eager to learn more about this exotic martial art. Thanks to its focus on timely movements and fluid motions, those who partake will quickly find themselves with a much fitter and toned physique! To find out when the next ‘Roda’ is, contact renowned Brazilian instructor Lusciano on 38 859 308.
Muay Thai boxing
Anyone who has seen Tony Jaa’s mind blowing Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior will be familiar with the ruthless efficiency of Thailand’s most popular sport. Also known as ‘the art of the eight limbs’ thanks to its brutal ability to use not only punches and kicks but also knees and elbows, Muay Thai can teach you a thing or two about combat. With a heavy focus on body conditioning, participants can expect to be in top physical shape in no time at all as the combination of shadow boxing, rope jumping and body weight exercises will strip off fat and bring out some serious muscle definition. Using a combination of live sparring, Thai pads, focus mits and heavy bag work to perfect lethal attack combinations, this 2,000-year-old Thai pastime is not for the faint hearted! Give Coach Yousif Saif a call on 36 828 227 for more information.
This 13th century Polynesian sport has become extremely popular on the island in recent years. Get ready for a serious adrenaline rush as you are strapped onto a modified surfboard and are given the controls to an inflatable power kite. Using the power of the wind, this extreme sport sees kite surfers speed across the water in a spray of white water before manipulating their powerful kites to launch themselves into the air in a series of stunts and acrobatic maneuvers. With popular spots spread across Bahrain, including locations in Amwaj Islands, Durrat, Janabia and several sand banks off the coast, participants have several spots of varying difficulty to choose from. To partake you will need to get hold of an inflatable kite, a kite-board, lines, control bar, a harness and a helmet, but it’s definitely a worthwhile investment. To organise lessons and equipment visit Skate Shake on the Budaiya Highway or call 17 697 176.
Another water sport which has been making waves with local thrill seekers is wakeboarding. Get ready for the ride of your life as you are towed at full throttle behind a speeding powerboat while attached to a wake board. Once up, you can utilise the awesome power of the boat’s wake to attempt impressive stunts and jumps, or just enjoy the feeling of skimming across the waves! While it can be slightly frustrating for beginners, who will find themselves face planting the salty sea surface at high speeds during their first few attempts, a few lessons at Coral Beach Club (17 312 700) will have you zooming along like a pro in no time!
Sea wreck diving
While Bahrain’s warm and shallow waters make regular scuba diving a treat for most visitors, those looking to add an extra edge to their underwater fun should investigate some of the island’s more exotic diving locations. Whether it’s the Caisson wreck’s numerous fish inhabitants that appeal to you or the ominous tangled structure of the Sestan wreck off Bahrain’s eastern coast, you can be sure to be amazed with what can be found under the island’s turquoise waters. Night diving at the Fifi wreck will leave you breathless at the uniquely ethereal and slightly spooky experience of swimming around this old sunken tugboat. Give Coral Beach Club a call on 17 312 700 to organise your own sea wreck dive!
This fast-paced, physical sport is a fantastic way to escape the intense summer heat while engaging in some healthy team competition. Padded in a variety of protective gear, players attempt to speed across the ice before smashing the puck into the back of the net while the opposing team tries to wrestle back control. Never fear, though! Under the watchful supervision of the experienced captain Tamer Fakhro, even the beginner will be able to pick up the basics in a safe environment. The Bahrain Sharks practise every Sunday and Tuesdays at 8.30pm at the Fun Land Centre (17 292 313).
Originating in urban France under the guiding influence of David Belle, parkour is the latest rage on the Island and has taken Bahrain by storm. Essentially teaching participants to move through their environment in the quickest manner possible by using speed and efficiency of movement, this sport is an excellent way to get fit. Using running, acrobatics, jumps, vaults and leaps to overcome obstacles, parkour develops an individual’s mind-body connection and reflexes through exposing them to diverse situations which require split second decisions. The newly founded Bahrain Parkour Association holds regular meetings and can be contacted on 33 995 988.
The National Drag Racing Championship will provide even the most hardcore of petrol heads with their speed fix. With the street cars, outlaws, pro modes and super bike categories all lighting up the quarter mile strip in a blur of sponsor stickers, flaming exhausts and modified engines, spectators are guaranteed adrenaline pumping action. If you find yourself with your own racing bug, the Bahrain International Circuit offers a selection of on track activities including V8 Lumina rides, 4x4 off road, Caterham passenger rides and an advanced Hummer Academy. Alternatively you can blister around the Formula 1 circuit in your very own car on the Open Track Day! For more information, give the BIC a call on 17 450 000.