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World Champion and fourth degree black belt kickboxer Nader Balafkan
As the outdoor capital of Canada, Squamish is known for its righteous rock climbing, wicked windsurfing and stellar singletrack, but an Iranian newcomer sees big potential in the kickboxing ring.
World Champion and fourth degree black belt kickboxer Nader Balafkan has chosen to settle his wife and two young daughters in Squamish and teach local residents his craft with the goal of training a Canadian to earn the World Championship title.
Balafkan, 38, was originally drawn to Vancouver for the 2002 Sport Kickboxing Federation World Championships and ended up moving to Vancouver from Iran last year, his friend Ali Abolfathi translated. He chose Squamish because of the active lifestyle it promotes.
“When I came to Squamish I was just so overwhelmed by the ocean and the mountains and I really enjoy people. What I see in Squamish is an excellent opportunity in sport and it’s more readily available for people here than any other city,” he said.