Leeds Muay Thai champion features on Syrian refugee's inspiring fitness record label

Leeds Muay Thai champion Liam Harrison has teamed up with a fitness record label launched by a Syrian refugee, exploring the power of music on athletic performance.

By Abbey Maclure
Friday, 10th December 2021, 11:45 am
Yazid Eid, centre, pictured with mixed martial artist Alain Ngalani and Olympic weightlifting champion Emily Campbell

Training Tunes, launched by Yazid Eid, creates original songs and music videos inspired by athletes, hoping to provide a motivational boost for people to work out.

Now an entrepreneur and martial arts champion, Yazid was granted political asylum in the UK in 2005 after being imprisoned for five months for anti-state activities, after campaigning to modernise the Syrian Sports Federation.

It was during his time in prison that Yazid discovered the power of music - which planted the idea for his business which has now come to life more than 15 years later.

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Yazid told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "It was the darkest time - not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. There seemed to be no way out.

“One of my brothers managed to smuggle a little MP3 player to me and the moment I put it on, I immediately felt the motivation to work out.

“I started to do whatever I could and it completely changed my mindset. It gave me that drive to keep going.

“I decided that I hate to fight my way out of it.”

The latest release, Champion, features Liam "The Hitman" Harrison (left) in the video

Yazid reached out to a well-connected lawyer who got him out on bail and he made his way back to the UK, where he was granted political asylum.

He has set up Training Tunes to explore the relationship between music and sport, releasing a series of original songs accompanied by a music video telling the story of an athlete.

The latest release, Champion, features Liam "The Hitman" Harrison in its video - showing the Leeds martial artist training for a last-minute fight, before taking to the ring.

“Liam is one of Muay Thai’s living legends," Yazid said.

"He’s a tremendous fighter and he has hundreds of fights under his name, he fights on short notice and fights anyone he can.

“It has been an amazing experience filming the music video with him, the particular training session was in preparation for the same fight that’s in the video.

"He took it on short notice and the fighter changed a couple of times, but he was adamant that he wanted to do it.

"He had a knee operation the following day - that’s the kind of mindset and the work that these amazing athletes put into their sport.

“He’s an inspiration to many people and we’ve tried to embody that in the song and music video. It’s one of my favourite tracks.”

The energetic track features up-and-coming grime artist YayaorJB as he tells the story of the making of a champion.

Yazid added: "It’s an energetic and self-empowering track that really gets you going. If someone thinks of themself as a champion, then that’s what they become.

“There are many training playlists out there, but it’s not enough to have good music in the song when you’re training - the language is very important. It affects the way you think and make decisions.

"You don’t just become a champion, you have to put work into it."

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