A combative brawn-dez-vous
Deccan Chronicle| Pooja Prabhan
This city software lad is fight-ready to show his prowess in martial arts.
Bengaluru-based wrestler Anjan Raman is a sportsperson with a difference, and with good reason – after bagging gold in the national championship men’s senior Ne-Waza category at the Jiu Jitsu Association of India’ 15, he’s prepping up for the upcoming Karnataka State Kick Boxing tournament to be held in Bengaluru on March 27. In a candid tete-a-tete, he gives us an insight into how the unconventional field of combat sports is being received in the city…
Like most success stories, the youngster traces his tryst with wrestling to a fortunate stroke of serendipity. "I used to lift heavy weights regularly at a gym near my place. Incidentally, I stumbled upon this trainer who used to be a national-level wrestler. I casually asked him if he could introduce me to gladiatorial sports wrestling. And the rest as they say, is history," pipes the two-time submission wrestling sub-continental silver-medalist, who started out with wrestling in the year 2010. Fast forward to six years and the only professional wrestler from the city to have taken part in the Yoddha Fighting Championship and won two wrestling bouts, in addition to participating in over 20 bouts, with a 2-0 amateur martial arts record to his credit.
Armed with an MBA degree, Anjan reminisces how he quit his full time day job at a software firm to plunge into wrestling full time. "I had a regular upper middle class upbringing where academics and conventional careers were given importance. So, I went to a regular college and did electrical engineering and masters in business administration after that. But my parents have been supportive throughout the journey, nevertheless."
Opining about the mixed martial arts scene in the city, he says, "The mixed martial arts scene is growing in the city. There’s been a rapid growth in this field. Fitness enthusiasts are taking to the sport and it’s really gaining traction. India is a sports loving nation, though the emphasis so far has dominantly been on cricket. That said, there is a need for more awareness and encouragement for combat sports in India."
On days when he’s not practicing at the Indian Combat Sports Academy, it’s music that takes much of his time. "Music is therapeutic and I love playing the guitar. I’m ardently passionate about motorcycles. Also, I’m a complete fitness enthusiast, because you need to be extremely fit to compete in this sport," reveals the professional wrestler.
Telling us about what lies ahead, the youngster says, "Since a kickboxing tournament is on the cards, my focus at present is to train well for it. There are a couple of interesting things in the pipeline too."