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The fascinating world of Martial Arts had always been alluring. Besides giving training on the fighting skills the primary objective of all Martial Art forms is to discipline one’s character and conduct. There hardly is any country which is not influenced by the extraordinary show of art and fighting skills of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and many more other such fighters.

The state of Assam is also not lagging behind in producing such fighters. The Mileage is privileged to give due coverage in this issue to none other than Bhabajeet Choudhury,  Gold Medal winner and International WUSHU Champion, who opens up his story of struggle and success with Swapnav Jyoti Baishya Saud.

Swapnav: Thank you Bhabajeet for being with us and congratulations for all your achievements so far.

Bhabajeet: It is my pleasure to be with you and Thank you for all the good wishes.

Swapnav: Martial Arts in India have not been widely popular. What inspired you to be a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter?

Bhabajeet: I was born in Bajali (Choudhury Para) but as my father’s job was a transferable one I had my academic life in Goalpara. But more than academics I was fond of sports both indoor and outdoor. I was inspired by Bruce Lee and used to practice the stunts at home. My parents always wanted that I be good in studies  but my destiny led to the world of Martial Arts. Slowly I got exposed to all forms of MMA and by 2002 I was into 7 or 8 forms of Martial Arts. And in 2007 I started learning WUSHU at Nehru Stadium in Guwahati.

Swapnav: How has your journey been in establishing yourself in this field?

Bhabajeet: It was a bit difficult because when I was learning, there was no proper exposure.  After my appointment to ITBP Centre in 2009, I was more determined and developed the interest to go for professional fighting field and bring MMA to Assam. So I resigned and came back where I can carry on with my practice and teaching the upcoming generation. A lot of practice and meditation is needed. Establishing might be easy but maintaining is tough.

Swapnav: Bidang, your training institute has been an initiative to train the youths. Tell us about it.

Bhabajeet: When I returned after resigning from ITBP Centre I thought of spending quality time for practice. But unavailability of the same tortured me. I thought of opening a center to impart training in Martial Arts. Thus formed Bidang. We also help the children who are drug addicts to come to the mainstream society and learn MMA.

Swapnav: You are a WUSHU fighter – why did you choose this style over the other forms like kick-boxing, wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, etc.

Bhabajeet: WUSHU could be commonly found than the other styles in terms of training.

Swapnav: How does it make you feel when you won the national WUSHU Championship title?

Bhabajeet: I was deeply overwhelmed as being from Assam and that too from a small town holding the trophy made me feel proud of my region and nation.

Swapnav: If given a chance of film offers from any region, would you be interested?

Bhabajeet: That time will say. (Haaa…haah) As of now have not got any offers.

Swapnav: Do you think Northeast or Assam have sufficient infrastructure in providing best options for athletic training?

Bhabajeet: Absolutely No. When I returned from Delhi I realised to what extent our region was lacking in terms of infrastructural developmental. Hence, I just wish that as Sri Narendra Modi has made the announcement of establishing a Sports University in Nagaland, a separate MMA coaching should be provided there and if not then probably another set up where this training can be given.

Swapnav: Tell us about your achievements so far.

Bhabajeet: (Aah! Still have long way to go). Presently in SFL (Welterweight) my world ranking is 4th, I have also won 3 Gold medals in WUSHU National Championship, Silver medal in International Kick boxing, Bronze in Asian Championship, Bronze medal in Asian WUSHU championship (Vietnam). I have been also coveted with Asian Best Fight Finish award in 2013.

Swapnav: Rapid Fire for You –

Favorite Sport: MMA

Favorite Dish: Pigeon meat with Joha Chawl

Favorite Destination: Europe

Message for the Youth: I want many MMA fighters to come out from the region and represent India on an international level.

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