Midhun Jith, who has won dozens of national and state championships in martial arts, talks about his ardent fight against poor infrastructure and training facilities
Midhun Jith A. is 24 years old and is a recent marine engineering graduate from Euro Tech Maritime Academy at Kakkanad. The stout lad who hails from Wayanad looks no different from any other youth on the streets, until he tells you that he is a trained martial artiste with 17 national championship titles in karate and one in kickboxing to his name, not to mention two international medals each in karate and kickboxing.
Assimilating that much information right after he rattles it off is a task in itself, and that is when he decides to plop the cherry on top, “I have also broken two Guinness World Records, for the most martial art kicks in one minute and three minutes,” he says with a completely serious face. Midhun has been training since the age of eight, first at the Kenyu Ryu Academy at Wayanad and more recently at 4:13 MMA at Kottayam. “Fighting is a very important part of my life and I would love to pursue it professionally but unfortunately support for martial arts in India is quite low,” he laments.
Despite the sub par infrastructure and support, Midhun has managed to make a name for himself. Apart from his national and international medals, he has also won 21 state championships in karate, resulting in him being invited to train at Golden Glory, a muay thai and kickboxing gym in Pattaya, Thailand. “Golden Glory is one of the best training centres in the world for kickboxing. It was only after I went there that I realised what a big gap there was between Asian and European fighters in terms of power and skill. Now I believe that any serious fighter has to train at such places abroad and go up against international competitors in order to really improve,” he says.
Professional martial art has not been without its challenges for Midhun. “One of the major issues I face is weight related, since fighters are usually put into weight categories. As I am a few kilos heavier than what is ideal for my height, I have to fight in the more heavyweight categories, going up against fighters who are much more physically imposing,” he explains.
Against all odds
Even so, Midhun has proven equal to the challenge, as his large tally of medals and achievements indicates. He attributes his success to his mentors and coaches. “My instructors have been a blessing. From Gireesh P.K., the chief of Kenyu Ryu Karate Do India, to Jophil Lal at 4:13 MMA, all of them have trained me to overcome any challenge. I was often made to fight against bigger opponents even in training and that experience has helped immensely,” Midhun says, the gratitude for his trainers resonating in his tone.
While martial arts remain his passion, Midhun hopes to have a regular career as well. “Right now my biggest dreams stand fulfilled, with Guinness records and national championships in my name. I am currently looking forward to representing Golden Glory in the near future, a chance I missed earlier due to injuries. But beyond that I would also like to have a career in the Merchant Navy,” he reveals.
At just 24, there are not many peaks left to conquer for this young man, but he strives to keep going with what limited support is available within the nation. Midhun is a study in focus as he takes his leave, on a course to become leaner and meaner in order to go up against tough opponents and face new challenges abroad.