‘Free kick’ and a social goal

By offering a no-cost programme, mixed martial arts trainer Ajit Sigamani seeks to improve the lot of underprivileged youngsters

February 14, 2019 05:08 pm | Updated 05:08 pm IST

Kicking their way to a better future; (inset) Ajit Sigamani.

Kicking their way to a better future; (inset) Ajit Sigamani.

Ajit Sigamani equips underprivileged youngsters for the battles ahead of them. How does he do that? By helping them deliver a punch here and a kick there. Punches and kicks usually don’t enter polite conversations, and so, before you let your imagination run away with you, here is the drift of it.

Ajit is a combat sports coach and the founder of a combat training club called Combat Kinetics (CK), and he provides free training in mixed martial arts (MMA) to such youngsters so that they carve out a career in martial arts, as coaches or as competition-level fighters.

Thirty-five years old now, Ajit was initiated into combat training at age eight, when he was enrolled for a Karate programme and from there, he went on to train in boxing, sambo, judo and Indian martial arts. (Ajit is the vice-president of the Sambo Federation of India)

With such grounding in mixed martial arts, Ajit started Combat Kinetics in 2011. The training at CK, Ajit says, is mobility-based and combines many sports. “Fitness and weight-loss are an natural by products,” he adds.

“Under a programme ‘Fight For Your Future’, we take care of not just the coaching, but also the nutritional needs of the students,” he says.

Ajit says that at the end of the programme, students either choose to become coaches or participate in tournaments around the world; and many have also been selected to University programmes and even landed jobs under the sports quota, on account of their MMA background.

Syed Abdul Nazzeur (Abu), started his MMA career at a time when his family was facing a financial crisis.

“I didn’t even eat properly during that time and my coach helped me get good food, the needed nutrition, the best training and now I have risen to a level where I train police officers and they call me ‘coach’. I even acquired English and soft skills training for free.”Abu won the first International medal for India in MMA in China in 2016, and now serves as a coach at CK.

Navya Rao, a graphic designer, tattoo artist and a former coach at CK, states that training in MMA builds one’s confidence.

CK has eight centres in Chennai and expansion plans are on the cards.

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