In Conversation With MMA Champion Bhabajit Choudhury From Assam
G Plus caught up with one of the tallest achievers among sportsperson from Assam, Bhabajit Choudhury.
Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Can we have a brief background about yourself?
Well, I am Bhabajit Choudhury, I belong to Assam. I am the captain of the Gujarat team in the Super Fight League (SFL). Since my young days, I had a lot of interest in martial arts. When I had started off, there was no concept of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in India. I practiced different forms of martial arts like Kung Fu, Kick Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Boxing etc and finally I landed up in the MMA arena where I am trying to make my career.
What have been your achievements in your chosen career?
There is a sporting league called Super Fight League or SFL which came to India. And I joined this SFL. But prior to SFL I had participated in a number of national and international tournaments where I had won a lot of medals. Only thereafter, I joined the MMA. Before the SFL, I was in the Indian team representing the country. In 2012, I won the bronze medal in Vietnam in an Asian Championship. In the same year in the SFL, I got the Best Knockout Award in the SFL representing India. These two awards I consider my favourites among the large number of awards and medals that I have won.
You put a lot of stress on fitness.
I consider fitness as a lifetime journey for me. I have taken martial arts for a career and I tell everyone that fitness is something very important. We should not think that we need to put on 10 kgs or weight or lose 5 kilos. We should just practice to keep fit everyday and be dedicated towards it.
Can you elaborate on MMA?
There is a lot of wrong perception towards MMA with many thinking that it is nothing but a brawl. But for fitness, MMA is the best way forward. The fitness that you can achieve with MMA cannot be achieved with any other discipline. That is something I can guarantee. MMA offers three options for you. You can take it as a career, you can practice it for fitness or you can use it for self-defence.
You are the captain of the Gujarat team…
Currently, in the SFL, I am a senior member of my team being the captain of the Gujarat team. I have been the captain from 2017. I feel it’s a fairly good achievement for me that the owner of the Gujarat team has sought me to be the captain. The captaincy comes from both seniority and performance basically. Perhaps they have selected me keeping both criteria in mind.
Do you have a role model?
I am my own role model. I just want to iron out whatever deficiencies I have in the sport and become a more perfect sportsman in my chosen discipline.
You have opened a few training centres in Guwahati. Please tell us more about them.
In Guwahati, I have three fitness gyms cum MMA training centres by the name of …….. We focus on fitness, training for MMA and also on self defence. So we have a lot of clients and students… Guwahati is rampant today in consumption of alcohol and drugs. My concern and work is towards weaning young people away from these destructive elements and take to fitness through MMA. This can be a life changing factor for them. You see, I am not advocating only for MMA. Any sport can be taken up and I am telling that anyone who has taken to sports will try and play it forever. That will keep them away from alcohol and drugs. My three gyms located at Bharalumukh, Zoo Road and Sarabbhatti work towards teaching that training and fitness are far better than these bad addictions. We offer hardcore training such that the students do not even get to think about these addictive stuffs and continue to dedicatedly stick to their line of fitness and thereafter career. This is our biggest target.
How does a normal day look like for you?
My day starts at 4.30 am and I finish up by 10-11 pm. I have three training schedules being morning, afternoon and evening. I do my skill training in the morning. In the afternoon, it is strength training followed by skill training in the evening. Further, I vary my training patterns depending on when I have my fights scheduled. If a fight is around the corner, the intensity of my training increases. Otherwise, I focus on my training differently. MMA training includes strength, endurance, speed and agility and we can’t miss training in any of these.
Can you say something about sporting talents in Assam?
I don’t see a dearth of talent in Assam. It has a lot of talented sportsmen and fighters. Just that we don’t get the chances to prove ourselves. This is because there are very people to give them proper advice and direction and show them the way. This is why I have given up my central government job in New Delhi to open my fitness centres. My main motive is to take these latent talents of Assam on to the international platforms.