Art of Combat: Goa’s first State Title Champions in K1

Art of Combat: Goa’s first State Title Champions in K1

this report from news make in India Goa

Anjuna saw a huge rush of adrenaline on Sunday night with Goa’s first ever State Title Fights in K1. They were part of ‘Art of Combat III’, a martial arts showcase organised by Bonny “the Boxer” Sinary, former English and British Champion of Muay Thai as well as European Champion of K1. The title fights are sanctioned by the World Kickboxing Organisation, WKO. 

 It was a riveting evening with 22 contestants in 11 matches. Mushtak Attar of RUFF MMA won the State Lightweight Title against Raavi Chou of Tribal Warriors and; Ritwik Sharma of RUFF MMA won the State Middleweight Title against Sharan Goel of Tribal Warriors; and Leen Niloji of Tribal Warriors won the State Junior Title against Siddhi Mandrekar, an independent fighter. 

 Ten-year-old Leen was the youngest champion of the evening. She has won each of the three fights she’s been in this year, including the Master Bernard’s Cup (Goa Open Martial Arts tournament). “I was a little nervous but once I put my mind in the cage I was fine,” she says. Leen says she started training because she likes the energy and exercise, and trains five days of the week.

Siddhi (aged 9) put up a cracking defence. She’d been training day in and day out with her dad at their home in Assagao. She’s also recently started training two young boys after convincing them to stop wasting their time on the street.  

 Raavi and Mushtak were also fighting for their reputations. It was a closely-fought match which brought out the best in the contestants’ technique and stamina. Mushtak finally got Raavi in the last round. Earlier this year Raavi had defeated Mushtak to take the gold medal at the Master Bernard Cup. 

The Art of Combat (AoC) series started in 2018 when Bonny’s students from her Tribal Warriors Martial Arts Academy got excited about taking their training to the next level, to test their skills on the combat stage. The first edition saw 20 Tribal Warriors students step into the cage in light contact and demonstration bouts. AoC II, in April 2019, saw the first interclub bouts, as well as demonstrations from various other martial arts schools in Goa.

 Since 2013, Tribal Warriors has created a unique space in Anjuna. For Bonny and her students the fights are about fostering a sense of community. It is dedicated to the science and philosophy of life through martial arts. Tribal Warriors has brought together a diverse group of people, including locals, vacationers, students and professionals who train together, as a community, empowering and encouraging each other to reveal their true warrior spirits.

Sunday’s event was a testimony to this spirit. Students, teachers, parents and friends all contributed, from getting the fight cage and equipment ready, to organising  first-aid and music. It was truly a community effort.

 Aditya Roy, Founder of Lighthaven India has been a judge at every AoC event. He sees it as an encouraging sign for Goa’s close-knit martial arts community, that AoC gets bigger and better each year. “All the contestants showed great heart tonight. We saw some great technique and skills. The great thing about Bonny’s event is that it’s done in the right spirit, there’s very little ego or showboating involved. When people come to fight they do it to learn, to better themselves, rather than to prove a point. That’s a really good attitude, and it translates through the whole event through all teachers, participants and judges,” he says.

The event also brought together some other prominent names from Goa including those who practice yoga, meditation, Capoeira, and other martial arts like Kalaripyattu, India’s own style thought to be the root of all martial arts. Bonny has used many of these complementary disciplines in her own journey to becoming a champion.

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