Shillong, May 4: Jarmin M Sangma joined martial arts training in 2005 after he was inspired by Bruce Lee in the 1973 movie Enter the Dragon. It was not a frivolous idea of a die-hard fan of Lee but dedication for life as Sangma went on to win gold medal in the MMA World Championship in 2016.
Now, the 26-year-old Dan black belt fight master trains school-going students in self-defence. Recently, he conducted a martial arts and self-defence programme at Jongbo A.ding Rashtriya Madhiyamik Shiksha Abhiyan Secondary School.
The former gold medallist now runs a martial arts school, which started in 2018, in Tura’s Babupara locality. He has over 30 students, many of whom have fought at the national level. But with the pandemic bringing life to a standstill, Sangma had to close down the school.
“I visit schools for such programmes whenever I get invitations. But my martial arts school is closed because of this ongoing lockdown (the restrictions put in place owing to the second wave of Covid-19 infection) and my students are mostly practising at home,” said Sangma on phone from Tura.
With the rising cases of sexual harassment in the state, including Garo Hills, self-defence training has become necessary. The trainer too feels that girls should have basic skills in fighting to tackle untoward situations.
Sangma had trained in MMA fighting in Shillong, Guwahati and Thailand. His is the only martial arts school in Garo Hills that teaches Muay Thai, the traditional boxing of Thailand.
The Facebook page of Sangma has videos of martial arts and several photographs with Bollywood stars like Tiger Shroff and Sunil Shetty. When asked about his association with the tinsel town, Sangma laughed. “I met them in different states where I went for championships,” said the low-profile sportsperson.