Learning the Brazilian way

Last Updated 30 May 2016, 18:32 IST

A real introduction to the scintillating world of fitness can be sought through the ancient avenue of martial arts. It involves not just the body but also the mind. It enhances the body, boosts the mind and enriches the quality of life.

Rohit Vasudevan, 28, who runs the Institute of Jiu-Jitsu at Fraser Town, completed his undergraduation from MSRIT with a degree in mechanical engineering. A blue belt in the Brazilian martial art ‘Jiu-Jitsu’, he earned a Masters degree in Aerodynamics from the University of Southampton, UK. His initial plans of pursuing a PhD were soon shelved due to paucity of funds. He started training in ‘Jiu-Jitsu’ while doing his Masters. Once he returned to India, he found himself teaching a few close friends. Soon, he realised that there was potential in spreading the word about the art and decided to take up the gargantuan task of setting up his own academy.

His institute is open to both men and women, above the age of 18. “Martial arts training is one of the best ways to overcome insecurities and vastly improves one’s self-confidence. It also brings about a sense of responsibility, accountability and discipline,” asserts the instructor.

The form of martial arts that he is solely dedicated to is the Brazilian ‘Jiu-Jitsu’. “Brazilian ‘Jiu-Jitsu’ is a self-defence martial art that uses the principles of leverage and timing, rather than strength, brute force and athleticism to defeat a bigger and stronger opponent,” explains Rohit. ‘Jiu-Jitsu’, in essence, is a method of training the mind, body and spirit as well as of the regulation of life and affairs.

Training in ‘Jiu-Jitsu’, or for that matter any martial art, aids overall fitness, builds a healthy ego, acts as a stress-buster and espouses confidence in being able to thwart an attack. It instills a strong spirit of brotherhood that is created from blood, sweat and tears, says Rohit.

“‘Jiu-Jitsu’ broadly coaches us about the complex interplay that exists between ourselves and the people around us. Although on the face of it, it seems like an individual sport or expression during a competition, the entire learning process and training is social. It provides a harmonious balance between our need to develop a strong individuality and our need to be a positive part of a social structure,” he explains.

Leverage and simplicity are the prime aspects of ‘Jiu-Jitsu’. They enable any individual to practice and master the art. ‘Jiu-Jitsu’ is not dependent on size, age, gender or athletic ability, thereby making it accessible to everyone.

“Most martial artistes do not train individuals to defend themselves under realistic conditions. They ignore the fact that 95% of all fights go into a clinch and end up on the ground, especially if the opponent is bigger and stronger. Not knowing what to do on the ground ends up becoming a significant weakness. Brazilian ‘Jiu-Jitsu’ is the only martial art that addresses this issue,” he says.

The martial art teaches one to understand the limits of the body and to know what one’s body is capable of. “To deny oneself the knowledge and application of grappling is to deny oneself from being a human being,” he says.

His academy has been seeing a significant number of youngsters enrolling themselves to learn the art. And he is determined to help them hone the skills and impart the learning to children as well. After all, self-defence training never goes for a waste, isn’t it?

(Published 30 May 2016, 15:29 IST)

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