Boom, boom... pow!

Boom,  boom... pow!

hit Members of the club engaged in fighting.

Not to mince words but as the name suggests, Fight Club is a group of people who meet regularly, to fight. No registration and free of cost, this weekend activity sure promises to pack a punch. Started by Ashwin Mohan, a martial arts’ teacher in January, the idea behind the club was to test one’s fighting skills in a real-life scenario. “A lot of people train in various fighting techniques but you never know whether what you are learning is useful or not. There are no rules if someone attacks you on the street,” says Ashwin.

The club in Koramangala is open to everyone and people meet on every Saturday and Sunday to fight. No weapons are allowed and each fight lasts for five minutes where the winner is determined by submissions or knock outs. Saturday fights are a lot quieter because punching and strikes are not allowed whereas the Sunday sessions have no rules at all. “Saturday sessions are important too because they involve grappling and ground techniques. People generally don’t know how to fight if they are down on the ground,” says Kevin, a regular at the club. On Saturdays, people focus on keeping the opponent down and choking him instead of hitting.

The club has about around 15 regulars, out of which three are women.

Sunanda Khosla, a professional says, “If I am ever attacked on the street now, I won’t panic even if the person is twice my size, because I have already fought men here.”
Other than the regulars, it is common to see new faces every weekend. Manoj, a product designer says, “There are a lot of walk-ins on Sundays because we can strike then. Everything happens in those fights (including) muscle tear, bleeding and bruises.”

An interesting twist in this tale is the fact that many regulars have kept this passion of theirs a secret. “My parents don’t know I am fighting over here,” says Sunanda.

 Ashwin informs that he often has spouses and parents complaining about the injuries and so some keep these fights a secret.

He says, “I have a member whose wife thinks he is learning Indian heritage over here!”
Surprisingly, one of the biggest reasons for people leaving is not injuries but ego. “Most are not able to deal with losing. Some lose to a guy smaller than them and never come back,” says Ashwin. “Losing gracefully is important in a fight too,” he says.

But in spite of the injuries, what brings everyone in every weekend is their passion to learn.

 “I didn’t come in for two weeks after an injury but I am back this week,” says Sunil Kumar. “The thing I like about ‘Fight Club’ is that it makes you mentally sharp. It’s not about theory but about applying what you know and finding out if it works,” he says.

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