Champion For Success: An Interview With Anjan Raman
India’s official Representative on the International stage in Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts, Kickboxing, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
The question of what it really takes to have a good life is a stirring inquest of our existence, and while it is best answered individually through our life’s work, we are often able to find inspiration among those who have found an answer for themselves. Anjan Raman is a Bengaluru-based wrestler who gave up his full time job at a software firm to live his dream of wrestling. He proved his mettle at the National Championship Men’s Senior Newaza category at the Jiu Jitsu Association of India when he won gold. He is now preparing to represent the country at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Tournament which will be held in Ashagabat, Turkmenistan this month. Urban Diaries talks to Anjan about all things wrestling, his love for motorcycles and the therapeutic effects of music…
Providence, as we like to call it, is often hidden cleverly in some of the most interesting success stories that we come across. Anjan’s began at a local gym where he used to lift heavy weights regularly. Destiny gently smiled on him as he happened to meet a national-level wrestler at the gym whom he casually approached asking if he could be introduced to gladiatorial sports wrestling. This one single moment butterflied into a life-changing effect transforming Anjan’s life from that of a nine-fiver to a celebrated sports champion.
He started training in Mixed Martial Arts in 2003 but was already into Kushti Mud-Wrestling for almost 3 years prior to that. Brazilian Jujitsu is fundamental to MMA and during his practice; Anjan realized that he had an affinity to this form of combat sports. Practice helped him improve, and the better he got at it the more he enjoyed the sport. Seven years into it, and he has emerged as the only wrestler from the city to have participated in the Yoddha Fighting Championship. He has till date won two wrestling bouts and participated in more than 25 bouts. The two-time submission wrestling sub-continental silver-medalist scored a 2-0 amateur martial arts record and has continually stood his turf in many national and international championships.
A little background: What sounds like a sportsman’s tale started on a very different note – Anjan wasn’t always a wrestler; in fact, he had chosen a walk of life where you could hardly imagine him wrestling with an opponent. He was raised in an environment where studies were important and predictable career choices dictated his life as a student. He completed electrical engineering before getting his Master’s degree in Business Administration. His parents always supported his choices, so when he left his career in a software firm, they stood by his decision.
When asked about his average training day, Anjan quickly describes his ideal day as one that starts at 7 in the morning and he spends the early hours of the day practicing. Usually practice ends at 10 am and resumes at 7 in the evening until about 9pm. When he is prepping for a competition then he ends up with an additional session that begins at 4 in the evening and ends at 6pm. This extra session usually has an hour’s break included in it. To keep his body toned, he also tries to add conditioning exercises to his sessions.
Anjan is passionate about the sport and explains that his biggest inspiration has been his coach, Rohit Vasudevan who is the founder of the Institute of Jiu Jitsu. Opining about the mixed martial arts scene in the country, he says that India strongly needs to look beyond cricket and find talent among emerging sportsmen in various fields. Apparently, at this time, many champions who have won medals even in international championships do not get the fame and recognition that they are worthy of. The average Indian does not have exposure to combat sports and this often works as a deterrent for many who want to pursue a career in wrestling. Anjan explains that he tries to overcome such challenges by believing in himself and by being determined to excel in and follow his passion.
While sports take up most of his time, it is music and motorcycles that keep him busy the rest of the time. He finds music to be therapeutic. The wrestling champion loves strumming his guitar creating a symphony that “drenches the soul in joyfulness.” Motorcylces also happen to have a special place in Anjan’s heart.
At the time of this interview, Anjan is preparing for the upcoming Jiu Jitsu tournament but he quickly adds that there are some more interesting things that he has in mind for the future.
Coming to a close of our conversation, we want to know what advice Anjan has for others who plan to build a future in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He explains that in his opinion combat sports is a very fulfilling career, and rewarding in a non-monetary way. The satisfaction one gets from the sport is truly something else, not to mention the amazing skills that one can accumulate during the process.
Our interview ends on a high note as Anjan tells us about his accomplishments. He is presently ranked as one of the top Jiu Jitsu competitors in India, and he is aspiring to earn the top spot at the upcoming Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games.
Here’s wishing you the very best, Anjan!