Guwahati, Nov 17(ANI): Ayekpam Rakesh Meitei, a master in Muay Thai or Thai boxing, is training youth in the northeast to promote the sport in the country.
Thai boxing is popular worldwide for its special fighting technique that utilizes all parts of the body as weapons of defence as well as attack. It is a unique art of self-defence referred to as "The Art of Eight Limbs", as the hands, shins, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art.
The 49-year-old Rakesh, who was born in Manipur, started his martial arts career by learning Thang Ta, a Manipuri Martial art of sword in 1976. He received his black belt five degree Dan from Arizona, USA under Master Robert Lee Moore in 1997.
After one year of rigorous training at Rangsit, Thailand, Rakesh was declared a Qualified Instructor under the World Muay-Thai Council in 1999.
Subsequently, he became the first Indian to be awarded the Master of Amateur of Muay Thai (Gold Mangkon) from the World Academy of Muay Thai, Bangkok.
Since then, he has been promoting Muay Thai in India and has set up training institutes in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura, Assam and branches in Kolkata, Bangalore and Mysore.
"I am trying to promote Muai Thai in India. I am training some youth of Assam to promote the sports. We have performed four times in national championships in India and they have performed really well and I believe that they can compete even in the International level," Rakesh said.
Rakesh is well versed in Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Karate, Wu shu, Boxing and Thang-Ta (a Manipuri Martial art).
In the last two decades, he has trained thousands of youth in martial arts, while more than 200 students have received black belt Dan and have got jobs in Defence, Railways and in the Navy.
At present he is teaching over two hundred students in Jorhat and various parts in Assam.
Recently, he also organized a demonstration program at Jorhat Arts College and conducted a Qualifying Tournament for the upcoming National Amateur Muay-Thai Championship, which is going to be held early next year.
"I will stay in Jorhat for a few more years, as I want to teach the students here to become good and professional players. I have studied in Assam for many years and I know that there are very talented youth. So, I want to train them up. Martial art has a very good scope as through the art form, one can maintain discipline, health and gain confidence. The youth can avoid indulging in detrimental activities," Rakesh said.
He has also organized National Muay-Thai Kick Boxing Championship four times from 2000 to 2004.
One of his students has qualified for the upcoming International Amateur Muay-Thai Championship to be held in Thailand from November 27 to December 5.
With many talented sportsperson in the country, Rakesh believes that the promotion of the martial arts, Muay-Thai will bring pride and honour to the nation. By Vaschipem Kamodang (ANI)