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Chennai Fight Night is set to popularise combat fighting in the city

With the city taking a leap to promote mixed martial arts, fitness is soon going beyond weights and cardio. The first of its kind in the country, Chennai Fight Night is an effort to encourage combat sports such as boxing and wrestling and is roping in big names in city circles. Well known in their respective fields, 16 participants ranging from DJs to doctors face off in eight friendly five-minute matches after 10 days of rigorous training, and the winner brings home a trophy sponsored by Toni & Guy and Combat Kinetics.

The idea, according to Ajith Sigamani, founder of Combat Kinetics, is a bid to redefine the image of combat techniques and clear popular misconceptions. Having had 23 years of experience in the field, Sigamani has mastered numerous martial arts techniques. “Many assume it’s a high risk endeavour and not required to keep fit as long as gyms are around. But it has a lower injury rate than professional sports like football and cricket,” he explains.

Out of the box
Sponsors of the event, Toni & Guy and Essensuals salons are embracing the concept as an extension of their brand’s youthful personality, and the event is set to be a refreshing change from the usual fashion show or party. “A former boxer myself, I feel the interest level in boxing is likely to go up when we involve familiar names in Chennai. We’re looking at making this an annual event,” shares Sam Paul of Toni & Guy. Psychologist Mini Rao, who is a participant at the Fight Night, is terrified yet excited at the prospect of fighting her friend Galatta editor Shakthi Girish. “Though the initial sessions ended very painfully because of my body not being used to exertion, I’m learning a lot about fitness,” enthuses Rao.

For Girish, the decision was on a whim and the idea that she would be fighting someone sunk in much later. “It’s been great so far, and combat fights are a great way to channel your aggression and expel anger in a fun and friendly way. I’m quite strong while Mini has agility, so we’re using our strengths to the best of our abilities,” she signs off.

Chennai Fight Night kicks off today at the Taj Club House Banquet Hall. Entry by invite only. From 9 pm to 12 am. Details: 9791158888

Combat savvy

South India’s first mixed martial arts club, Combat Kinetics offers lessons in boxing, wrestling, judo, taekwondo, jujitsu and muy thai. Pioneering performance training as a fitness strategy, the club employs unconventional methods of using tyres and sand bags instead of the usual training equipment .

With four centres across the city, Combat Kinetics also offers one-on-one lessons and professional fighting lessons for aspirants. “The lessons combine meditation, exercise and rigorous training for a holistic understanding of combat. We also have India’s first fight club here in Chennai, which meets every Saturday,” says Ajith Sigamani, Founder of Combat Kinetics. Sigamani feels the city is opening up to the prospect of fighting as fitness, and the concept is much sought after for weight loss. “You see change in two weeks, that’s how wonderfully the body adjusts,” he says. 

Combat Kinetics has its branches at Chetpet, Ramapuram, Teynampet and ECR. Details: 9791158888

— Divya Karthikeyan

(Pics: P Ravikumar)

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