I was introduced to Arun when my professor is on his dream journey of surf and jiu jitsu across the world. My professor, Rodrigo made friends with Arun and has helped shaped Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in India. I would like to thank Arun for taking time to share his stories, experience and culture with us:
BJJ Rants: How did you find BJJ and where are you in your BJJ journey?
AS: I am a lifelong student of Martial Arts, Certified in JKD, Kali & Shaolin Kung Fu Along with BJJ, I am a Blue Belt Under Professor Rodrigo Teixeira. I am also certified Instructor in BJJ. Due to my exposure in JKD which is the mother of MMA, I was looking for a system which can teach me Ground Fighting, I found BJJ via UFC and One of My Friend who is a MMA Freak. I started training BJJ at the age of 15, but sadly there was no place to learn BJJ in India at that time, so I decided to start India’s First Official & Legit BJJ School known as BJJ India. I got chance and honor to train with Professor Rodrigo Teixeira, Peter Miguel, Sukhi Chandi, Darrell Burton.
BJJ Rants: What other martial arts are your expertise and how does that translate into your Jiu Jitsu?
AS: I am Senior Military & Law Enforcement Instructor Certified in JKD, Kali & Shaolin Kung Fu. I am glad that I was able to take BJJ into Law Enforcement Units in India to Promote & Spread it, I taught BJJ to Special Forces and Multiple Military Units.
According to me all the Martial Art systems are linked together, the Wing Chun part of JKD helps a lot to develop the sensitivity which comes in play when fighting for grips, under hooks, clinch specially in No Gi. The Principles of Angles which is there in Kali helps a lot too, the Breathing pattern, mental conditioning, flexibility & balance from Yoga, Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu helps to keep your air tank filled and prevents you from getting gassed out, helps you to be calm under pressure. Also Roots of Wrestling are from India, Traditional Indian Wrestling is Known as Kushti.
I highly recommend everyone to add Tai Chi, Yoga and Traditional Wrestling Exercises to there BJJ game…. There is a fantastic system which is known as Action Strength, it is developed by my Sifu, Harinder Singh Sabharwal. He has his academy in California, USA. Action Strength contain Tai Chi, Traditional Indian Wrestling Body Weigth Exercises, Indian Mace Training and Kettlebells. The system is inspired by Sijo Bruce Lee, The Great Gama, Master Rickson Gracie and Traditional Shaolin Kung Fu Masters.
Check Out Official Website of Sifu Harinder Singh for Details About Action Strength – JKDAthletics.com
BJJ Rants: Who are your mentors in BJJ?
AS: There are so many, but the ones who always supported me in my Journey of promoting BJJ in India are Rodrigo Teixeira, Roy Dean, and Eddie Bravo. Professor Saulo & Alexandre Rebiero are great motivators and supporters. Gracie Family and Grand Master Helio Gracie will always be the inspiration.
BJJ Rants: What were some of your challenges in learning the gentle art oppose to other martial arts you have learned?
AS: In start it was very difficult for me to learn BJJ as there is no genuine source in India to learn from, so initially I started with Books and DVD’s. Slowly BJJ community accepted me as a family member and I started learning the art from the authentic sources. Other than this I found my BJJ Journey to be very interesting and full of joy, BJJ is a wonderful system initially new student doesn’t see the deeper aspects of it, but after a year or so they realize the true essence of BJJ.
BJJ Rants: BJJ in India isn’t that well known why do you think that may be and what do you think is the solution?
AS: True, Not many people know this, but roots of BJJ initiates from India only, but how sad it is that BJJ is not known by people in India, according to me only 5% of the total population in India even knows what is BJJ. This is because to over exposure of systems like Karate in India, and Fake Schools who Promote Karate on the name of systems like JKD and BJJ.
The Solution, bringing the roots of BJJ back to India. That is my goal due to which I started India’s first ever and only Legit BJJ academy, BJJ India. We will be inviting all the BJJ Legends to conduct the seminars at BJJ India, which will slowly bring this amazing art back to India. We are also planning on putting some instructor courses around the year.
BJJ Rants: Would you like to share your relationship you have created with Rodrigo Teixeira in BJJ.
AS: Rodrigo is part of my family, he treat me like his younger brother. He even addresses me as his India Brother…. Haha. Me and my family loves him, all of my students truly respect him and appreciate his humble attitude and open heart. My mom used to over feed him on regular basis with delicious Indian food. And we both agreed on this that she is the best cook in the world. We went to a Authentic Indian Wedding, Taj Mahal and few more wonderful places in India. Rodrigo experienced the true Indian Culture which everyone in the entire worlds wants to experience. Professor Rodrigo is at a whole new dimension in BJJ, he skills are amazing, and he is a great teacher as well.
BJJ Rants: Can you share how you started BJJ in India, what are your short and long term goals, and how important is BJJ in India?
AS: Man I worked very hard to setup BJJ India. It was my dream to promote BJJ in India, I made my own website, my logo, did all of the promotion on my own in the start, then I got few dedicated students & friends who really helped me a lot with everything. Now everything is going awesome, we have a nice and official BJJ academy with great Mat space, stability balls, workout equipment and lot more.
I am glad that I was able to take BJJ into Law Enforcement Units in India to Promote & Spread it, I taught BJJ to Special Forces and Multiple Military Units. Along with this I taught BJJ to around 6000 women in multiple free self-defense seminars under The Damini Project.
Right now goal of BJJ India is to spread the art all over the country, by teaching seminars & to promote BJJ as a lifestyle in India. Our long term goal is to create few Black Belts in India to keep the system strong and alive here by putting one academy in each of the state.
Along with this the most important goal of BJJ India has always been to empower women, we always try to conduct free workshops wherever possible to teach self-defense.
BJJ Rants: How can our BJJ Community help spread the word about BJJ in India project?
AS: BJJ community has always been my second family, I want you guys to spread the word via social media and help me putting these BJJ Seminars at BJJ India. Anyone who is willing to share the art can come to BJJ India, we will arrange free stay and food for you, you can conduct seminar at our academy. I will personally teach Yoga, JKD, Kali if anyone is interested, it’s all about sharing what you know and learning from others.
BJJ Rants: Along with BJJ in India project you have another project, The Damini Project (http://www.thedaminiproject.blogspot.in), would you like to share that with us?
AS: After the tragic rape incident which happened in the capital New Delhi, where a girl was raped by 6 men and later on died due to internal injuries. My JKD master Sifu Harinder Singh Sabharwal and his association JKDAA initiated a project known as The Damini Project, under this project our aim is to provide free self-defense and empowerment workshops. I am the official instructor for this project in India, me and my team did 50+ seminars till date and trained around 6000 women. We went to slums and villages to conduct these seminars where these are most required. I really want to thank Sifu Singh and Entire JKDAA team to creating this wonder project which is changing lives all around. I want everyone in BJJ Community or any other martial art community to come forward and support this project by conducting free self-defense seminars in their area.
SUPPORT THE DAMINI PROJECT :
· Website : www.thedaminiproject.com
· Indian Blog : www.thedaminiproject.blogspot.in
· FB Page : www.facebook.com/TheDaminiProjectIndia
BJJ Rants: Where would you like your own BJJ take you in the next five years?
AS: I believe in hard work and progress. I will ensure this to myself and to everyone else who holds their trust in me as an Instructor or Student, that I will work hard and keep learning and promoting the art of BJJ. In next 5 years I see my BJJ at a whole new level, and more than that I see more and more people in India looking around for BJJ. I will be looking forward to train regularly with Professor Rodrigo Teixeira, Will also want to train with Professor Saulo & Xande.
BJJ Rants: Any last words?
AS: Keep chasing your dreams…. In Start everything will be difficult, you will find people in life who will discourage you, but only you and people who trust in you will matter in the end, slowly everything will fall together. You will start reaching towards the goals.
I really want to thank all my respected masters and friends, along with my dedicated students for helping in reaching me towards my dreams.
Thanks a ton Jaime for letting me a part of this awesome community “BJJ Rants”
BJJ India has open doors for everyone, if you want to learn or share your knowledge you are most welcome. BJJ India is located in New Delhi, which is capital of India. Academy is situated nearby International Airport. For More Info Visit BJJ India Website – www.jiujitsuindia.com
BJJ India Links
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/BrazilianJiuJitsuIndia
Twitter: www.twitter.com/BJJIndia (Follow @BjjIndia)
I would like to thank Arun once again for giving us an interview in between his teaching. If anyone wants to go teach in India I suggest reaching out to Arun. Please check out his projects and please get BJJ In India!!!! Please continue to share, like, and comment on our rants! Continue to follow all BJJ related news on our facebook page BJJ Rants Official Facebook Page