Guwahati, January 18, 2020:
Wrestlers from a remote village in Nagaland called Kidima have made it to the third edition of Khelo India Youth Games 2020 in Guwahati and the “Ultimate Wrestler” of Kidima, who founded the Sports Academy is the one behind the wrestlers of Nagaland.
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Kikhwesiil or the “Ultimate Wrestler” decided to teach the art to kids around him, just so that he never had to be away from the sport.
He founded the Sports Academy for Wrestling in Kohima and taught the kids freestyle wrestling, apart from the traditional style, who will be seen at the Khelo India’s Wrestling team from Nagaland.
Naga wrestling is a sport restricted to men but Kikhwesiil’s academy offers training to girls, encouraging them to take up the sport. “In Naga wrestling, you win the bout if you pin any part of the opponent’s body to the ground,” said the wrestler.
Two of his wards, Vizoseno and Nosezonu Kuotso, have already fought in the 53kg (U21) and 46kg (U17) and made a fair impression.
Nosezonu, 15, is also from Kidima, and comes from a family that has played football. “I started wrestling, in 2015 because of Sir,” she said. “He used to come to the village regularly and he would hold camps for kids. Moreover, he would insist girls come and fill those camps.”
“If you look at it, the states that dominate wrestling have a long tradition in the sport,” Kikhwesiil said, adding that “Naga wrestling is over a century old, and we have wrestlers of immense caliber. But unlike Haryana or Maharashtra, there are very few wrestlers who graduate to freestyle.” Kikhwesiil explained, pointing to a lack of exposure among the youth.
“Now these two girls have come here. They have learnt something new. They will go back and perhaps tell their peers. Our boys will wrestle too and they will also gain knowledge. The idea has to spread by word of mouth,” said the Ultimate Wrestler, who believes that Wrestling in Nagaland is not restricted to a sport; it is a lifestyle.
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