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Indian Grappler Sanjay Nambiar Shares His Journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

LockerRoom Team
23 June 2023

In a recent interview with Locker Room India, Sanjay Nambiar, a prominent Indian grappler, discussed his experiences and achievements in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and mixed martial arts (MMA). Sanjay, who has been competing across India, shared insights into his journey and the motivations that led him to pursue his passion.

Sanjay, a purple belt in BJJ, began his journey in the United States in 2016 while pursuing his undergraduate degree in Psychology. Reflecting on his early days, he recalled a pivotal moment in high school when a verbal altercation resulted in a humbling experience. "I remember just saying something not very nice to him, and the next second, I was on my butt and he was on top of me," Sanjay explained. This incident made him realize the importance of self-defense and sparked his interest in martial arts.

After enrolling in college, Sanjay discovered BJJ through online research. He found a gym conveniently located just 10 to 15 minutes away from his campus, which he commuted to daily. Initially, his interest in BJJ was lukewarm, and he admitted to indulging in other activities during his early college years. However, as he delved deeper into the sport and became more drawn to the fighting aspect, his commitment and enthusiasm grew.

Recalling his first experience on the mat, Sanjay described attending beginner self-defence technique classes, which focused on practical applications. Although initially skeptical, he soon realized the effectiveness of BJJ. "Jiu-Jitsu really works," he said, emphasizing the empowering nature of the sport.

Competing became an important part of Sanjay's journey, largely influenced by his coach, John Combs. Seeing John's success both locally and on the world stage motivated Sanjay to test his skills in competition. Initially, his results were mixed, with challenging outcomes in various local tournaments. However, a conversation with John transformed his mindset. John emphasized the importance of focusing on effort and personal growth rather than fixating solely on winning. This shift in mentality proved transformative for Sanjay, as he began to see improved results when he prioritized consistent training, mental preparation, and overall development.

Sanjay highlighted some of his achievements, including winning the Strangle Kolkata event and securing second place in ADCC India. He also mentioned participating in the Colorado State Championship and various Grappling Industries tournaments during his time in the US.

As Sanjay continues to compete and further his expertise in BJJ and MMA, his focus remains on personal growth, relentless training, and embracing the journey rather than fixating on outcomes.

What are your thoughts on the story of Sanjay? Let us know in the comments below.

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