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Sonam Zomba: Empowering Women in Arunachal Pradesh Through MMA

LockerRoom Team
22 June 2023

In the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), Sonam Zomba has defied societal expectations and pursued her passion for the sport. In a recent YouTube interview with LockerRoom India, Sonam shared her inspiring story, highlighting the obstacles she faced and the triumphs she achieved along the way.

You can see the video below along with the major takeaways from the video.

Breaking the stereotypes

Hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, Growing up, Sonam encountered resistance from both her family and the people in her village. Many discouraged her, believing that a girl shouldn't be involved in such a physically demanding sport. Despite the lack of support, Sonam's determination remained unwavering. She recalled how village residents would often tell her to focus on more traditional pursuits instead. However, her love for MMA prevailed, and she refused to be swayed by societal norms.

The jump into MMA and training under Bhabajeet Choudhary

Sonam's journey began when a college friend introduced her to MMA. Intrigued by the opportunity to learn self-defence and discover her own strength, Sonam decided to give it a try. Under the guidance of her coach and Indian MMA Star Bhabajeet Choudhary, who she expressed immense gratitude for, Sonam immersed herself in the sport at Bidang MMA and FItness in Guwahati, gradually realizing that MMA was not just a physical pursuit but a life-changing journey. Her coach became more than a mentor; he became a guiding force in all aspects of her life.

Reflecting on her coach's expertise, Sonam praised his technical prowess and dedication to staying up-to-date with the latest techniques. She admired his commitment to continuously learning and incorporating new knowledge into their training sessions. Sonam recognized the value of having a coach who not only shaped her MMA skills but also provided guidance and support for her personal growth.

Competing in MMA

Initially, Sonam had no intentions of competing. It was her coach who recognized her potential and encouraged her to enter the competitive arena. Following her coach's advice, Sonam embarked on her competitive journey, even though she faced opposition from her family and society. Being a female fighter came with its own set of challenges, but Sonam persevered, driven by her coach's belief in her abilities.

One of Sonam's most memorable victories came during the national championships in 2017. She won her fight in a remarkable 30 seconds, filling her with a sense of excitement and accomplishment. Such victories fuel her passion and motivate her to create more enduring memories in the sport.

Being comfortable with MMA

The MMA community has become like a second family to Sonam. The intense training sessions and the camaraderie among fighters have left a lasting impression on her. She described the competitive atmosphere as both intense and supportive, with fighters constantly pushing each other to improve. The post-fight discussions, where they analyze each other's strengths and weaknesses, contribute to a culture of growth and development.

Sonam aspires to represent India on the international stage, challenging the notion that Indian fighters are weak. Her ultimate goal is to make a lasting impact and prove that Indian fighters have the talent and determination to succeed on a global scale.

ALSO READ | From Farmlands to the MMA Cage: Story of Indian MMA Fighter Monjit Yein

In sharing her journey, Sonam offers advice to aspiring fighters, particularly women. She emphasizes the importance of choosing the right institution and coach, urging individuals to find a reputable MMA gym that aligns with their goals. Sonam advises aspiring fighters to commit to a single training location to ensure consistency and progress. She also encourages all women, not just those interested in fighting, to learn MMA as a means of self-defense, as it provides comprehensive training in both standing and ground techniques.

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