At the basement of a building in South Delhi’s upscale Sainik Farms, Siddharth Singh shows his wards how they can master “the gentle art” of using their opponent’s force to floor him or her on the mat. Singh is a jiu-jitsu trainer, and as of 2022, he was ranked 11th in the world and fourth in Asia.
Jiu-jitsu, which translates from Japanese as the gentle art or technique, is a grappling sport that is relatively unknown among martial arts in India. Last week, images of Meta Founder Mark Zuckerberg winning a jiu-jitsu competition at the Silicon Valley became a fitting advert for a sport that is slowly emerging out of the shadows of more popular East Asian martial art forms such as karate, kung fu, judo and taekwondo.
Singh, who is India’s highest-ranked jiu-jitsu athlete, testifies it is picking up in the country with a rising interest among youths in mixed martial arts (MMA).
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