In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn: David Chhangte
Just like in life, in the realm of MMA, there are many fighters with different approaches to their present and futures. Some walk away from the game when they’re done, some become analysts, some are coaches and some coach while they’re actively fighting. It’s may be rare occurrence in other sports, but MMA in its own way is itself a different kind of sport. Very few people have actually done it. But those who are doing it in the highest level have shown us that it can be done. Ask Urijah Faber and James Krause.
David is one of those who chose this path. He is the co founder of Hillside MMA, Khanapara. In his journey, he’s been coaching two of the most promising fighters coming out northeast India, Jason Lyngdoh and Manish Mahanta. Both his students will be taking part in the AIMMAA tournament in Hyderabad on 30th September 2022. While he’s preparing his students, he’s also preparing himself to take part in Goa combat 2022. He’ll be competing in his pro debut kickboxing bout.
David has been influenced by martial arts from a very young age. Like most kids back in the day he was influenced by pro wrestling. His father is also a karateka and he himself took up Karate when he was growing up.
When he was in college, he found plenty of free time which he used to hit the gym. After a while, he felt it was monotonous so he switched it up to kickboxing. He trained and competed for a while in kickboxing and won some medals in Muay Boran while managing time with his job in Bangalore. After that he transitioned to MMA under his first coach Samuel Lalrozama.
The UFC and SFL were his first motivators. Seeing local fighters from Shillong taking part in the SFL also played an important role in his move to MMA. He’s a blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu under Lachlan Conway, and he’s won a few medals in different competitions across the country.
David has good experience in the amateur scene of MMA with a record of 12 wins and 3 losses. He’ll be making his pro debut this November in an event by WFC in Guwahati.
Despite his decent amateur record, he had to stop competing in 2019 because of the pandemic. Eventually he teamed up with Prakamya Gogoi to help each other in training. Coaching wasn’t really in the plans, but as days went by more and more people joined them in training. With the number growing and the sport picking up speed again, they eventually decided to start a gym. He splits the classes with Prakamya. He focuses on grappling while Prakamya focuses on the striking aspect.
The gym is growing in strength and knowledge. It boasts a 14 year old phenom who is a national medalist from Assam and another female trainee who’ll be competing with him in Goa combat 2022.
The challenges he faces are great, but he understands the reality of the world fighters live in. He just hit his prime fighting age and understands that this is the time to push. Regarding himself, he’s glad to get the opportunity to compete once again after a brief layoff and wishes to be in MMA full time.
Who dares to teach must never cease to learn
Being a fighter and a coach, he understands that he still wants and needs to learn more. He feels the growth of the sport especially in Northeast India has been great since he started. He understands the lack of resources, infrastructure and better coaching in the region. Therefore he advises young fighters to try and learn from many different places and partners as much as they can. He gives props to all the gyms across India and the Northeast for how they’ve grown and helped to build the sport and he’s hopeful for the future. His message for his peers is simple: consistency, showing up and be eager to learn.
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