Mongsen Longkumer with officials of the Indian Association of Kickboxing Organizations at the recently held IAKO National Kickboxing Championship 2018.
Mokokchung | September 20
A near-fatal accident in the prime of his career and with age catching up on him, most athletes would have compromised on their passion for competitive martial arts, but not Mongsen Longkumer.
At 44, he won a Silver medal at the recently held National Kickboxing Championship 2018 held in Goa organized by the Indian Association of Kickboxing Organizations from September 6-9 in the 75-80 kg category. His was the best performance by the 6-member Nagaland contingent.
Ask him if he’d continue to play competitive martial arts bouts and the soon-to-be 45 man simply replies “maybe, can’t say” with a grin.
Mongsen started practicing self-taught martial arts without any mentor when he was 16 for self-defense and physical fitness. However, starting late and training on his own did not mean finishing last for this unsung martial arts hero of Nagaland.
In the year 2001, he participated in his first martial arts tournament, the 8th National Kung Fu Championship that was held in Mokokchung where he won Silver medal in the 65-70 kg category. Since then, he went on to win medals in various forms of competitive martial arts championships at state and national levels.
He has won medals in Kung Fu, Wushu, Kickboxing, Muay Thai and Taekwondo championships. In 2004, he got the opportunity to compete at a Muay Thai international championship in Bangkok but he could not travel owing to financial constraints.
As fate would have it, he met with an accident in 2011 while travelling from Mokokchung to Dimapur where he broke his right leg. A fellow occupant of the vehicle they were travelling in lost his life in the tragic accident. After the accident, he did not take part in any competitive martial arts championships and was away from the scene for some 5 years. He made his comeback in 2017 and participated in two national kickboxing championships where he has won at least two silver medals.
In January 7 of 2017, he was conferred Black Belt 1st Degree Dan by the Indian Association of Kickboxing Associations. Had it not been for that accident, he believes he could have scaled greater heights in the world of martial arts.
Asked about his future goals, he says that he wants to train some martial arts students who would go on to win medals in the international arena, an area he regretfully could not exploit.
Conveying a personal message to the young martial arts enthusiasts, he says that Nagas have an innate God given talent which should not be left waning. Staying away from alcohol and other intoxicants is his other advice, saying that he could still play and win medals even at his age because of staying as such.
Being a man without any academic qualifications himself, he also challenged young martial arts enthusiasts to pursue their goal with passion and discipline, adding that one can scale success in life even without academic qualifications. He also wished that the state government would pay more attention to promoting martial arts and combat sports as this is one discipline where Nagas are inherently talented and can compete with the best in the world if given sincere promotion.