“I just want to make my nation proud but there’s no support from the officials” – Mahaveer Vinod Rana

Mahaveer Vinod Rana, 36 years old, was born in a poor family in the village of Sapnawat a countryside area of the district of Hapur, UP. In spite of all these factors he is renowned for his versatility in sports, inspiring persona & labour turned athletes without any coaches because couldn’t pay a high fee to them in order to learn or practice under their guidance. He has learned everything online to reach great heights in taekwondo and kickboxing. 

The uniqueness of the story of Mahavir Vinod Rana is his every move has a breath-holding of facts & figures. He carries the potential & skills that make him the new-generation Eklavya of India. He has sacrificed his heart, body, mind, soul, money & his family’s expectations. He opted to learn from “Digital Guru”, when no one was with him, neither any coaches, nor government, nor personal support from anywhere, still, he was unstoppable.

He tapped every dimension with dedication, as he was very confident about his talent & skills. He was 1st sports man holding 2 different world cup titles in Mix Martial Art and Kickboxing & also achieved the world’s no. 1 ranking in Jiu-Jitsu. 

  1. Who was your role model or who inspired you to start wrestling?

: In my childhood, there was no role model for me, but my father used to take me to the arenas (Akhada). Those trips turned into a habit therefore that habit became a passion for me towards the sport, and that’s how I am now able to stand where I am today. Slowly and gradually it became a routine for me and I inculcated that stamina and hard work to thrive in my passion. 

  1. What thought came into your mind before choosing kickboxing and taekwondo as a professional career after wrestling? 

:  It had been a long time since I started wrestling, and there was no support from anywhere. Neither was there any academy to go and nor any support to reach at the state level or district level. There was no guardian who could guide us as to how I should further look up to the sport and to go ahead in making it as a career. I felt that I had been working hard for many years and there would be no benefit in stepping back now, After that, I learned about Taekwondo and Busu, which includes all of the contact sports like kickboxing, taekwondo, etc. I learned everything I know about kickboxing, taekwondo, and MMA from Busu via online resources.

  1. To get a touch of both sports, with regard to the fact that, as you said, there was no support or there was no coach to teach, what problems did you have to face?

: My father had poor financial standing. Where will I receive ₹1,000 and ₹500 for my coaching and healthy diet? He used to work as a daily wage worker shoveling dirt and repairing roads, earning about ₹300 per day. To go outside and enroll myself in coaching would have cost money. I couldn’t have attained the level I am at now with the assistance and resources available in the village, so I took advantage of the opportunity I had to play and perform to the best of my ability. 

  1. What did you have to do differently? Or have you adopted some strategy that proved to be so effective for you in winning the medal at the international level?  

: In comparison to someone who has a skilled coach, it is quite difficult for individuals without a coach to reach a level or have that degree of competence in the particular sport and they will need to work much more before they can catch up to him. I was able to learn new techniques and watch new videos on YouTube and Google, and all the local instruments on my farm helped me in the beginning. I used to practice on those instruments.

  1. You did not have so many resources? Then what did you eat or how did you make your Physique capable of the sport and reach such a level?

: First of all, to create anything, it is very important to remain celibate in order to create a decent and disciplined lifestyle. Being naturally celibate is the key to success. I used to drink milk and have chapattis which was available at home as a diet of mine. 

  1. Is any brand sponsoring you right now?

: No, No one is sponsoring me right now even though I have my Asian Games starting on 23rd September, There are no sponsors and there is no training facility or support from the government or federation side, but the only support the federation is proving is just by saying that you go to play this time and that’s all what is enough for us, but this is not what an athlete wants because it comes once in four years, so it’s very uncertain for them, whether we get a chance next time or not if we have to leave for some reason, we cannot say that we can perform or participate next time because time goes according to its own accord. It doesn’t work with us and we don’t know what could happen next.

  1. What do you expect from the sponsors and regarding what all things they should be obligated towards you?

: All I ask for is decent training facilities, a healthy diet, and whatever preparations are required for future overseas trips for national and international competitions. In exchange, I’m willing to do anything they want from me for their brand’s success or financial gain. I just need some financial and training help if I’m going to bring home any medals for my nation. 

  1. The Asian Games are yet to come. How are you preparing yourself for the same, are doing something different with your diet, training, or mentality?

: I am following the same diet as I used to eat before but my hard work has increased manifold and I practice in the village hall with the local players  of the village because there is no academy or training facility. Although they are not very knowledgeable not having another option makes it a difficult task for me to get myself prepared for such a level, let’s see what we do and what results our hard work brings. 

  1. How will you inspire the coming generation and what would you like to say to them?

: Earlier it was very difficult to reach the International level because earlier there was no Google, and there was no social media, so for them, it was many times bigger penance than for us. And in today’s time you have YouTube, you have Google. You put anything, put it on any subject, put it on training, put it on technique, anything you want to know or learn, it will show you the accurate information or knowledge about it. Nowadays, knowledge is in your hand, the one who wants to know about anything, he can learn it in any way possible from any online platform. It is all in the mind, as you support the mind, the mind will give you the best path and can make you determined towards what you want. Now you can stay at home and if you have the passion and hard work, you can learn anyway. If someone who’s not passionate or not determined then even if you have the best coach  or training facility with you, you will not be able to learn. Therefore, it is very important to control the mind.

  1. How do you make your mind strong, what keeps you focused on the game or someone you think about who inspires you in your lows? 

: See, when I play for my country, I first remember and pray to my mother India, and secondly to my parents, who have brought me here, who have fought for me, and it’s all their hard work that brought me to this level.


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