“I never learnt Dangal wresting formally, but won Dangal wrestling competition at my village. It was my first competition in Dangal which I never learnt from anybody but won. Being wrestling so popular in my state and born in a farming family, wrestling was naturally within me, because uplifting and throwing talents were all within me. These techniques in Dangal made me adjust in wushu.” says Uchit Sharma who is now a renown figure in wushu world.
Uchit had to go 25km from his home village Bhansha to Kelash Parkash Sports Stadium at Meerut to start his career in sport. He used to go the stadium by bus for 5 years. Having won the Dangal at district level, he went to the stadium to learn wrestling. But after just two days of training, he participated in a district level muay thai competition! Reason? He liked martial art so much and he won in the competition. He won gold medal with two knock outs! People knew his abilities and encouraged him to carry on in martial art. He later came to know that training in wushu was also going at the stadium. He decided to carry on as wresting, punching, kicking, etc – all that he liked were involved in his new game wushu.
He started learning wushu from taolu coach Manish Sharma of Uttar Pradesh in 2008. Despite being a junior player of 17 years old, he was promoted to senior level and he won his first national title in 17th National Senior Wushu Championship 2009, Maharastra in sanshou and won the ‘Best Player’ award. The 6 times national champion joined his first Indian national camp in 2009 at Khuman Lampak, Imphal where he sharpened his skill of sanshou techniques from Manipuri coach Islamuddin and Rajesh Telar. He learnt different skills from Manish Sharma, Rajesh Telar, Islamuddin, Kuldeep Handu, Rajveer and Singam Sunidatta.
Every player has his own technique of play. The natural talent of Dangal has been an advantage for the young sanshou man. He does not either depend on meat to make himself strong and fit. “I consume doodh and badam which are making make me quite fit at the moment. And if I work hard, everything will be quite good”.
Uchit has been one of the best Indian fighters in sanshou. Besides being 6 times national champion, he has been winning ‘Best Player’ for 4 times and made hat-trick for being the best player in 2009, 2010 and 2011 national championships. Recently he was declared ‘Best Player’ of the 25th Senior National Wushu Championship 2017 which was held at Ranchi, Jharkhand.
Uchit said his mother has been very supportive of his career in the game. “My mother Kushum Sharma always encourages me to carry on what I like. My father Suresh Sharma also supports me, but he initially encouraged me to study and get a job. I wanted to play. After winning medals and getting cash awards, my father now encourages me toward the game. But my mother encourages me more.”, narrates Uchit.
He revealed one thing! He revealed that he is also an MMA fighter! As professional Mixed Martial Arts has already arrived in India, a lot of martial arts fighters are competing too. Uchit also participated in MMA Super Fight League and won 3 fights out of 5.
At the international levels, Uchit has been so good and made India proud. He won silver medal in 13th World Wushu Championship 2015 which was held in Indonesia, gold medal in 12th South Asian Games 2012 and bronze medal in 9th Asian Wushu Championship 2016 in Taiwan. The young sanshou fighter also won silver medal at the 8th Sanda Wushu World Cup 2016 in China. His biggest problems have been in passport and visa processing which were cancelled twice. He could have won more medals is he did not face such problems. Despite winning gold medals in national championships, he missed chances to participate in international championships due to injuries in national camps.
Uchit believes in working hard and practice and he is really working hard. “If I play well, I will win and I believe in working hard” said the Dangal winner. With just two players including himself earlier in his village circle, Uchit has become an inspiration for sports lovers in general and wushu lovers in particular at his village. In recognition to his remarkable contribution to his home state, the Uttar Pradesh state government has decided to open a wushu academy in his name – Uchit Sharma International Wushu Academy near Meerut. With Singam Sunildutta as his personal coach, he has been preparing for upcoming competitions — Asian Games, World championships, etc. Sure, he will make all proud.