GRIND – the first invitation-only professional grappling (No-Gi) tournament in India, is coming back with its third edition in Kolkata
GRIND pro-grappling was first started by Shiba Pradhan in the year 2017. Shiba Pradhan is a martial artist and the owner/head coach of Next Level MMA, a Kolkata based MMA gym. He always wished to create a national platform for professional grapplers to showcase their skills. The first tournament was held in 2017 in Kolkata and featured approximately 30 athletes. GRIND 2 was held in 2018 and saw over 50 athletes from some of the best teams from East, Northeast and South India competing against each other.
The third edition of GRIND is all set to return soon. Upon getting in touch with Shiba, this is what he had to say.
Q: What is new in GRIND 3?
A: The inclusion of a few international teams and the best teams from India. We are planning to invite under-privileged kids to watch the event, with assistance from the Robin Hood Army. GRIND has also tied up with a terracotta water bottle manufacturer, which in turn would promote the non-usage of plastic bottles. Fresher sports management graduates have been hired as interns in order to give them a real world exposure in the sports field.
Q: How has GRIND evolved?
A: GRIND has evolved from a local event to an international event in a span of 3 years. I started GRIND with 30 local athletes. GRIND 2 saw the participation of 50+ athletes from all over India. GRIND 3 will see the participation of approximately 5-7 international teams from Malaysia, Egypt, Japan, Afghanistan and the Philippines along with the best grappling teams from India. My main aim was to create a national platform for professional grapplers to highlight their skills. With that aim now accomplished, and witnessing the growth of combat sports in India, I want to make grappling popular in India.
Q: What are your plans for GRIND in the future?
A: We would like to organize this tournament in every state of India at a pro-am level. In the near future, we would also like to introduce grappling workshops in schools and colleges throughout India.