Yeh Dhai Kilo ka Haath Jab kisi pe padta hai toh…. Gold Medal aa hi jata hai!
Balwan Singh Punia
26th Feb 1994
Proudly says ‘imd1’ for
Men"s Freestyle Wrestling
A modest Bajrang who is full of gratitude towards his supporters, is clearly India’s upcoming wrestling star. He believes the blessings and good wishes of his supporters boost up his morale and help him get the victory he works hard for. At 23, the wrestler has already bagged a lot of medals for India. Unlike any other sportsperson, Bajrang also dreams of representing the country in Olympics and win a gold medal.
Team imd1 certainly believes that Bajrang is the young role model for all the children & youngsters who aspire to pursue wrestling. Undoubtedly, he is the one. Read on to explore about his journey.
We are really keen to know, how did your journey begin?
I remember when I was a school going kid, my friends and I used to bunk school to go to the "mitti ka akhaada" in our locality. The frequency increased gradually. Later, we started getting small amounts by win and I never felt like getting out of the space. I never knew this could shape up to be my profession but it was a very special start to my journey.
Quote for Life
Haarne ki parwah karte toh jeetna chodd dete
Food I love
Food I hate
Had I not been Wrestler then…
Kabaddi Player in Haryana
Like Vacations at
Favorite Past time
Sleeping after practices
Jab yeh dhai kilo ka haath kisi pe padta hai na... toh aadmi uthta nahi... utth jata hai
Hum Aapke Hain Kaun
What’s your success mantra?
I always do my best and focus a lot on practice. The more you practice, the better it is. The thought to win keeps me motivated. Practice and an urge to win are success mantras according to me!
What were the hardships / hurdles you encountered and the way you overcame in your journey?
Being from a family of a rural background, the monetary hardships are uncalled for. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon; it was actually an ‘akhaada’ to win over financial struggles in my initial days. However, when I started training in 2008, Yogeshwar sir always supported me. I am really thankful to him for helping me overcome this major hurdle.
Success is incomplete without its share of failures. How should one overcome them to move on?
Till now, I haven"t failed miserably. But here I need to mention, getting a Bronze medal in spite of having the capability to win the Gold medal makes me go back to review my steps and processes. The scope for improvement stays forever in the life of a sportsman. Infact, for anyone...
Do you think Wrestling and its trainings can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career goal?
Yes definitely! Timeliness and fitness come automatically when one starts wrestling. This is because your schedule to eat properly, rest and practice is fixed. These qualities become a part of you and can be a big help in any of the career choices you make in future.
Who has been your influencer in this journey & how?
Yogeshwar sir is clearly the biggest influencer to me. His support right from my initial wrestling days till now has helped me a lot. The special quality is that he has influenced me even beyond wrestling to balance with my personal life too. He helps everyone who has the ability to shine brighter in the sport.
Which was “that” moment when you considered yourself as “I am the 1”?
In 2013 Asian Wrestling Championship, I won a medal in the senior category while I was still a junior, made me feel really happy. I think that was the "I am the 1" moment.
Did you get any formal training and how was that journey?
It all began in 2006, when I started going to the stadium to learn the sport professionally. Initially joined Chatshal Stadium, Shri Mahabaleshwar Pal was one of my coaches. Finally in 2014, I joined the Yogeshwar Academy. The journey is smooth since then.
Could you reflect on the importance of systematic training in Wrestling?
Training doesn"t begin straightaway. The first priority is to build up the stamina and be perfectly fit for the sport. Next comes the technique and tactics. In this gradual process of adjusting to your fitness regime, diet plays a very important role too.
What are the pre-coaching essentials e.g. Right age, mindset or any other?
A child can begin at the age of 8 or 10. Just like I said, it’s a lengthy process to build up your body for the Akhaada! The child needs to be mentally prepared for consistent training of around 10 years. This focused training will help in representing the nation by the age of say, 20.
Technology and scientific training has been changing the way people get trained in Wrestling. What’s your take?
I recollect my days of the ‘mitti ka akhaada’ here! We now train in the gym. Traditional practices have faded away. Also, thanks to technology enabled access, we are able to view techniques used by seasoned international champions. Observing the videos of our own games also help us in analyzing how we went wrong and how we can further work upon it to improve the game.
What according to you, can be a scope for improvement in training for Wrestling in India? What do you suggest for better accessibility of Wrestling in remote parts of India?
The presence of akhaada makes all the difference. There is a craze for the ‘Dangal’ and playing in akhaada in Haryana, Punjab and U.P. If the centers are present in other states, children will automatically find a way to learn wrestling there. This is an important sport for building fitness and should be encouraged better.
Your piece of advice to parents and new generation especially when some people are skeptical about career in extra curriculum.
My parents always supported me in all my steps. This is the most important thing clearly. Also, there needs to be a change in a mindset. People always think their child should be a doctor or an engineer. No one thinks about helping the child become a world champion in a sport and win medals to make the country proud. [Sad State]
How can one identify and encourage talent in the family?
First of all, the children should be allowed to explore everything and then be given the authority to choose whatever they like the most. Their interest matters more than anything.