It has been 28 years since Sanjeet Kumar Rai, who received the fifth dan of WUMA Kung Fu, started practicing martial arts. Sanjeet, who has advanced his career as a player of different types of martial arts, now works as a technician (Coach, Judge) of WUMA Kung Fu at the policy-making level. This means that he currently holds the position of senior vice president of the Nepal WUMA Kung Fu Association.
WUMA Kung Fu is one of the attractive forms of martial arts played in the style of Kung Fu, which originated in Nepal in 2004.
Sanjeet’s role in introducing and developing this game in Nepal is significant. His involvement in sports was initially connected with Taekwondo. However, he has been dedicated to WUMA Kung Fu for a long time. His contribution was vital in establishing this game in Nepal.
“In the beginning, my sport was Taekwondo, where I learned only the basic aspects of martial arts. Later, I pursued boxing, but it didn’t become my career. After playing boxing, I became fascinated with Kung Fu. Since WUMA Kung Fu is compatible with Kung Fu, I started managing it as a player, coach, and judge,” he said.
The attraction towards martial arts in Nepal is promising. If we look at the history of sports in Nepal, we have achieved results that the country can be proud of in martial arts. At one time, Nepal was known as the powerhouse of martial arts in South Asia. While India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan made significant progress, Nepal couldn’t keep up accordingly. However, the popularity of martial arts in Nepal has not waned. It is no different for Sanjeet, who is also a stakeholder in advancing WUMA Kung Fu and promoting the development and popularity of martial arts in Nepal.
Because his journey in the martial arts game spans about three decades, his relationship with the sport started with Taekwondo and eventually led to Boxing and Kung Fu. He has been practicing martial arts since 1994. He had a strong affinity for Taekwondo, influenced by his father, who was a former Taekwondo player. At the age of 12, Sanjeet got the opportunity to join Taekwondo with famous Nepalese Taekwondo players Bidhan Lama and Sangina Baidya.
“My parents inspired me, saying that when I enter the field of sports, I will be recognized everywhere. They encouraged me by emphasizing the benefits of a healthy body and high self-esteem. I have devoted almost three decades to martial arts because of that,” Sanjeet shared his memories.
Sanjeet’s father enrolled him in Taekwondo at the stadium. From there, his sports journey progressed from the center of Nepali sports. Growing up in a sports-oriented family, he developed a deep love for martial arts, being attracted to every type of martial art.
He participated in his favorite sports, which led him to become a Boxer and Wushu player. However, his 28-year martial arts career has been primarily focused on Wuma Kung Fu.
“I have been playing martial arts since my childhood. I have a great passion for it. Even in the face of career challenges, I couldn’t forget martial arts. That’s why, for the last decade, I have been working to promote WUMA Kung Fu as an established sport in the country,” said Sanjeet.
WUMA Kung Fu has also become one of the established martial arts in Nepal. Nepal has achieved many successes in World Championships, Asian competitions, and other international events. The success achieved in the 2019 WMAC World Cup in Austria further validates its development and promotion. In that competition, Nepal won one gold, three silver, and three bronze medals. Sanjeet is also one of those who deserve credit for this success. He has made significant contributions to this game as a player, technician and administrator.
He has served as a judge in many countries, including India, USA, Germany, Austria and UK. He also plays the role of coordinator in national and international competitions. Additionally, he serves as the General Secretary of Nepal TOA Kung Fu Federation Denmark and International Kung Fu Federation (IKF) Beijing, China. WUMA Kung Fu has benefited from his experience in its development.
Sanjeet, once an extra ordinary athlete, has involved in the institutional development of Wuma Kung Fu. Sanjeet, who is also an international judge, won gold in the Chinese creative category over 35 years and bronze in the traditional category at the WMAC Wuma World Championship held in Slovenia. Sanjeet is also the gold medalist of the National Wuma Kung Fu Championship- 2015. Sanjeet has also successfully conducted the role of head judge in 14th National Indian Kung Fu Championship held in November- 2022, Lucknow, India. He was also the Head Judge in 6th National WUMA Kung Fu Championship held in September, 2023. His passion for martial arts is the reason he has been involved in this field for three decades.