Obed Hrangchal, 26, is an Indian MMA and kickboxing champion who has already won two gold, seven silver, and two bronze national medals in wushu, kickboxing, muay thai, and karate.
Hrangchal is a member of the Bnei Menashe Jewish community in northeastern India. Together with his parents, Gabriel and Ruth Hrangchal, and his sister, Lucy, Obed is slated to fulfill a lifelong dream by moving to Israel.
“I have always dreamt of making aliyah to the Land of Israel and I am very excited at the prospect of doing so,” Obed said. “If possible, I would certainly like to join the IDF and I would be honored to represent Israel in MMA and kickboxing competitions.”
Originally from the village of Thinghlun in the Indian state of Mizoram, the Hrangchals were the only Jewish family in town. In 2013, they sold their home and farmlands to move to the capital city of Aizawl in order to join the local Jewish community while waiting to make aliyah. Without the family farm, Gabriel, Obed’s father, has not been able to find a job.
Despite these difficulties, Obed has won awards in martial arts from the Mizoram State Sport Council and the Mizoram State Wushu Association, which are affiliated with both the Indian Olympic Association and the International Olympic Committee.
“I started practicing martial arts from a very young age, about 6 years old, but without proper instruction,” Obed said. “As I grew up, I steadily improved, and then I began to compete at the state level in 2014, when I competed in Chinese kickboxing or wushu and won second place. That same year, I began to study mixed martial arts under an instructor.”