A slamming good time

Mr Kamalraj Kunaseelan soars through the air, plunging down from a height of 2m to strike an opponent lying winded on the ring mat.

He then applies his finishing moves, bouncing off the ropes and delivering two powerful kicks to his opponents, sending them to the ground.

The crowd cheers in excitement: "Black Arrow, Black Arrow!"

Mr Kamalraj is known as Black Arrow on the local professional wrestling scene.

But away from the ring, the 18-year-old is a second-year student at Temasek Polytechnic, studying mechatronics.

Mr Kamalraj was grappling in front of a 400-strong crowd at a professional wrestling event at Kampong Ubi Community Centre on Friday. It was organised by Singapore Pro Wrestling (SPW), Singapore's first professional wrestling league.

Mr Kamalraj told The New Paper that being a wrestler was his dream since he started watching wrestling matches at the age of four.


He admires American professional wrestler Paul Michael Levesque, better known as Triple H.

He said: "Wrestling is my passion and I will wrestle for the rest of my life."

Last year, he joined SPW as one of its youngest wrestlers.

Mr Kamalraj said he faced difficulties in managing his time when he started wrestling. Having to cope with his passion and studies, he found it hard to complete his school assignments on time and attend trainings four or five times a week.

His wrestling matches often coincided with his school examinations. Because of that, he has to stay focused and start revising early.

Mr Kamalraj is also part of his school's rugby team.

His parents were initially very worried.

His father, Mr Achalingam Kunaseelan, 54, said that although the moves that wrestlers execute are meticulously choreographed, he would, at times, see his son injured after training.

Said Mr Achalingam: "There was once he came home and his face was bleeding."

But now, Mr Achalingam is proud to see his son execute the moves in the ring confidently.

Being able to wrestle in the ring, Mr Kamalraj said he is now living his dream.

"If you have a dream, don't just dream," he said.

"Wake up and do something about it. You will always have to start from somewhere."

Sharing the similar wrestling dream is Mr Andruew Tang, 26, the co-founder of SPW.

He trained under SPW's other founder, Russian trainer Vadim Koryagin, who is also CEO of Russia's Independent Wrestling Federation.

Just like Mr Kamalraj, Mr Tang fell in love with the sport during his childhood.

His passion for wrestling spurred the setting up of SPW three years ago.

Mr Tang has also won international competitions such as the Asian Wrestling Grand Crown Junior Heavyweight Championship held in Hong Kong last year.

The event last Friday was the SPW's ninth and Mr Tang said it has gathered people who shared a passion for wrestling.

"The SPW has revived the professional wrestling culture in Singapore," he said.

Student Amri Mazlan, 23, was one of the spectators.

Mr Amri said: "I never knew that professional wrestling exists in Singapore."

He said the event was an exciting showcase of professional stunts.

Given the growth of SPW, Mr Tang hopes he would be able to hold a professional wrestling event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in the near future.

"It is my passion and I have to chase it," Mr Tang said. "You will never know unless you try."

This article was first published on May 25, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.