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Israel Govito Xuivi: The journey of an energetic athlete, policeman with winning attitude

Israel Govito Xuivi (middle) with his students

In the year 1995, Israel Govito Xuivi, made it to the Limca Book of Records for fastest kicking and thereon have achieved many national and international feats including winning 20 gold medals in national and state-level championships

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

With a determination as strong as steel, Israel Govito Xuivi, belonging to one of the major tribes of Nagaland (Sumi), is also one of the living examples who hasn’t had problems with life. Difficult situations for him is an asset that helped him scale greater heights throughout his journey as a sportsman and also as a uniformed officer.

The journey of this uniformed officer, attached with the 1st NAP stationed at the newly created district of Nagaland, Chumukedima, as Deputy Commandant, was that of intense struggle heaped with words of discouragement from almost everyone he had come across.

A recipient of Governor’s medal in 2009 conferred upon him in recognition of distinguished service rendered by him, Israel has been featured in national and international magazines and news dailies including Northeast Sun, Attitude, The Scribe and others. His name is also mentioned in the Limca book of records for fastest kicking in a minute. Today, he is armed with four records (fastest kicking) and also represented India five times in the International “Tae-kwon-Do Championship”, twice in “World Tae-Kwon-Do Championship”, twice in invitational and once in the International Kickboxing Championship held in Russia, South Korea, Argentina and India among others.

Israel who is a Black Belt 4th Dan, whose determination has been the strength of his life also credit his wife, Nikatoli, for being not only the source of his success but for being a driving force behind him.

An athlete since school days, this energetic officer possesses an incredible amount of dedication to pursuing his passion. This has resulted in creating records and also bringing laurels not only to his home state, Nagaland, but to India as well.

Israel Govito Xuivi

Govito’s Feats

In the year 1995, Israel Govito Xuivi, made it to the Limca Book of Records for fastest kicking and thereon have achieved many national and international feats including winning 20 gold medals both in national and state-level championship.

Besides winning two international gold medals, he was also the vice-president of Tae-kwon-do Association of India (TAI) for five years (2005-10) and is presently the chief instructor and technical director for Nagaland Taekwondo Federation and Nagaland Police.

Terming that every award is precious as it takes a “fight” to win an award, he candidly admitted that even the fight he lost during his journey is being treasured as there are bigger lessons to learn from them.

Besides many of the distinct accolades from many quarters including from his home state and other states for executing his duties diligently, Israel, who is one of the honorary secretaries of Nagaland Shooting Sports Association (NSSA), has represented the state in many shooting competitions (Air Pistol) and was the first person from the State to have won a bronze medal in Air Pistol category during the 3rd North East Shooting competition in 2016 held at Imphal, Manipur.

Apart from conferring him with the Governor’s Gold Medal for Meritorious and exceptional services in 2009 and 2012, during his successful career till date, Israel has also been bestowed with many awards including Chief Minister’s commendation certificate in 2003, and DGP’s commendation Silver Disc for executing special duties during the COVID pandemic 2020 at Ganeshnagar Quarantine Centre, Dimapur, which was the largest quarantine centre in the whole state of Nagaland.

Acknowledging his background, Israel is also invited to be honoured and become a member of the official “Taekwondo Hall of Fame” at its next ceremony to be held on August 19 this year at the Luxurious Hyatt Regency, 2 Exchange Place, New Jersey, USA.

Early life

Born on January 28, 1975, in Zunheboto, Israel who is now father to three sons said that taekwondo has always been his passion as a kid.

Although his initiation to the sport (passion) was quite late at 19 years, he was fast learning the tricks of the medium and it was in the year 1992 that he enrolled at the University of Delhi for his BA, and under the guidance of NS Rawat, he adapted to the nuances of the game like “fish to water”.

Interestingly, to those who don’t know him or knew him, Israel is also an avid music lover who was once a drummer with a rock band “Simple Rhythm” based in Goa where the band used to play in restaurants and even in his home state, Nagaland, he was also the drummer of bands like “Spider” and “Potter’s Clay” of which the latter was a gospel band.

Bon Jovi being his favourite singer, while Dave Mustane and Joe Satriani are his idol guitarists, Israel shared that before he got into the “ring for fights”, he always make it a point to listen to “heavy music” for which he used to listen to songs like “Enter Sandman” by Metallica which delivers different feelings thereby giving no space for nervousness to make him fight better.

He also insisted the same of listening to “heavy music” before any fight (s) by also admitting that in doing so, they have all become fans of heavy metal too and not just “Taekwondo”.


Tae-Kwon-Do and Beyond

Having trained the Under Armed Combat (UAC) to more than 1000 Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) jawans to date, Israel is also teaching Taekwondo besides his self-created “Kiti-Do” to more than a thousand students.

Israel Govito Xuivi

It is interesting to know that Israel Xuivi, the uniformed officer not only founded the indigenous “Kiti-Do”, but also gave it a form, techniques and uniform after doing strenuous research on the culture of his ancestors who belongs to the Sumi Naga tribe.

“Kiti” in Sumi Naga dialect means the way of kicking while “Do” on the other hand is a Japanese word.

He said that Sumi Naga tribe has been making use of the indigenous version of “Kiti-Do”, which during those days was called “Aphukishi”, meaning kick fighting in Sumi, where the Naga Sumi braves heroes made use of “Aphukishi” to win the hands of the chief’s daughter.

“They used to fight wearing stilettos. It was a village sport where competitions were hard and tough. The Sumi fighters used to fight a knock-out game”, Israel said while also adding that after much research into the history and culture of the Sumi Naga tribe, he developed the form, techniques, standard and uniform to “Aphukishi”, which he renamed as “Kiti-Do”.

Though “Kiti-Do” is closely related to “Tae-Kwon-Do”, however, Israel said that the languages, as well as the uniforms, are different for which he has created three colours for “Kiti-Do” comprising of black, white and red-black that signifies the period of darkness where the individual has no knowledge of “Kiti-Do”.

The white colour in “Kiti-Do” is about peace and neutrality.

Here at this stage, the individual is aware of “Kiti-Do”, the red colour finally signifies danger whereas the individual bearing the red colour is fully equipped with “Kiti-Do” which according to him also signifies sacrifice.

He also said that the international martial art community has been showing immense interest in “Kiti-Do”. He was invited to exhibit “Kiti-Do” in 2007 and 2008 in Phyong Yang, North Korea, and in Bangkok, Thailand, respectively along with an indigenous martial art expert in Kalaripayattu, from Kerala who was the only two martial arts personals to have been invited to perform.

Having to participate in national and international championships with no support from even the government, he narrated that in the initial days he had to even sell off his car and land in order to participate.

“It was a struggle as well as a big sacrifice but my father was very supportive”, he said while also adding that he was happy as long as he could deliver what he has to for the youths who according to him are the source of his strength.

He also shared that it takes a big amount of patience, determination and hard work to achieve what he has gained in life.

He disclosed that when he started learning Taekwondo, his friends in Delhi found his dedication “strange and unnecessary” but he was very focused and certain of what he was doing and he still reminisces those struggling days when he could not even get to eat a proper meal.

On being asked how he took the “fights”, Israel said that every fight was a challenge and he took it seriously but never carry hard feelings even if he loses the bout.

Stating that there were some fights which he cannot forget, Israel said he still remembers the year 1998 in Orissa now Odisha where he fought in the National Tae-Kwon-Do Championship he fought a “Black Belt” from Delhi whose jaw he broke and that fellow (opponent) had to rest for at least one and a half years.

“I felt bad. But it happens, otherwise, I would have lost my jaw too”, Israel said.

Another interesting fight he recollects was the one he lost by a few points in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1997, where he lost to Paul German of Canada, who incidentally went on to become the world champion.

The interesting thing was that Israel never knew that he would be fighting Paul German, who coincidentally happened to be one of his “heroes” and used to buy and watch the video clippings of his “hero”.

He said that when he entered to fight Paul German, he was 100 per cent fit physically as well as mentally, taking on everything but unfortunately lost to his “hero” by a few points and adding that despite the loss, he was proud because he fought a fight against whom he had been “hero-worshipping”.

Israel G. Xuivi, who is deputy commandant, 1st NAP, Chumukedima, Nagaland, and founder of the Nagaland Tae-kwon-Do Federation lamented that though the federation was registered under the Home Department, Nagaland, but got little support from the government who was supporting another Taekwondo organization in the State.

Two of his students (Black Belt), G. Obed Zhimo, and Renjamo have represented India in the Asian Tae-Kwon-Do Championship 2016 in Delhi where he was also selected as an official judge for the same event.

Israel G Xuivi holds four records for fastest kicking in the Limca National Book of Records and has represented India five times in international Taekwondo championships, twice in World Championships, twice in the invitational, once in the international kickboxing championship.

His aim is to hone the police personnel into a lean, mean, and highly disciplined fighting machine to effectively combat the anti-social elements that threaten the safety and peace of society.

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