Chennai girl wins gold in National karate tourney

Chennai: Madipakkam’s S K Rakshanaa in the city is a champion in karate. Aged 12, she already has multiple titles under her belt. The young champ speaks to News Today about what drove her to this level.

Excerpts from her interview:

Q: Tell us about yourself?

A: I am pursuing my seventh standard at Kendriya Vidyalaya Meenambakkam. My dad Senthil Kumar (42) is a manager at a private soft drinks firm and my mom Vedhashree (38) is a home maker. I have a sister S K Dikshanaa (7). We are residing at Kannagi Street in Madipakkam.

Q: How did you get to know about karate?

A: I never knew the about the martial art till my second standard. But, when my cousin sister, after returning back from the US, enrolled me in a karate coaching centre in Madipakkam, my life changed. I began to love, embrace the martial art and at one point of time event decided to take it up as my career.

Q: It seems you are one of the youngest black belt holders in the locality. Tell us about your achievements so far.

A: Yes, I am currently a ‘Dan One’ black belt holder. I had won a gold and a bronze medal at the All India National Karate Championship this year and in 2016. I have won the State Karate Championship twice. I am also a seven-time Open State Championship winner and 15-time gold medallist in the district championships. My affiliation to karate has also helped me become a strong performer in athletics and kabaddi, enabling me win a regional tournament in 2017.

Q: How do you manage your academics and karate?

A: My school hasn’t included karate in its main stream activities. I completely rely on my master Narayanan who is also a National-level gold medalist. I wake up every day at 5 am to start my training that will stretch till 6.30 am. After returning from school, I practice from 8-9.30 pm.

Q: Your advise for aspiring karate students.

A: The only way to succeed in karate is by practising like we have never won any game so far. If we get the feeling that we are a winner already, it might end up ruining our form. Secondly, we should never say no to any competition or any task given by our master. We should keep trying even if we fail multiple times. At one point of time, we will surely understand the know-hows of winning it.

Q: Your future plans.

A: I have come to this level because of the support extended by my coach, parents and team mates. In the future, I am planning to make them proud my participating and representing India in the upcoming Olympics. I have also decided to embrace karate as my career.

S K Rakshanaa can be contacted at 9962500023, 9677263025.

S Ben Raja