Muthu Devaraj, a karate master from Hasthinapuram, won gold medal in master’s kata category in the Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karate Open International Championship in Malaysia. He along with his students also won several medals.
Speaking to News Today, Muthu said, “I did not receive any formal training in the earlier days. I used to see how children get trained at karate in a nearby school and that is how my interest in the martial art grew. I started practising on my own. Then, after a certain age, I joined the classes under master Pursushothaman. Seeing my interest and dedication, he allowed me to teach my juniors and slowly I started my journey as a shihan.”
Muthu said apart from karate, he also knows kobudo and silambam. Talking about his journey as a trainer, Muthu said, “Earlier, I used to train students on the terrace of a building, then shifted to a community hall at Purushothaman Nagar, where I have been teaching for more than 10 years.”
He said S Sanjay, M Gunaseelan, A Ashwanth, V K Sesha Harri, V Bharanidharan, K Anandhakshri, S Sanyuktha and S Praneet won different medals in various events at the championship in Malaysia. Among his students, Sanjay and Ashwanth won gold in kata and kumute in the tournament held in Sri Lanka last year.
Stressing on the importance of girl children learning martial arts, he said in the present scenario, it has become a necessity to train them young so that they can defend themselves when the need arises. Talking about his teaching techniques, he said, “Instead of just teaching my students katas, I also concentrate on their self-defence.”
He added that apart from training and practise, he also focuses on the diet of his students. ”It would not be of much help if the students just keep practising, they should also eat healthy to stay fit and have stamina to perform. I advise them to eat healthy and avoid junk food,” he said. Muthu can be reached at 99415 12332 and 97898 94359.