“I’m a single-parent child. Having lost my father at a young age, life was challenging, however, the unwavering determination and strength to tackle life situations by my mother is what kept us going forward in life. My mother works as a domestic help to provide for us. I grew up in an environment with limited resources, I transformed myself into a young girl who was ready to compete with the world in the ring by learning Martial arts. My uncle, Damodar Nayak, is a Karate Instructor who provides free coaching for the underprivileged. Having been inspired by his journey, I was hell-bent on learning Karate along with other forms of martial arts.
I started to balance my academics and training in Karate and there was no looking back after that. In 2015, after knowing my struggle, Mr. Suresh Moger sir, trained me in Karate for free of cost. I am also extremely grateful to my trainer, Rajshekar Gowda sir, who provided me with specialized training in Shotokan Karate. At present, I am seeking online training from my uncle in Hyderabad to fine-tune my skills.
My first Gold medal was in the district-level karate competition in 2018 after two years of practice. I secured first place and second in Kata Kumite at Gangavati. I became Grand champion in a state-level competition at Bhatkal in 2022 amongst many other wins in the local tournaments. Moving forward, I would like to achieve more with the kind support of my coaching staff, parents, and well-wishers.
Amongst all the laurels I have achieved, fighting through tough times was part of the journey. I remember the first time I had to leave my mother and step out of my hometown all alone for a tournament. Coming from an orthodox family background, I have heard people say that it is not right for my mother to send me to Martial arts practice sessions where men are present. They believe that girls should not step out to live life on their terms. But I am glad that my mother came out of those misconceptions and encouraged my passion wholeheartedly. Today, it feels good to see girls from my hometown come explore and widen their horizons boldly and learn to fight for their rights.
My goal in life is to help underprivileged children by training in Karate for free of cost. Karate is not only a self-defense form but it is a life-changing course which should be a part of the curriculum in schools so that everyone stays fit and disciplined.”
- Anjali, Martial artist