“As a single-parent child who lost my father early on, life presented its challenges. Yet, it was my mother’s unwavering determination that became our beacon of hope. Working as a domestic help, she provided for us, teaching me resilience in the face of adversity. Growing up in modest circumstances, I found my strength in martial arts, inspired by my uncle, Damodar Nayak, a Karate Instructor who offered free coaching to the underprivileged.
Balancing academics with martial arts training became my norm, and I never looked back. In 2015, my coach, Mr. Suresh Moger generously trained me in Karate for free, while Rajshekar Gowda provided specialized instruction in Shotokan Karate. Presently, I’m refining my skills through training with my uncle in Hyderabad.
My first gold medal at a district-level karate competition in 2018 marked a turning point after years of dedication. Achieving first place and second in Kata Kumite and becoming the Grand Champion at a state-level competition in Bhatkal in 2022 were significant milestones among numerous local tournament wins in my career. Despite societal norms discouraging my involvement in martial arts, my mother stood by me, challenging misconceptions and encouraging my passion. Now, I take pride in seeing girls from my hometown break barriers and pursue their dreams boldly.
My ultimate goal is to give back by providing free Karate training to underprivileged children. I believe Karate goes beyond self-defense; it instills discipline and fitness, qualities that should be accessible to all, perhaps even integrated into school curricula.
In my journey, I’ve learned that resilience knows no bounds, and with determination and support, any obstacle can be overcome.”
- Anjali, a marital artist