– Baishali Mukherjee
11-year-old Aditri Bhaumik, a class VII student of the CISCE affiliated La Martinere for Girls School (LMG) — ranked India’s #2 Girls Day School in the latest EducationWorld India School Rankings 2021-22 — is all set to participate in the prestigious FSKA World Karate Championship to be hosted at K2 Leisure Center, Crawley, London in October this year. Hosted every year by representatives of the Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association, this year’s championship is being organised by Sensei Debbie Steven, an accomplished martial artist based in the United Kingdom. About six hundred contestants from approximately twenty five countries across five continents will be participating in the acclaimed international event. Moreover, on March 6 this year, The Telegraph Edugraph recognised Aditri as one of the top 50 students (all rounder) of Eastern India, among 10,000 nominees.
Enthralled by the news, Tirthankar Nandy (7th Dan Japan), founder-director, AIBSKA-JSKA, under whose expert guidance Aditri has been practising for the last five years in LMG, says, “Aditri Bhaumik is a very hard working martial artist and has won 5 gold medals in district, 4 in regional, 7 in state, 7 in national and 4 in international Karate championships, in addition to 1 silver and 1 bronze medal in national championships in the last five years. She has immense potential to win accolades for the nation from world karate events in the future. Aditri has gone through a rigorous training process, in the last four months, to be selected for the upcoming FSKA World Karate championship”.
Daughter of Bangalore-based Deep Bhaumik who serves at Tata Motors as a regional head (south) and Debi Bhaumik, a published author and home-maker, Aditri started practising karate at the age of six. As a super active child, she dabbled in tennis, gymnastics and dancing, but she loved karate from day one at Japanese Karate Association, India (JKAI) at Ballygunge (Kolkata) and still practices at the dojo (school for training in self-defence) as well as at LMG.
In February 2022, Aditri won two gold medals and certificates at the World Karate and Martial Arts Championship held in Kolkata, which paved way for her participation in the FSKA World Karate Championship. 104 students from 22 countries worldwide participated in the World Karate and Martial Arts Championship 2022 while only 11 made it to the finals. Aditri bagged Gold for India, while Iran and Russia bagged Silver and Bronze respectively. Aditri had to go through five rounds, including a first round of selection, judge’s choice, quarter finals and semifinals to reach the finals.
“It was a great feeling of both pride and prestige to represent India, the feeling hit differently when they announced my name along with my country’s name,” says the ‘Karate Kid’ who believes in rigorous training and practice and does not mind occasional failures.
Her practice regimen spans six days a week from 6 to 7 am at home and between 7 to 8 pm at the Association. LMG has extended phenomenal support for Aditri’s academic and sports pursuits. Principal R. Sarkar believes in striking a good balance between academics and sports. “The teachers have been very supportive and encouraging. If I ever missed out on classes, they would provide me with online/offline compensatory classes and make sure I don’t lag behind in studies. Also, before an important championship, the school grants me leave, which has helped me a lot in balancing sports and my studies,” says Aditri who played her first tournament, Junior Nationals for JKA (India), when she was six years old and secured her first-ever Bronze with all India rank #3. Since then, she has been coached by some of the top coaches of India including Sensei B. S. Ganguli (JKA India) 4th Dan Japan, Sensei Manoj Das (JKA India) 2nd Dan Japan at JKAI.
Given that diet plays a major role in an athlete’s physical fitness, Aditri follows a diet rich in protein and milk. “Usually I don’t eat junk food and aerated drinks, however during parties I indulge a little. At home it’s a strictly home-made protein rich diet with lots of fruits and veggies,” she says. Aditri is a non fussy eater who admires Sandra Sanchez Jamie, a two-time gold medalist at the World Karate Championships (2018 and 2021), and Ayano Nakamura — a Funakoshi Gichin Cup winner. Aditri also loves music and is currently a second grade student (Electronic Keyboard) at the London College of Music.
Legend says that about 1,400 years ago a monk named Daruma journeyed to China from India and taught Buddhism. He also taught his disciples a weaponless combat technique for physical fitness and self-defense which later came to be known as Karate, an unarmed martial art discipline employing kicking, striking, and defensive blocking with arms and legs. Eventually karate became systematised in Okinawa in the 17th century by Gichin Funakoshi, known as the Father of modern-day Karate-Do, who brought this art from Okinawa to Japan. Karate as a sport grew in popularity in India in the 1970s and 1980s, with many dojos first established in major cities. Karate India Organization (KIO) is the World Karate Federation recognised body for karate in India which has 40 affiliated units with 29 state teams and 7 union territory teams.
“Unfortunately, karate still does not enjoy a lot of attention in our country,” rues Aditri but quickly adds, “Yet the good thing is there is no dearth of enthusiasm among students. Moreover, the schools also have self defence classes these days and we now have a good number of coaches in Kolkata who are continuously working very hard to make and shape us. I love Karate as it does not discriminate (as compared to an expensive sport such as Golf) and is also bringing many awards, medals and credibility to India nowadays.”
Given that karate is a martial art form that does not necessarily require a partner or an opponent, the little sporting wonder aspires to continue her practice lifelong. “It is a form of great physical and mental training. If all goes well I shall try and take up karate professionally,” she adds.Posted in Campus, News