Having recently won a gold medal for Karate at the US Open World Championship 2016, Bhaskar Sen, a student of Sri Venkateswara College, is juggling engineering and his passion for Karate at the same time. He has made the nation proud, time and again, by bringing laurels to the country after participating in prestigious national and international events. Catch him in a conversation with DU Beat below :
1. Out of all the various forms of martial arts and the different choices of sports available to a person, what drove your interest towards Karate?
Owing to the dearth of children, in my neighbourhood, I was prevented from indulging in and playing the popular sports like cricket, football and badminton. My elder brother was a black belt holder and I too started tagging along with him to his Karate lessons in the evening. Soon, I caught up with the sport and it became my passion.
2. Can you give us an insight of your future plans?
I would like to continue practicing Karate irrespective of my plans for higher studies and gain more experience and insight into the world of this sport which may also soon become an Olympic Sport.
In the upcoming months I have plans to attend and represent India at a couple of International seminars and training camps which are to be held at Italy and United Kingdom.
Immediately following them, I may be called upon to participate in the World Premier Circuit Championships at Salzburg, Austria and Okinawa, Japan.
3. Being a college student, how do you strike a balance between your passion for karate and academics?
Unlike other countries, sportsmen in India, especially students, are not known to get sabbaticals from their workplace for their trainings and actual tournament participations unless one is pursuing the ever-popular sport of cricket.
The learning of the technical aspect is a regular round the year affair and is followed in between breaks in studies whenever possible. The regular physical exercises have to be stepped up or down depending upon the academic study load at that point of time in the year.
4. Based on your experiences, what do you think is the scope of Karate in India?
Though there are myriads of Karate clubs functioning in major cities of our country, Karate is yet not an overwhelmingly popular sport. This is because of a number of reasons like the coaching centres are being run by unqualified coaches and the centre is usually not affiliated to a national body, making them unauthorised; Karate is not popularised in universities; and even the mainstream media falls shy of covering the events and competitions associated with this sport. Thus, it would really be helpful if the government chimes in to offer its support and takes steps to popularise, monitor and subsidise the training facilities.
5. Do you have any role models whom you look up to?
My foremost inspiration came from my elder brother, who took me to the Karate Dojo for the first time. I have also seen my father’s unstinted support for me to pursue Karate and to build up extreme self- confidence.
In the professional sphere, I have always held my teacher, mentor and a Karate legend, Sensei Luca Valdesi from Italy as a role model who holds the unbeatable record of being World Champion for six years at a stretch. I also wonder at the accomplishments of Vu Duc Minh Dack, the living legend from France.