At five, she just looks like any other tiny tot, but Varsha Vinod is already on top of the world, having become the youngest-ever to get a karate black belt.
The wonder kid from Kerala started practising the chops and kicks of the martial art three years ago when children of her age were busy playing.
A Class I student of Taxila English Medium School at Purakkad in neighbouring Alappuzha, Varsha has become a celebrity after her achievement.
She is now sought by many organisations and clubs in Kerala to demonstrate karate, her father and sensei Vinod Viswanathan, who runs the Ko-In-Chi Academy of Martial Arts at Amabalapuzha in Alappuzha District, told PTI.
“Varsha, who idolises martial art veteran Bruce Lee, has extraordinary talent and has been showing her interest in this sport from the tender age of two. Seeing her interest, I started taking her regularly to the academy,” he said.
Once her talent became evident during preliminary training, he started imparting advanced karate techniques.
At the age of four, Varsha was a brown belt holder, the first degree in Karate, and was awarded the black belt, the tenth karate grade, last year, he said.
Varsha had good reflexes and was quick in grasping the lessons, said Mr. Viswanathan, a karate master for over 24 years in Ko-In-Chi Academy.
Varsha, who is also good in her studies, never misses her daily training which runs to about two-and-a-half hours. The duration increases during weekends.
The girl visited London in October last year on invitation from a martial arts video game producer and was an instant hit in the UK media.
She surprised British karate champion Juan Moreno with her amazing skills when she had a spar with him.
Although the match was not for real, Mr. Moreno, expected to represent Britain in the European championships this year, said he was “shocked” at just how good she was.
Mr. Moreno, 31 years her senior, said, “She is the ultimate karate kid. It’s hard to remember she is just 5, her skills and concentration are amazing.”
The youngest black belt is due to star in an Hollywood action film by a London-based producer for which preliminary discussions were on, Mr. Viswanathan said.
She has set her eyes on continuing karate and is hopeful of getting better.