Steely resolve scores over odds for this martial artist

Kiran Naik won a bronze in the Mixed Martial Arts World championship in Singapore recently.

Kiran Naik won a bronze in the Mixed Martial Arts World championship in Singapore recently.  

Kiran Naik is slowly but surely emerging a force to reckon with in the field of martial arts

Kiran Naik, arguably, belongs to a different breed. This Kannadiga from Hubli moved to the city about two years ago, determined to leave a mark in the world of martial arts.

Thanks to the training programme at the city-based RAW Combat Sports Academy, the 20-year-old, under the tutelage of Rupesh Matt, has made critics sit up and take note of her after clinching a bronze medal in the GAMMA (Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts) World Championship in Singapore recently. There, India won two silver and four bronze medals.

Kiran’s success story is one of triumph over tribulations since she had to fight indifference in her training programme back home, which she also feels was the reason for her being unable to prepare for bigger goals. “I was disgusted with the politics there. I found this MMA academy in Hyderabad during an internet search and after a few weeks of training here, I felt at home. Everything is professional here and I am enjoying every bit of my training,” says Kiran, who is pursuing BA in political science through correspondence.

What made her choose martial arts? “Somehow I have been hooked to it since childhood and having won four gold in the four national-level events that I took part in, I thought this is one sport where I could make a mark,” she says confidently.

That the spirited youngster could make it big after picking up karate five years ago can also be a tribute to the combination of skill and raw power she possesses. Even in the fiercely-contested kick-boxing field, Kiran is a medallist. So, winning her maiden bronze in a World Championship recently was perhaps just what the doctor prescribed — to dream big and chase it too.

For someone who idolises badminton world champion P.V. Sindhu and star athlete Hima Das, Kiran is determined to script a golden moment in the Worlds. “That is the day I am waiting for. I am aware that I may not be bestowed with the kind of cash incentives a bronze medallist in other disciplines normally gets in a World championship. But thanks to the support of my parents, I will keep pursuing my passion for martial arts, come what may,” she says.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:00:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/steely-resolve-scores-over-odds/article30240228.ece

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