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Indian Karate champion Sandhya Shetty teaches girls self-defence | Shakti

Indian Karate champion Sandhya Shetty teaches girls self-defence | Shakti


I am Sandhya Shetty, I am a fashion model,
a TV presenter, an actor, and I’m also a karate
champion from India. (COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2015
GOLD MEDALLIST) (SAKF GAMES 2017
BRONZE MEDALLIST) (MISS INDIA 2000 FINALIST) I call upon the youth of
the world in Tokyo, Japan, to celebrate the games
of the 32nd Olympiad. Finally, Karate is coming to
Tokyo Olympics 2020. You know, for me, an Olympics
2020 is like a dream. (SHAKTI – INDIA’S SUPER WOMAN) I’m born and
brought up in Mumbai. I always was a little tomboy. A major part of my life
has been when I was in NCC Army Wing because
my first career choice was to be in the army. But while I was in college
my friends just forced me into just sending across
my Miss India form and as a surprise package, I was a finalist,
and from there on the offers just kept
pouring in, and I was a model! (KARATE CENTRE) My love for sport
had kind of taken a back seat. I told my friend, I said, “Why don’t I just come
and see your session one day?” Because they were doing karate. And I went there and my sir is, like, hitting them really hard
on their stomach, on their legs. It’s called conditioning. And I just knew it that day, that I want to be as
powerful as these boys and I wanted to join karate. I thought after looking
at this, she may say, “Why am I getting into
all this beating stuff? “I’ll be not able to walk
on the ramp and do anything. “My nose and face is broken.” I thought that she may
not come, but she joined. When I started karate, for me,
it was a big challenge between my glamour world
and karate as a sport, because it’s such
a contrasting career. Every single time I go
to a fashion show, and I come back and I realise,
“Oh, my God!” It is a shift mentally,
it is a shift physically. Karate had made her fitter, agility, focus, the discipline. I’ve seen so many girls
and boys getting nervous, seeing so many people. For her it was a benefit. Being a model, she performs more when
there are more people. My mum and dad are
from Karnataka, Mangalore. We are a community
called the Bunt community. (SANDHYA’S PARENTS’ HOME) I speak a language called Tulu.
(BUNTS: A HINDU, PATRIARCHAL, CONSERVATIVE COMMUNITY FROM
COASTAL SOUTH WEST INDIA) It has no script,
so it’s just a spoken language. (TULU – SPOKEN BY 2 MILLION
PEOPLE IN INDIA) My father is a businessman
and my mum is a housewife. All the success I have
achieved in karate is because of my
parents’ belief in me. Because they are so simple, there’s hardly any parent
who have given so much trust and affection. She hasn’t left out any game.
She’s played kabaddi as well. And she stood first
in that too. I told her, “OK, play
whatever you like.” And, moreover, it’s for India. If you earn name and fame
for the country, it’s good. Our children should
move forward. In my house, we were four – my
two brothers, my sister and me. I’m the youngest. In South Indian families
you always notice that men somehow are given that
priority and they always are people who are doing
the outside work. (SANDHYA’S NIECE AND NEPHEWS) And as a kid I always
told my mum that I would rather
be out like a man. What are you hiding behind?
What’s that? We have a surprise for you. – Surprise?
– Yes. Wow, this is so cool! “Karate Girl
Miss Sandhya Shetty.” Sandhya Shetty is a perfect
role model for all the women in India.
(KARATE REFEREE) Looking to the situation
in our country, the way the girls are being harassed,
molested, each and every girl should
learn martial arts. (SELF-DEFENCE WORKSHOP AT
MUNICIPAL SCHOOL.) We will come together
as friends, and do this session today. As a child, every girl at
some point has gone through, some kind of molestation. It’s amazing that how big
that ratio is, and how much we’re not aware of that. (ONE IN EVERY TWO CHILDREN IN
INDIA BETWEEN THE AGE OF 12-18 IS A VICTIM OF
SEXUAL ABUSE, ACCORDING TO WORLD VISION
INDIA) And I have also been a victim
of that, and today I… ..I love to talk about
it because, you know, for the longest time
we all keep it within us. And self-defence
is something that our girls need to learn,
not only to feel safe for oneself, but also
for the family. And, when you feel
physically strong, I have felt it, after doing karate
I’ve learnt to say, “No.” “Kara” – empty hand.
Karate means “empty hand.” If she has to score, she has to go with
the same intensity, the way she’s going to punch
anybody on the road. But, the only thing is,
she has to control. Only skin touch. I’m going to basically show you
my favourite moves. We start with a punch and you
go on the stomach or the chest. On the other side,
now I’ll do a face punch. For the kick,
it’s a mawashi geri, and uda mawashi geri. Once we had gone for
one tournament. There were no girls in
her category to participate. I just asked her, “Are you willing to
fight with the guys?” So, she willingly said,
“Yes, fine.” So I said, “Fine, at least
she’ll get one or two rounds “to practise.” There were about
35 to 40 people in that category that day. The starting turning point
that I concentrated on her was she won the tournament
in the guys’ category. In 2007, for the first time, my karate sir told me
to compete, and I was like, “Oh, my God!” I thought that he’s really
lost it because… But, on his insistence, I just
went there and I was, like, a double gold medallist. (MAHARASHTRA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
2017 – GOLD MEDALLIST) And, post that, I haven’t stopped my journey
for a single year. (SAKF GAMES 2017 –
BRONZE MEDALLIST) (NATIONAL KARATE CHAMPIONSHIP,
GOA, 2017 – GOLD MEDALLIST) (COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2015 –
FINAL MATCH) This is one of the most
crucial fights. I was fighting a New Zealander. And, you can see, very, very,
attacking mode, both of us. Oh, that was a very tough
tournament for her because she got Australia, she got New Zealand,
she got Sri Lanka. All these were the top girls
to go through. And she did it.
That was really… I’m getting gooseflesh now. There’s so much pressure for
the country to win a medal, and we both are not
ready to let go. There you go – one punch
straight on the face, this is the scoring point. Commonwealth gold medal
for India 2015. I’ve been through
a lot to be here. Of course, I have a lot of
pressure from my parents, my family. You know, they all keep saying, “So, Sandhya, when are
you getting married?” And I always tell my
parents that, you know, your daughter has
achieved much more. In our society, if somebody like me
who’s made to feel little just because I’m not married, or just because
I don’t have kids, I just wonder about all these girls
who are not so privileged. (THE AVERAGE AGE OF INDIAN
WOMEN FOR MARRIAGE IS 19.2) Our problem in India, is that after 21-22
the girl gets married. After marriage, she’s finished. She’s not participating
any more. (ONLY 25% OF INDIA’S OLYMPIC
MEDALS WERE WON BY WOMEN) I feel somewhere, I could have been better If I would have got support
off the Government, off the Federation
(MEDAL EVENT) and some sponsors in a
much more stronger way. Every single year, I would, you know, go for
my modelling assignments, my acting assignments,
earn X amount of money, and I would divert all
the funds into my karate. You won’t believe,
sometimes in the tournament or in the class, she has fractured
her leg or something. And I came to know that next
day she has gone for ramp walk! My focus was so much
on trying to balance everything, and there
were so many times when I wanted to go and attend
an international competition but I didn’t go because there
was no sponsor, there was no government help. In one of the years, when I was selected as
a top Asian probable… ..you know, I left entire year. And, taking a break
for one year means you are out of your career
and people tend to forget you. And, for that one year, I must have attended
multiple camps in karate, I have broken twice my nose,
hairline fracture, I’ve broken my left hand, I’ve broken multiple
times my leg. Finally, we’re about just one month away to be leaving for
the Asian Games. And, we come to know that the whole India team
will not be going because of some paperwork goof up
and some Federation problem. My heart just sank. I broke down. I don’t think I’ve ever broken
down so badly, because… ..I moved out of my house because I went into depression. And I was just staring
at my walls. And, trust me, I cried like
a baby that day, because… ..I realised I was going down and I took this one step
that day to get out. That day, something changed
in me. I said, “Every single time “I will fall down,
I will get up. Throughout my life, I was
dreaming to be an Olympian. But I did not get
that opportunity. At least, now my student
gets an opportunity, my dream will be fulfilled. Yes, she’s got
a very bright chance. All the women
and all the children in India, will definitely
pray for her to win a gold at the Olympics. She has our blessings
to win and return. I always feel the
participation is great, but the spirit of winning
has to be the focus. And I think that makes
a winner. (IN RIO 2016, INDIA’S TWO MEDALS WERE WON BY
FEMALE ATHLETES.) (SHAKTI – INDIA’S SUPER WOMAN)

Comments (22)

  1. Hit like for Indian athletes ??

  2. LOOOS LIKE GOLD IS COMING HOME NEXT YEAR

  3. Will she stand on the podium?

  4. Just kick ‘em in the nuts. Anything else is too risky. The average man is MUCH stronger than the average woman. You can’t change biology. Men have more powerful upper bodies, more muscle mass, stronger bones and tendons. One swift kick in the balls as strong as you can then run for your life. Self-defence classes are fiction. Life isn’t a Hollywood action movie in which a 110-lb 5ft2 female KO’s 250-lb men. It’s dangerous advice.

  5. Madam You are an inspiration for all the girls in India

  6. Inspiration for girls like me who love karate ❤
    From Pakistan.

  7. They are so underrated

  8. The best woman big respect ????

  9. I'm a Shetty! Hello! Fellow Shettys unite!

  10. India wins forever

  11. not indian but i want her to win

  12. KARATE IN TOKYO ⚡??

  13. very rare to see beauty and strength together
    …Ma'am may you get what you expect in Tokyo 2020

  14. ❤️❤️❤️

  15. Next Dorota Banaszczyk please

  16. In Bangladesh, we have "Joddha Nari" foundation to teach over karate to girls for self defence.

  17. God bless you on your dreams and for being a positive role model for India, society, women, and anyone around the world trying for a fresh life and for being such an impressive teacher of self defense. I will be praying for you too! May you complete your dream in Tokyo! <3

  18. God let her know YOU:)

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