Born to an affluent family, things rolled downhill when Karthik lost his father. With a family to look after, the situation led him to pursue his professional career as a software engineer. However, his passion still revolved around a combat sport that led him to become a kickboxer.
Initially, Karthik started throwing punches at the mere age of thirteen but eventually, his interest led him to kickboxing at the age of sixteen. He trained rigorously for years. In the year 2011, he bagged a gold medal in the State Kickboxing Championship.
Karthik’s journey towards his lifelong bucket list was a difficult one indeed. Firstly, there was no compelling enough a reason for him to convince his family of his choices.
Such a kind of sport requires a regulated diet, proper training equipment, and a trainer, all of which requires finances. The kickboxer is unhappy at the stature of the sport in the country with mainstream sports hogging all the limelight and sponsors. He had traveled to many states and was in awe at the poor condition of the training facilities there. He even speaks of matches where you have no form of reward and how his colleagues had sponsored his fight.
“Being a combat sport athlete, especially a kickboxer isn’t a cake-walk. It involves someone throwing huge blows and punches at your face and body with closed fists and legs. Every time you enter that ring you will definitely injure or break something or the other irrespective of all your protective gear. There is no other way.”
Karthik finally checked his bucket list as an international kickboxer as a silver medalist in the World kickboxing championship in 2017, which was held in Nepal.
He recollects how difficult it was even on the verge of his big fight, “Although the experience was overwhelming and a dream come true. However, sustaining yourself for more than a couple of minutes in that ring is a Herculean task. Your relationships are bound to strain your muscles. And that builds up on you physically and emotionally. You have no support because you are your only backup.”
Karthik is now a professional who is certified to train budding kickboxers from all over the world. However, staying true to his roots, Karthik voluntarily trains young and budding athletes for the sport who need support. He does it out of a desire for more and more sponsors to start noticing the talent that stays out of the limelight only because of monetary issues.
For those keen in their bucket lists he advises, “Keep practicing and keep improving. Keep punching and keep sparring. Fight, but focus on your base job as well to keep the paper flowing and your fists and kicks going.”
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