As it happens, you happen to think of things most often that you come across most often. Be it on television, newspapers, magazines or even those hoardings that you run by on the streets.
What do you think this means? It’s pretty simple. Recognition goes hand in hand with the kind of coverage something or someone gets. Because well, if something amazing happens and no one is there to witness it, that ‘something amazing’ is as good as like it never happened.
Karate and Coverage
Speaking of sports in particular, in today’s times, it hardly matters how large the number of international accolades or highly coveted medals you have to your name is, ultimately things come down to ‘coverage’.
So goes the story of Supriya. The only Indian woman to have won a Gold medal in and to hold the title of the Winner of the USA Open Karate Championship (Kumite) and to hold the Commonwealth title consecutively for two years.
Supriya Jatav, born in an Army family, was leading the life of a basic 11 year old, when one day her parents decided to sign her up for Karate classes as a way of getting her fitness in check. Reluctantly, Supriya complied. Little did she know that this attempt at fitness was going to be so much more than that and that it would end up changing her entire life.
Karate soon turned into a regular thing that became an essential part of her life. She couldn’t go a day without it. Given she was a natural at it, Supriya rapidly learnt a lot in quite a less amount of time. She rose as the shining star of her academy.
Jatav, who always believed in short-term goals, decided to walk on the path of being a Karateka full time. She said, she never had a plan as such and that she was fortunate enough to have a really supportive family who backed her on every front.
Along with her exceptional Karate record, the 29 year old has a slick academic record as well. “Padhai me chalo aur Sports me daudo” (Walk in studies and run in sports), this is what her Sensei would say. When asked how she managed to keep up with studies, she said that be it at her college or trainging academy, she just kept meeting one supportive person after another who helped her maintain this balance flawlessly.
As per her, the highest point in Jatav’s life yet was at Asian Championship 2012, in Uzbekistan, when she beat a player she majorly admired, especially because she was the holder of a title that Supriya had dreamed of winning and win she did. She also added that the lowest point is when her Sensei isn’t there to see her perform.
Her favorite sports movies are “Enter The Dragon”, “Fist of Fury” and of course, “The Karate Kid”.
Sensei and Supriya
Jatav has a close-knit relationship with her Sensei. She emphasized that the relationship of a Karateka and their Sensei is and should be extremely strong. She revealed that she’d look at her Sensei and a glimpse would be enough for her to know if what she was doing was right, wrong or if she needed to change something.
Supriya loves to listen to Punjabi songs before performing. She has a special liking for Jaden Smith’s ‘Never Say Never’ from The Karate Kid. The first thing she does after winning a match is go to her Sensei and present her medal/trophy to him saying that all her winnings are his. Then she’d take her notepad out and jott any mistakes she might’ve made, down. “I’d do the same if I’d lose”, she exclaimed, reinstating how magnificent a spirit filled sportsperson she is.
Supriya’s Mantra For Failure
Her mantra to get over failure is to ‘not worry’ and ‘not overthink’. She firmly believes what’s done is done and there’s no use cribbing over it. Instead, she likes to focus on the future. Recognition is something every player or sportsperson is after. Because that is what fuels them to perform their best and Supriya seems to completely agree. She believes that to gain early recognition one has got to beat the best in that area because that is exactly what she has done and aims to keep doing.
Karate is a rigorous game and it is only obvious that a good player would not be left without a certain number of injuries. When she’d come back home after getting injured in her performances, her mother would nurse her wounds and say, “Yeh to medal ke pehele waala medal hai!” (This injury is the medal before the main medal).