In Mombasa, Kenya, during the Open Tong-II Moo-Do International Martial Arts Championship in December 2023, Karan Pandit, a Goan representing India, won two gold and one bronze medal. Nine-time international martial arts athlete Karan is 16 years old and attends St Elizabeth High School in Pomburpa, Goa. He trains at Don Bosco, Panjim.
The cornerstone of TIMD, a martial arts practice in South Korea, is the unification principle. It seeks to provide procedures and motions with a purpose and significance while also standardising and harmonising linear and circular movements. Raunak Singh is Karan’s current coach.
During summer holidays, Karan first became interested in martial arts after witnessing a teacher practising punching and kicking. He decided to study it and discovered TIMD. He started practising martial arts in 2017 and has been into it for the past seven years.
Asked who inspired him to be hardworking and consistent, he said, “My father is a source of inspiration for me. One day my mom had moved out for work in the morning and my dad stayed home because he had a big cut on his hand. It was in the afternoon and I had to leave for my martial arts class. My father asked me if I had any food.
When I replied no, he sprang into action. At first, I thought my father would make Maggi for me. But he cut vegetables with one hand and made food for me. That’s when I decided to be like my father, observing his hard work and determination.”
We might be talented and excellent at our craft but we need someone to help us channelise our expertise. For Karan, it has been his master. He says, “My mentor gave me the following advice: The idea is that you don’t have to be good at or be the best at every sport. Instead of spending time on it, choose the sport that you like the most. After 7-8 years, you’ll be putting in a lot of effort and you are sure to get good results in the future.”
In the 5th Edition ADCC No-GI JIU-JITSU Championship 2023, held by ADCC INDIA, Karan Pandit was placed second winning a silver medal. And in 2022, at the Mombasa Championship Karan won 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal. In all 42 nations attended the event, including Nigeria, South Korea, Japan, India, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Congo, DRC, Angola, Turkey, Iran and Brazil.
Karan is quite disciplined. He said, “I practice every day; on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, I practice in my class for three hours, and the rest of the days I practice alone. Perhaps, two hours of practice outdoors in a park or at a beach.”
Karan testified that he struggles with finding space for practising martial arts due to the long practice hours, which are typically 3-4 hours daily. Thrice a week they practice at Don Bosco, Panjim but on other days due to other activities, they find it hard to practice at the venue.
Karan says, “What I like most about martial arts is that it teaches discipline and it makes one mentally and physically strong.” He believes that it takes dedication, hard work and honesty to be a successful and good martial artist.
For Karan the martial artist that has influenced him the most is his master. Karan is fascinated by his dedication and focus on the goal. Currently in his 10th standard, Karan will be soon answering his board exams. If not martial arts, Karan said he would like to be a part of para commandos.
He is thankful to his master for his invaluable support during the tournaments giving his time and effort. He is also thankful for the opportunity given to him to represent the state and the country internationally. He is also much obliged to the sponsors for supporting him all through.
Karan is presently working towards achieving laurels for the country at the 2024 event that will be held in the Philippines.