Black Belt at 5, owns academy at 6

Black Belt at 5, owns academy at 6

Black Belt at 5, owns academy at 6

At an age when children clasp a doll, 6-year-old Varsha Vinod holds the handles of a steel nunchaku and rotates it deftly under her shoulders like a karate champ. She can jump and sprawl her legs to form right angles to her frame.
Varsha became the world’s youngest female black belt almost a year ago and now a karate academy has been set up in her name in her hometown Ambalapuzha in Alappuzha district.

``Her skills, concentration and accuracy are stunning for her age,” British Karate champion Juan Moreno told newsmen after a mock encounter with her in London in November. A first standard  student of Taxila English Medium School in Purakad near Alappuzha, Varsha was awarded First Dan black belt in May 2009. The State Youth Welfare Board has now sanctioned her Rs 25,000 for her achievement.

Three hours for Karate
Varsha was obviously influenced by her father Vinod Viswanathan, a 4th Dan Black Belt who taught her the basics since the age of two. Vinod has been a karate master for the last 23 years in Ko-IN-CHI Academy which has more than 1,200 students in Alappuzha.

“Every day I spent about three hours for karate,’’ gushes the little girl who turns aggressive the moment she dons the white robe but is otherwise shy. By the age of four when she had not even gone to school, Varsha had turned a brown belt holder with impressive performances. In no time she was able to manoeuvre the Chinese Dragon Stick and nunchaku.

Support assured
``We are very happy for Varsha and of course will give all support to develop her calibre in karate," said Vinod.
Her school mates are not terror-striken by her exploits either. ``They are very proud of me and very friendly also,’’ says she.
In November, Varsha and her dad went to London on an invitation from the UK-based public relations firm ‘Taylor Herring Limited’. The British media gave a thumbs up for her skills which were also replicated in a computer game by the firm `Mini Ninjas’.

Juan Moreno was so impressed that he has promised all help in setting up the karate academy. ``I hope to do better in karate, but when I get older I would like to be a doctor,’’ says the petite girl who like any other child of her ilk loves Tom and Jerry cartoons.

 Varsha's coach V Z Sebastian, who has been teaching students for more than 30 years, said he saw something special in Varsha. `
`I found that the little girl had excellent concentration and dedication at this early stage,’’ says he.
She trains more than 2 hours starting 5. 30 am every day and sometimes on holidays up to four hours.

Varsha’s mother Sunita who is a school teacher says that her daughter had been showing a maturity beyond her age.
``She has been a bit serious in that sense. But we are quite happy for her,’’ says she.  

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