Kajal Ghosh during practice. Picture by Gopal Senapati
A straight kick on the head is more effective than a short defensive punch where the opponent does not even get the feel of the other’s power. Sensei Kajal Ghosh strongly believes in full contact karate rather than its non-contact form. The karate instructor, who has just received his third degree black belt from the World Karate Organisation in Japan, runs a full-fledged karate training centre at Belur where he is training 60 students in ‘shinkyokushinkai’ (full contact) karate. His institution is the only one in Belur and Bally dedicated to karate training. A student of Sibaji Ganguly, Kajal won his black belt in 1994. He has recently started another centre in Salkia and hopes to open one in Bally too.
Like all martial arts exponents, Kajal was inspired by the master of all, Bruce Lee. After dabbling in a number of sports, karate was the only option for Kajal. “My mother was very protective and would not let me go to Calcutta to train for anything. I started my life playing football at the Belur Math grounds but when senior players offered to take me to Calcutta to learn better, my mother was reluctant,” said Kajal. After football came volleyball, but even there, the only option was to move to Calcutta.
Kajal finally settled to learn karate, that too because his trainer came home to teach him. After a few months, Kajal and his friends started a training centre at home. “I was in Class IX at that time and I wanted other local children to also learn karate,” said Kajal. Unfortunately, his first experience of karate was not pleasant. “I felt what I was learning was different from what I saw,” said Kajal. In 1993, Kajal was invited by Sibaji Ganguly to join his institution, and it was only after he went to Calcutta that he understood the difference. “When I joined Sibaji Ganguly’s class, I realised that I was learning non-contact karate,” said Kajal. After joining Ganguly, Kajal had to stop running his own institute in Belur. “Instructors from Calcutta came to teach here while I had to train under Shihan (Sir). I had to start from scratch as I knew nothing about full contact karate. I graduated to brown belt in a few months and by the end of 1994, I got my black belt,” said Kajal.
Kajal had to juggle a full time job and karate together. After getting his black belt, Kajal went to various karate tournaments including the world tournament in Japan in 1999. He is also the seniormost technical committee member of World Karate Organisation, India.
Apart from his personal achievements, Kajal also tries to develop his own institution. “My progress depends on how well I run my institution,” he said. While teaching, Kajal also feels the importance of spreading awareness about self-defence across the state. “I encourage girls to learn karate as it is important for them to be alert and prompt in time of danger,” said Kajal. He is also a member of Atmaraksha, the team selected by the state government that is organising self-defence workshops in the districts.
More about kajal
- DoB: October 20, 1968
- Born in: Howrah
- Education: Diploma in mechanical engineering
- Family: Mother, wife, son
- Loves: Trekking
- Hates: Lies